Mayors from the eight largest Oregon cities are publicly thanking the Oregon Legislature for taking a much-needed step to address the unhoused crisis in cities throughout Oregon.
One element of the housing-houseless package announced today is a $25 million investment that will be focused on Beaverton, Bend, Eugene, Gresham, Hillsboro, Medford, Portland, and Salem to support the operation of safe temporary-stay shelters, provide needed services to the unhoused community, and keep communities clean.
Cities are leaders in the unhoused response and have dedicated millions of dollars, several thousand hours of staff time, and stretched resources to create and provide:
- year-round shelters
- emergency camping areas
- day centers
- site clean-up & sanitation
- increased outreach & counseling services
The cost of these services is staggering and needs strong state partnerships and resources to amplify the work underway. In the current fiscal year, these eight cities alone have allocated roughly $110 million toward responding to the unhoused crisis.
Officials say the investment announced today by the state shows the need for a comprehensive community and statewide approach to address the issue of homelessness and housing. Authorizes stress that city budgets do not come close to addressing urgent houseless needs. They continue by saying that the human tragedy of Oregonians in crisis, living outside, often in unsanitary and dangerous situations, is a major concern for everyone and warrants an ongoing partnership with the State.
Legislators say the investment will ensure that cities can continue to engage and, in some cases, deepen the impact of current programs. This investment builds on the momentum of local, state, and federal governments collaborating throughout the pandemic to address the critical needs of Oregonians.
The work at the local level will continue with these funds and set the stage for continuing discussions between local governments and the Legislature in developing bold policy and funding approaches that meet the long-term needs of our communities and communities across Oregon.