The Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) is in negotiations with the state to establish a contract that will provide $13.9 million to the tri-county area to help solve the homeless crisis.
Governor Tina Kotek this week gave praise to Central Oregon’s application for the money.
“Central Oregon, another strong example of partnership across the community to come up with a very concrete, detailed plan on how they were going to meet their goals of additional shelter capacity and and rehousing more of their residents,” said Kotek.
COIC created the plan. It’s executive director, Tammy Baney, explained how the tri-county area will spend the millions to help the unhoused.
“We will be required to try to hit targets of the following nature. So being able to increase 111 low barrier shelter beds, being able to also rapid re-house 161 individuals,” Baney said.
- Oregon’s recent homeless population increase among largest in US
- ODOT removes homeless camp off Highway 97 near Colorado Ave. in Bend
The annual Homeless Assessment Report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development showed Central Oregon to have some of the highest numbers of unhoused families and unaccompanied minors.
Deschutes County Commissioner Patti Adair told us this needs to be addressed.
“You’ve got to put the families at the top of your list. You’ve got to do that,” said Adair. “We don’t want our children to think this is the way have to lead your life.”
COIC’s Baney made clear how the money can help families in difficult situations.
“This will allow us to possibly do things like take maybe a hotel and move that into apartments, being able to do some renovation,” said Baney.
She added that they money is expected to come to Central Oregon soon.
“We hope to get the dollars out by the second week of May and be able to move forward with the initiatives,” Baney said.
After that mid-May date, Central Oregon will have until January 10, 2024, to spend it all.