After living outside for nine years, Jessica's life changed when Cultivate Initiatives offered her a job. Now she's working full time and has a place to call her own. Last fiscal year, funding from the Joint Office of Homeless Services helped more than 4,500 of our neighbors leave homelessness — like Jessica — and move into housing.
From "Multnomah County experiment that asked landlords to rent to homeless individuals succeeded -- but quickly ran out of money" by Nicole Hayden of The Oregonian/OregonLive:
Mornings are chaotically delightful in Doll Crain’s new home. She lives with two housemates and their two dogs, Lady and Sue, who run circles around their six-bedroom house.
Crain often yells a reminder to her roommates, who work for the same housing nonprofit she does, that they need to “go, go go!” or they will be late for work.
“We hold each other accountable,” Crain said. “I am so glad I got housed with roommates instead of by myself. I would have been much more depressed with the transition because while it’s good, it’s also traumatic leaving your community.”
Crain was homeless for a decade before receiving a one-year rent subsidy in June through a pilot program called Move-In Multnomah. Established by the county soon after homelessness experts and advocates called for such an approach, the program sought to encourage more landlords to help reduce homelessness. It promised a year of guaranteed rent to landlords who agreed to rent houses or apartments to homeless individuals, coverage for any damages and a supportive staff member to help landlords and newly housed residents navigate any challenges.
The county used nearly $4 million from the region’s new homeless services tax to place people into 214 homes in the span of just four months.
Crain had been living in an RV near Sandy River Delta Park east of Troutdale with a crew of other friends who also had their own RVs. She’d nearly given up on the possibility of being placed in housing. But through the new program, she was approved for rent assistance at the end of May and moved into a privately owned home in Southeast Portland in a week.
Brian and Robert
Brian and Robert are formerly homeless older adults who found safe, stable places to live through the help of Northwest Pilot Project. Hear from them about what their experience of homelessness was like, how living in apartments of their own has changed their lives and what they want people to understand about homelessness. Find it on page 3 of the NWPP newsletter.
When Warren was ready for housing, the Joint Office's partner organizations didn’t just connect him to a safe home. They also got him the support he needed — services like case management, rent assistance, employment support and behavioral health services — to help him find stability and a positive path forward. For the first time in 16 years, he was home.
"We're talking about a life here, a life has been breathed back into me." Sandra experienced houselessness for years until she was given a second chance by Multnomah County partner Cultivate Initiatives. Now she’s employed full time and found a place to call home.
Ricco and Trent
A safe and stable place to live combined with support services is essential to helping people end their homelessness for good. That's exactly what the supportive housing model provides: temporary shelter, permanent housing placements, and connections to rent assistance, healthcare, behavioral health services, employment assistance and more. Ricco and Trent help connect people to housing and other supports for a living, driven by a firsthand understanding of just how transformative have a home of your own can be.