November 8, 2022
HOPE News & Updates
Benton County and the City of Corvallis, along with our network of local housing and homeless services providers, continue to work together towards implementation of HOPE recommendations and supporting a coordinated homelessness response system. One of the HOPE Recommendations includes communicating regular updates to the community. We will use this email list to share news, updates and progress with you as information becomes available. If you no longer wish to receive these communications, you may use the unsubscribe button at the bottom of this email to update your preferences
Meet Sheena & Sam:
A story from Corvallis Housing First
"There’s so much. Just breathe and keep your head up. Because even though it feels like you’re going to drown, there’s always people to help you. As long as you’re willing to put your hand up and say 'I need help.'”

Sheena is a single mom who has been utilizing Corvallis Housing First’s case management services for a little over a year. Her and her son Sam (age 6) lost their housing in California and moved to Oregon in hopes of having a better chance in finding a place to live. They were unable to find housing and had no other options but to camp. Due to their housing instability, Sheena asked Sam’s grandparents on his father’s side if they could care for him until she was able to become more stable and get back into housing. They are now reunited and live in an apartment of their own.

Learn more about Corvallis Housing First (New website coming soon!)
Community Progress Update - HOPE Recommendations
In June, we issued a Community Progress Report, detailing ways in which the City, County, and community partners were progressing toward the implementation of and alignment with the HOPE recommendations.

Since then, we've made updates to our HOPE Recommendations and Community Progress webpage, detailing additional progress made since the June report was released.

Some highlights include:

Benton County, City of Corvallis, & Community Services Consortium (CSC) memorialize partnership to implement Coordinated Homeless Response System
Benton County, the City of Corvallis, and Community Services Consortium (CSC) this month finalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to memorialize the existing partnership between the three agencies toward addressing homelessness.

The purpose of the MOU is to establish an effective framework for collaboration among the parties for the development of a coordinated homeless response.

The signed MOU marks one more step toward meeting the requirements set forth in House Bill 4123, a state pilot program awarding municipal partnerships $1 million in funding to support coordinated homeless response.

While Corvallis is currently the only Benton County city signed on to the MOU, the County hopes additional cities will join. Language in the memorandum was developed intentionally to allow additional cities to easily sign into partnership with the County.
Benton County Partners with Community in Prioritizing Housing Solutions, ROCKit Grant Program Maps the Way
“Solutions to homelessness are a priority for our community and Benton County is committed to addressing affordability and homelessness by engaging the whole community in assuring safe, healthy, and affordable housing for all community members.”

Benton County, the City of Corvallis, Community Services Consortium, and key health and social service providers are partnering with Community ROCKit (Resource Organizer for Communities Kit) program in the development of a coordinated entry system that connects community members to housing and services.

An effective coordinated entry process helps Benton County prioritize the most vulnerable people in our community ensuring that people who need assistance the most can receive it in a timely manner. Coordinated entry processes also provide information about service needs and gaps to help communities plan their assistance and identify needed resources.

The grant-funded Community ROCKit program has previously partnered with Umatilla, Tillamook, Morrow, and Gilliam Counties to help these communities identify solutions to local challenges such as childcare affordability, access to mental health services, and emergency housing crisis. Benton County’s collaboration with ROCKit will build off the efforts of the Home, Opportunity, Planning, and Equity (HOPE) Board, a joint effort to facilitate a comprehensive, coordinated response to homelessness. The HOPE Board included coordinated entry in its recommendations to the City and County.

For more information, visit:

Benton County offers funding to support establishment of inclement weather center
Benton County Public Health is seeking funding proposals to help provide overnight emergency shelter for people experiencing houselessness during severe weather.

Up to $300,000 in funding could be available to support the provision and operation of a local inclement weather center to be activated on nights when hot, cold, or otherwise extreme weather meets designated thresholds. The County is utilizing $50,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds for the center and hopes to provide an additional $250,000, contingent upon receiving additional grant funds through the City of Corvallis, a decision that is currently pending.

“We are grateful to provide this funding opportunity that could help individuals with inadequate shelter from being exposed to potentially life-threatening weather,” said Public Health Preparedness and Response Coordinator, John Pegg.

“With cold weather and winter storms just around the corner, the County is prepared to work quickly to expedite the review process for projects that qualify for funding under this opportunity,” Pegg said.

The County will apply an equity lens when determining placement and establishment of a potential warming center and will award points based on service delivery for diverse populations, trauma-informed care, and client-oriented focus, among other categories.

$1 Million in funding available for emergency shelter & housing
The City of Corvallis is seeking funding proposals to help shelter or house people experiencing houselessness in our community.

Up to $1 million in funding from the Oregon Legislature is available. This opportunity is intended to fund projects that can create emergency shelter, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing, with financial support for accompanying service provisions.

“We are thankful the state provided this one-time funding so service providers can create more safe, warm and dry places for our houseless community members,” said Community Development Director Paul Bilotta. “The City is prepared to work quickly to expedite the review process for projects that qualify for funding under this opportunity.”

The HOPE Advisory Board meets tomorrow
November and December HOPE Advisory board meetings are being held two weeks earlier than normal, due to the observed holidays. New dates are as follows:

November 9, 2022, 4-6pm
December 14, 2022, 4-6pm

This month's meeting features a presentation on the Justice System Improvement Project (JSIP): what are the components, why do we need them, and how do the HOPE Recommendations relate?

Guest Speakers:

  • Benton County Commissioner Xan Augerot
  • Benton County Sheriff Jef Van Arsdall
  • Damien Sands, Benton County Behavioral Health Director
  • Nick Kurth, JSIP Project Manager

Join us on your computer or mobile app: Click here to join the meeting

Meeting ID: 286 479 023 593
Passcode: 7QXFdu

Or call in (audio only): +1 412-664-5196
Phone Conference ID: 698 575 650#
Benton County Health Dept. - HOPE Communications