Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that housing services organizations in five Oregon counties have earned a combined $1.3 million in grant dollars for street outreach and transitional services to help young Oregonians facing housing insecurity.
“The epidemic of housing insecurity among young Oregonians puts them at risk on the streets and undermines their opportunity to learn in school so they can lead stable and successful lives,” Wyden said. “I’m gratified these federal resources will assist community organizations in these five counties working to connect youth with safe, long-term housing and services, and I’ll keep battling for similar resources throughout the state.”
“Young people should be able to focus on school, and discovering their talents and interests, and building relationships — not worrying about where they’re going to sleep that night,” Merkley said. “Assisting young Oregonians in finding permanent, reliable housing should be a top priority—especially during an ongoing pandemic—and I am pleased to see Oregon counties receive federal funding to tackle this pressing issue. I will continue fighting to ensure every Oregonian, regardless of age, has a healthy living environment and a place to call home.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded the funds through the Street Outreach and Transitional Living programs which support youth in finding long-term stable housing, and build connections between youth experiencing houselessness and caring adults. The funds will be distributed as follows:
· Yamhill Community Action Partnership: $125,000 for Street Outreach
· Janus Youth Programs, Inc.: $150,000 for Street Outreach
· Outside In: $250,000 for Transitional Living Program
· The Boys and Girls Aid Society of Oregon: $250,000 for Transitional Living Program
· Looking Glass Community Services: $150,000 for Street Outreach
· Hearts with a Mission: $250,000 for Transitional Living Program
· Mid Willamette Valley Community Action Agency Inc: $135,741 for Street Outreach
“This award gives essential resources to get youth off the streets and into healthy futures. Looking Glass and the community truly appreciate the leadership provided by Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley to improve the safety and well-being of our youth!” said Craig Opperman, President and CEO at the Looking Glass.
“We are in the highest risk period ever for youth who are living homeless on the streets. In addition to survival they are facing severe mental health challenges and increasing violence on a daily basis. We do not believe there are “homeless youth” in our communities but rather “family-less children” who deserve a safe place to find the home that they deserve and the support necessary to sustain it. And that is exactly what these federal resources will help accomplish,” said Dennis Morrow, Executive Director of Janus Youth Programs, Inc.
“The Transitional Living Program’s 3-year grant provides critical support for onsite housing here at Outside In. This means that young people have stable housing while they work to achieve their goals around education, employment, and health, so they can transition to permanent housing solutions,” said Patricia Patron, Executive Director of Outside In.
A web version of this release is here.