In June 2022, the Joint Office of Homeless Services will be convening two community advisory groups to provide an opportunity for people to be involved in our region’s solution to the homelessness crisis. These two advisory groups, the Continuum of Care Board and the Supportive Housing Services Advisory Committee, will help advise the Joint Office of Homeless Services in our work to end homelessness by ensuring that all who need it can have access to permanent, supportive housing.

We held three online information sessions to answer questions about this new advisory structure. Here is a video of the information session, which answers a lot of the questions people have asked about these new structures. The deadline to apply was April 22, 2022.

Who will form the advisory bodies:

We are looking for community members passionate about racial and economic justice, supportive of the work to end homelessness and interested in advising the Joint Office of Homeless Services in this work. This is a chance to make your voice heard in a practical, impactful way. We value the voices of people with lived experience of homelessness, extreme poverty and other forms of oppression and encourage those with lived experience to apply.

Any community member who is committed to the values listed below is welcome to apply to be a part of either advisory body. Please consider applying even if you do not have experience serving on any previous advisory bodies or boards - we value lived experience and will offer training on how to serve on a board/committee.

Our values:

Collaboration: We recognize our interdependence as individuals and as an organization, and approach our work with a spirit of partnership and shared power with those experiencing homelessness and other stakeholders.

Equity: We commit to achieving equity for all individuals. We acknowledge the existence of structural racism and develop, implement and evaluate policies and practices that achieve equitable outcomes with a focus on eliminating the disparities that people of color experience. We believe that focusing on racial equity will allow us to more effectively serve all communities.

Inclusion: We foster within our office and within the community that we serve a culture of safety and belonging that ensures that the voices of people who have been historically excluded, including people of color, women, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA2S+, and others experiencing homelessness, are truly heard and shape the direction of our work.

About the work

Stipends will be available for community members with lived experience of homelessness who are selected to serve on these advisory bodies. These advisory bodies hold monthly 2-hour meetings, with an additional 2 - 3 hours of work outside of meetings (includes reading items for review). The meetings will be online for the time being, with the intention of moving to hybrid meetings at some point. Accommodations will be made to allow all members to attend - and notes will be available for those unable to attend.

More about the two advisory groups:

Continuum of Care Board:

This Board will advise on and oversee the implementation of priorities and policies related to the Multnomah County Continuum of Care (CoC). The CoC board is a federal requirement for local governments to ensure alignment with CoC guidelines.  This Board reviews and approves the Continuum of Care Application for federal funding, helps make decisions about what is funded locally with the federal money, designates the local entity that will be the lead organization for the federal Homeless Management Information System, and provides Planning Feedback on the Continuum of Care. The Board is focused on advising the Joint Office on Permanent Supportive Housing, and the best ways to help people move from unsheltered homelessness into housing.

The Continuum of Care Board should include community members from the following sectors:

  • Lived Experience of Homelessness
  • Public Health
  • Criminal Justice
  • Human Services
  • Culturally Specific Providers
  • Survivors of Domestic Violence (DV)
  • Housing Developers
  • Public Housing Agencies
  • DV Providers
  • Youth system 
  • School/Education/Early childhood
  • Family system
  • Veteran system 
  • Permanent Supportive Housing 
  • Geographic Equity 
  • Benefit Advocacy 
  • Employment/Workforce
  • Medical/Healthcare
  • Business
  • Legal/Advocacy
  • Research/Higher education
  • Shelter/Outreach

Supportive Housing Services Advisory Committee:

This Committee will advise Multnomah County on adherence to the Metro Supportive Housing Services (SHS) Measure and the County’s Local Implementation Plan (LIP) and future regional plans, and will provide ongoing accountability and recommendations related to the Local Implementation Plan and SHS program. The SHS Measure (Measure 26-210) was passed by voters in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas County in 2020 to fund services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The aim of the Measure is to reduce homelessness through services that help people find and keep safe and stable homes. 

The Supportive Housing Services Advisory Committee should include community members from the following sectors:

  • People with lived experience of homelessness and/or extreme poverty;
  • People from Black, Indigenous and people of color and other marginalized communities
  • Culturally responsive and culturally specific service providers
  • Representatives from the county and cities participating in 2018 affordable housing bond
  • Business, faith, and philanthropic sectors
  • County/City agencies responsible for implementing housing and homelessness services
  • Health and behavioral health representatives (As described in the LIP)
  • Representation ensuring geographic diversity

Process and timeline: 

Here is the timeline for the formation of these new advisory bodies:

  • Applications open (April 4 - 22)
  • Notification sent out to all applicants (April)
  • Orientation and Onboarding (May) 
    • Purpose of Advisory Structure
    • Background
    • Participation Guidelines
    • Meeting Schedules
    • Stipend Policy
    • Racial Equity Commitment and Lens
  • Committees Launch (May/June)

Here is the timeline for how these new advisory bodies came into being: