This week our Multnomah County Board of Commissioners appropriated over $62 million dollars for homeless services. This was a combination of unanticipated Supportive Housing Services revenue and American Rescue Plan Act funding. With much input, collaboration and negotiation from fellow board members, local community-based organizations, and community members we were able to allocate these funds to do the greatest good for the most people.

My criterion for allocating this money was to fund programs that could immediately be deployed that would either house individuals, prevent people from becoming homeless, and/or help triage people in crisis. These investments include:

  • $21M to expand shelter access
  • $15M to increase support for the behavioral health crisis, stabilization and housing services
  • $9M to improve shelter flow through and support a more streamlined shelter infrastructure
  • $3.3M to increase day-time support services
  • $10M for rent assistance to prevent households from entering homelessness
  • $1M to improve systems, access to services, and improve community safety

Some specific investments I would like to call out include:

  • The City of Portland’s Temporary Alternative Shelter Sites (TASS) -  I value Multnomah County’s partnership with the City of Portland and look forward to opening these two additional TASS sites that will include 200 new beds for the next two years.
  • Bybee Lakes - Sustaining 175 beds for unsheltered adults.
  • 30 additional beds for families with children and 10 beds for transition-age youth. 
  • New East County Liaison - Adding a new position in the Joint Office of Homeless Services to make sure our East County cities’ perspective is integrated in the larger County plan. 
  • The need for sobering spaces and a sobering center is dire. I am elated that we will be spending over $7M to help address this gap. And that we will be doing an assessment for the future planning of a sobering center.
  • $8 million dollars for preventive rent assistance. Often people are just one paycheck away from being houseless. An unexpected medical bill or accident, a broken down car, or a high utility bill can devastate someone’s budget who are all too often spending 50% or more of their income just on rent. This will help people before they are embroiled in an eviction which is traumatic, expensive and time consuming.
  • $189k for Cascadia Cluster’s 12 x 12 Village on Glisan. This sober living community is similar to Oxford Houses. When completed it will house up to 14 people.

12 x 12 Village on Glisan - Sober Living Tiny Home Village
12 x 12 Village on Glisan Road - Sober Living Tiny Home Village
12 x 12 Village on Glisan
12 x 12 Village on Glisan - Sober Living Tiny Home Village