Merkley, Wyden announce millions of dollars for Oregon in fight against homelessness

Nearly $3 million will help organizations statewide provide supportive services to help people out of homelessness

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced nearly $3 million in Continuum of Care grants across the state, providing resources to help house and provide supportive services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

“As communities in Oregon face their biggest housing affordability crises in decades, with rents dramatically outpacing incomes, we must do everything we can to make sure families have the supportive services they need,”Merkley said. “While much more needs to be done to tackle the roots of this homelessness crisis, these grants will help some of our most vulnerable neighbors.”

“Helping Oregonians in need of housing is top-priority business that has its best opportunity to succeed when support systems are solid throughout our state,” Wyden said. ”These grants take a key step toward protecting families as well as survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking from homelessness.”

“Our team is happy and excited for the collaboration between service providers, elected officials’ local representatives, and government,” said Komi Kalevor, Director of Washington County’s Department of Housing Services.“This level of federal funding is indeed welcome news and it comes with a significant increase from the previous years’ funding—just the shot in the arm we need to address the housing challenges we face in serving the neediest.”

“NeighborImpact greatly appreciates the continued investment by Housing and Urban Development in the Continuum of Care programs,” said Molly Heiss, Director of Housing Stabilization for Neighborhood Impact Community Services. “This infusion of funds bolsters our efforts to end homelessness across Central Oregon.”

“The Continuum of Care grant will make a real difference for survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking in our community,” said Jayne Downing, Executive Director of Center for Hope and Safety. “The funds will allow us to provide rental assistance, pay deposits, and screening fees for survivors leaving our confidential emergency shelter. It will also provide funding for a Domestic Violence Housing Advocate to work directly with survivors and landlords to help secure and maintain long-term housing. We are grateful for the Continuum of Care funding to expand our services to survivors of violence in Marion and Polk Counties.”

“Lane County is extremely happy to received continued support for our efforts to reduce homelessness,” said Steve Manela, Lane County Human Services Division Manager. “These resources provided by the federal government are essential to our continued ability to move people from homelessness to stability in housing and employment.”

The Continuum of Care Program is designed to assist communities in their goal of ending homelessness. The program provides funding for efforts by nonprofit providers and state and local governments to quickly rehouse homeless individuals and families. The program seeks to improve access to supportive programs that lead to self-sufficiency among individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

Nationally, more than $202 million was distributed to entities working to address homelessness in their communities. Merkley is the only Oregon member of Congress from either chamber since Senator Mark Hatfield to serve on the Appropriations Committee, considered to be one of the most powerful on Capitol Hill. He joined the committee in 2013 so that Oregon would have a strong voice in decisions about the investments our nation should be making, such as funding the wraparound services that help end homelessness.

The nearly $3 million to Oregon communities includes grants to:

·       Lane County (Eugene), $138,716

·       Multnomah County (Portland), $746,100

·       Home Forward (Portland), $65,448

·       Transition Projects, Inc. (Portland), $265,084

·       ACCESS (Medford), $21,743

·       Community Works Inc. (Medford), $50,324

·       NeighborImpact (Redmond), $17,892

·       Center for Hope & Safety (Salem), $188,561

·       Community Action Partnership of Oregon (Salem), $106,693

·       Community Action Team, Inc (St. Helens), $257,360

·       Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (Portland), $110,767

·       Oregon Coast Community Action (Coos Bay), $129,404

·       Yamhill Community Action Partnership (McMinnville), $52,645

·       Washington County Department of Housing Services (Hillsboro), $296,528

·       Clackamas Department of Health, Housing & Human Services (Oregon City), $70,591

·       Clackamas Women’s Services, Inc. (Oregon City), $64,912

·       Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (Portland), $169,763

·       Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (Oregon City), $149,776