OREGON’S PORTLAND — Leaders from all over the state are arguing for new strategies to address the homeless epidemic, from the newly elected Multnomah County Chair to the governor of Oregon.
The Blanchet House staff tells KATU they want to increase the available resources. The County established the Old Town InReach team a year ago to link street people with peer specialists.
Blanchet House’s executive director has now stated that he wants to expand the program to include a housing coordinator.
According to Scott Kerman,
“Getting someone into housing can often be very complicated, and it’s especially complicated for the people that we’re serving, who may not be in the best position to fill out all the documents, to do all of the researchers who need help, frankly, from getting from point A to point Z.”
One of the peer support specialists who work with Blanchet House is Jennifer Coon. Coon reports to KATU that she is seeing an increase in the number of women who are homeless.
“The age range, for women especially, 19 to 22 and oftentimes they have babies, they have young children and they just look broken.”
Not simply young women, according to Coon, are in need. She just received a call from an older woman needing a house.
“A 92-year-old woman. She had her wits very much about her and she had come here to live with her daughter, and her daughter is being evicted. So, she has nowhere to go,”
Explained Coon. Jessica Vega Pederson, chair of Multnomah County, recently unveiled her Housing Multnomah Now Initiative to speed up the housing placement procedure. Housing coordinators might be involved in that procedure, according to Kerman.
“We have the pieces in place where we can move on this very, very quickly. What we lack is the funding as part of the program to do it. So, we really want to respond to and show our enthusiasm for their calls for urgency, right? Let’s turn urgency into action,”
Said he. KATU contacted the team of the county chair. They started in response.
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You can also see a tweet:
I reached out to the Multnomah County chair. Her team responded with a statement saying: "The "Housing Multnomah Now" initiative will bring much needed housing placement opportunities directly to those living in the central city, where Blanchet House also provides needed…
— Megan Allison (@mallisonKATU) February 11, 2023
“The ‘Housing Multnomah Now’ initiative will bring much-needed housing placement opportunities directly to those living in the central city, where Blanchet House also provides needed services. So their proposal may align closely with the County’s plans across a larger area and we’re looking forward to meeting with Blanchet House to learn more,”
They claimed. Staff from non-profit organizations expressed their satisfaction with the current push for urgency at all levels of government.
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