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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 09 June 2021

Washington County will begin deploying regional Supportive Housing Services (SHS) program funds starting on July 1. After reviewing over 40 proposals, the County has approved 38 organizations as eligible to partner with the County as providers of Supportive Housing Services.

Qualifying organizations are a mix of established service providers in Washington County looking to extend their reach and organizations that are new to Washington County. Many will offer vital culturally responsive and culturally specific services to ensure funds are distributed equitably across the county, intentionally serving Black, Indigenous, Latino/a/x, Asian, Pacific Islander and other communities of color. According to Board Chair Kathryn Harrington, “Washington County has moved quickly to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness in our community in a thoughtful, compassionate, and responsive way. We know the need is great and I am thankful for the many organizations that have stepped up to the plate to join us in this work. This is only the beginning and we look forward to investing in both innovative and established effective processes to address this crisis head on.”

Highlights from a few of the organizations 

Urban League of Portland has a long history of providing culturally specific services to the African American community. As the Washington County Leading with Race report showed, this has long been a gap in services in Washington County. Working with the Urban League will be pivotal to closing this gap in housing services. Denetta Monk, Director of Housing Programs: “The Urban League is dedicated to building momentum towards goals of expanding our unique culturally-specific model of services to support African American communities in Washington County. Our strategy in fusing housing advocacy and racial justice has a proven track record of success and we are committed to serving the most vulnerable and ending homelessness.” 

HomePlate Youth Services has been providing services for youth ages 12-24 experiencing homelessness or housing instability in Washington County for over sixteen years. With additional SHS funds, HomePlate will be able to expand youth-centered street outreach, extend their geographic reach, and expand drop-in hours and housing placement services. Bridget Calfee, the HomePlate Executive Director shares, "Youth are incredibly resilient, but there has been a lack of affordable housing and support to help youth achieve their stability goals. , we are thrilled about the collaborations and transformational impact to come with these new resources and partnership with Washington County.”

New Narrative (formerly Luke Dorf) works with people to support their recovery from mental health and substance abuse challenges, often working with participants through homelessness and housing instability as part of their care. New Narrative hopes to expand their programs to include housing navigation and wrap-around services to ensure folks are supported in their new homes.

The qualifying organizations:

Alano Club of Portland
ASSIST Program
Boys and Girls Aid
Bridges to Change
Catholic Charities of Oregon 
Centro Cultural del Condado de Washington 
College Housing Northwest 
Community Action Organization 
Community Partners for Affordable Housing 
Community Warehouse
Easterseals Oregon 
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon 
Family Promise of Greater Washington County
Family Promise of Tualatin Valley
Forest Grove Foundation 
Friendly House Inc.
Good Neighbor Center 
HomePlate Youth Services
Immigration and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) 
Impact NW 
Just Compassion of East Washington County 
Latino Network 
LifeWorks NW 
New Narrative 
Open Door HousingWorks 
Project Homeless Connect 
Reach CDC 
The Salvation Army 
Sequoia Mental Health Services, Inc. 
Telecare Corporation 
The Commons Law Center 
Transition Projects 
Unite Oregon 
Urban League of Portland 
Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center 
Worksystems, Inc. 

This network of community-based organization and service providers will work in partnership with the Department of Housing Services to provide 1,665 supportive housing placements, create a shelter system that provides 250 beds for people experiencing homelessness, and ensure a quality standard of care and culturally specific services for our communities in need. Washington County Housing Authority currently supports more than 3000 families and individuals who have limited incomes with housing stability through public housing and rent assistance programs.

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