Thursday, March 30, 2023

By:  Kendall Bartley, KVAL


SALEM, Ore. — Governor Tina Kotek signed the state’s Affordable Housing and Emergency Homelessness Response Package into law on Wednesday, guaranteeing $200 million in funds to address the homeless crisis.

In addition to that, Senator Ron Wyden and Senator Jeff Merkley secured $50 million in federal funding to support housing services in Oregon.

So far this year, Senator Merkley has hosted 19 town halls around the state, and housing is one of the leading issues for his constituents.

 “Quite frankly, housing comes up as a top concern,” said Merkley. “Top concern for county commissioners, city counselors, the citizens, just the high cost of rent – that is very devastating to peoples’ budgets, the kind of receding dream of homeownership which can stabilize families, and certainly the challenge of so many people living on the street as a result of the finances, as a result of drug addiction, the result of mental illness. We have to tackle this from every angle.”

To address this, the $50 million coming from the Department of Housing and Urban Development will be awarded to nonprofits and state and local governments.

One of the recipients is St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County.

“It is a crucial pin in the continuum of care that we want to get to stabilize families in local communities,” said Terry McDonald, the executive director of St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County. “Without this federal funding, in addition to the local funding and outreach, much of the success we’ve had over the years would not be possible.”

That success coming from three different programs that have been in the works for decades.

“It’s part of the continuum of care program that we’ve run for a number of years and that includes the Vet LIFT program, the LIFT program and the Connections programs.”

Those three programs help slightly different populations, but in the last year, they have helped serve 185 people, including 84 children.

To date, McDonald says three quarters of them have been placed in permanent housing.

St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County will be receiving $795,626 of the $50 million in federal funding which allows the nonprofit to continue offering these services.

Senator Merkley and McDonald agree: Since housing is such a big issue in the state, more needs to be done to solve it.

“Certainly, every bit of funding helps and $50 million is a significant chunk,” said Sen. Merkley. “I really want to applaud the state legislature for appropriating $200 million. I am working through all of the federal programs to support the increase in vouchers, more support for mental health (and) more support for addiction.”

Here’s a list of where the rest of the funding will be allocated.

  • Home Forward: $7,037,001
  • Washington County Department of Housing Services: $4,647,955
  • Central City Concern: $4,042,885
  • Housing Solutions, Inc.: $3,517,363
  • Multnomah County: $3,192,421
  • Lane County: $2,512,675
  • Transitions Projects, Inc.: $2,402,163
  • Self Enhancement, Inc.: $2,329,124
  • Cascadia Health: $1,517,605
  • Clackamas Department of Health, Housing & Human Services: $1,387,117
  • Urban League of Portland: $1,184,621
  • Clackamas Women’s Services, Inc.: $1,144,228
  • Community Action Team, Inc: $936,780
  • Corvallis Neighborhood Housing Services: $856,599
  • YWCA of Greater Portland: $834,884
  • Homes for Good: $829,786
  • St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, Inc.: $795,626
  • Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest: $761,860
  • Center for Hope & Safety: $699,273
  • The Salvation Army: $674,363
  • Outside In: $610,737
  • Cascade AIDS Project: $591,479
  • NeighborImpact: $572,604
  • Housing Authority of Clackamas County: $541,368
  • Neighborhood House: $467,802
  • Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO): $428,835
  • Bradley Angle/Andrea Lee/Healing Roots Consolidation: $418,856
  • United Community Action Network: $404,753
  • Shangri-La Corporation: $364,377
  • Yamhill Community Action Partnership: $332,451
  • Community Services Consortium: $326,722
  • JOIN: $317,452
  • Northwest Pilot Project, Inc.: $270,435
  • New Narrative: $259,504
  • Northwest Family Services: $250,000
  • City of Portland: $245,666
  • Community Action Partnership of Oregon: $239,038
  • Parrott Creek Child & Family Services: $234,804
  • Clatsop Community Action: $227,483
  • Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency: $224,925
  • Just Compassion of East Washington County: $224,740
  • Community Action Program of East Central Oregon (CAPECO): $183,264
  • Northwest Housing Alternatives, Inc: $164,514
  • Central Oregon FUSE: $161,914
  • New Avenues for Youth Inc.: $131,219
  • Community Works Inc.: $116,703
  • Community Connection of Northeast Oregon, Inc.: $88,937
  • J Bar J Youth Services: $76,036
  • Options for Homeless Residents of Ashland (OHRA): $54,778
  • Mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance: $37,149
  • Tillamook County Community Action Resource Enterprises Inc.: $33,454
  • ACCESS: $26,616
  • Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC): $23,159
  • Oregon Housing and Community Services: $14,696