Portland Wins Competitive Federal Award to Further Efforts to End Homelessness

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Portland, OR – A partnership of five local agencies has been awarded a $2.0 million bonus in renewable federal funds for a new project aimed at quickly re-housing people experiencing homelessness. Central City Concern will lead the collaborative, in partnership with Cascadia Behavioral Health, JOIN, NARA, and Transition Projects. Only 25 projects were awarded nationally. In Portland, this new award will annually house and provide intensive support services to more than 130 chronically homeless households, including disabled adults, veterans, and families.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has offered the bonus, on top of the annual Continuum of Care grants that support nationwide efforts to end homelessness through housing and support services.  Specifically, HUD sought new projects that could increase collaboration among housing and health care providers to help people experiencing homelessness improve health and housing stability.

 “The renewable nature of this award makes it particularly exciting as it will expand our capacity to get people the help they need for many years,” said Central City Concern Executive Director Ed Blackburn.

City of Portland Housing Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who sits on the Executive Committee of A Home for Everyone Coordinating Board, said “To be one of a select few communities nationwide chosen for bonus funding speaks to the strength of the collaboration among our local governments and nonprofit health and housing providers in addressing homelessness. Meaningfully impacting homelessness begins with an understanding that housing and health go hand-in-hand.”

The funding represents a 25% expansion of our community’s current HUD funding for permanent supportive housing.  It also leverages nearly $6 million in non-HUD funded services, including an unprecedented $4.6 million commitment of Medicaid-funded services from Health Share of Oregon.

“Our community is committed to ending homelessness, but we know that we cannot do it alone.  We need significant support like this from our federal partners. Combining this award with the expertise and resources of Central City Concern and the collaborating agencies, we can make real progress on tackling chronic homelessness in our community,” said Marc Jolin, the director of the A Home for Everyone Initiative.