Adult Homeless Services Request for Programmatic Qualifications is Now Open!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Release date: October 4, 2019
Contact: Lynn Faulkenberry, lynn.faulkenberry@multco.us

October 4, 2019 | Portland, Or. – The City of Portland/Multnomah County’s Joint Office of Homeless Services (JOHS) is seeking applications to qualify organizations to provide a range of services to adults unaccompanied by minor children who are experiencing or at imminent risk of homelessness in Multnomah County – listed as RFPQ-51-2020.

This RFPQ will be comprised of two stages. Stage I will qualify applicants on organizational experience and capacity, while Stage II will qualify organizations to provide specific components of Adult Homeless Services. Suppliers who previously qualified under JOHS Adult Homeless Services RFPQ-26-2019 remain qualified through fiscal year 2023-24 and do not need to reapply under RFPQ-51-2020, however, if a Supplier previously qualified under last year’s Adult Homeless Services RFPQ-26-2019 wishes to qualify in additional service components, they must apply in Stage I and Stage II of RFPQ-51-2020.

Stage I released today, October 4, 2019 at 8:00 AM. It will be open for approximately 32 days, with a submission deadline of Monday, November 4, 2019 at 4:00 PM. Those who qualify in Stage I will be invited to apply for Stage II upon its release in late-November.

Multnomah County will be holding an informational meeting for interested applicants, also known as a Pre-Proposal Conference, on Monday, October 14, 2019 at 9:00 AM at the Joint Office of Homeless Services at 721 SW Oak St. Suite 100 Conference Room, Portland, OR 97205. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to attend.

To access this RFPQ and apply, interested applicants must be registered on MultCo Marketplace's Supplier Portal. See below for links to the supplier portal and a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document.

FY 2020-21 Adult Homeless Services Procurement | Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The Joint Office of Homeless Services (JOHS) is procuring qualified Suppliers to provide component services to adult households, including but not limited to adult singles, couples or any other arrangements without dependent children (under age 18), and who are experiencing homelessness in Multnomah County. The procurement period will extend four (4) years, beginning in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020-21 and lasting through FY 2023-24. The procurement will involve a two-stage process.

Stage I will establish a qualified pool of Suppliers considered to have met the minimum organizational thresholds to directly contract with JOHS to provide Adult Homeless Services. Only Suppliers qualified in Stage I of this procurement are eligible to respond to Stage II.

Stage II will invite Suppliers qualified through Stage I to demonstrate their interest and qualification to provide specific components of Adult Homeless Services through demonstration of written project proposal(s). Suppliers who are qualified through Stage II to provide components of Adult Homeless Services will be eligible to contract for those services with JOHS at any time over the four (4) year Contract Period.

Q: What is a procurement?

A: The process of soliciting Suppliers to apply to become qualified providers of contracted services.

Q: What is a Supplier?

A: A Supplier is any agency, organization, service provider or other entity qualified by JOHS to provide contracted component services to adult households experiencing homelessness.

Q: What service components are included in this Adult Homeless Services procurement?

A: Supportive Housing, Rapid Re-Housing, Outreach and Engagement, Diversion, Safety off the Streets, Service Support and Access Coordination, and Income Acquisition and Employment.

Q: When will the application period for this procurement open, and what is the deadline for Stage I?

A: The application period for Stage I will open October 4, 2019 and will be open for approximately thirty-two (32) days. All Stage I applications must be received electronically by 4:00 PM on November 4, 2019. The Stage II application period will open in late-November.

Q: If I qualified under RFPQ-26-2019 to provide Adult Homeless Services, do I need to reapply under RFPQ-51-2020?

A: No. Suppliers who previously qualified under RFPQ-26-2019 remain qualified through fiscal year 2023-24. However, if a Supplier previously qualified under RFPQ-26-2019 wishes to qualify in additional service components, they must apply in Stage I and Stage II of RFPQ-51-2020.

Q: Last year’s RFPQ-26-2019 qualified Suppliers for a period of five (5) years. Why is JOHS opening another procurement for Adult Homeless Services?

A: Recognizing that RFPQ-26-2019 was the first of its kind for local homeless services providers, we are opening an additional opportunity to enter the Supplier pool to ensure it is reflective of community need.

Q: I don’t know if my organization qualified under the previous procurement RFPQ-26-2019. How can I find out?

A: A list of previously qualified providers can be found under Attachment R of RFPQ-51-2020.

Q: How and where do I submit my application?

A: To apply for Stage I, applicants must be registered on Multco Marketplace. Multnomah County’s Department of County Management maintains a web page and video meant to assist with registration. Suppliers must complete the entire application to be considered. Electronic submission is required.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of suppliers that can qualify under this RFPQ?

A: No. There is no limit to the number of Suppliers that may qualify.

Q: What criteria will you use to evaluate applicants in Stage I?

A: Stage I will evaluate applicants on a series of organizational qualifiers and can be found under Attachment C of RFPQ-51-2020. Completed and on-time applications will be reviewed by a panel of evaluators.

Q: What is the process for Suppliers interested in advancing from Stage I to Stage II?

A: Any entity wishing to become qualified to contract with JOHS must apply through Stage I. Once, and if qualified under Stage I, qualified Suppliers must then submit service proposal(s) under Stage II to be considered for a contract award through JOHS. Eligible applicants will be invited to apply in Stage II.

Q: Once Suppliers are qualified, how long is the procurement period for?

A: This procurement period is for four (4) years, beginning in FY 2020-21 and lasting through FY 2023-24.

Q: If I qualify under Stage I, why do I need to apply under Stage II?

A: Stage I qualifies Suppliers to become eligible to submit service proposal(s) in Stage II. To be considered for a contract award(s), you must participate in Stage II.

Q: How can I learn more about the application process and ask questions?

A: JOHS will host a pre-proposal conference where applicants will have the opportunity to ask questions and hear information on the application process. The Stage I pre-proposal conference will be held on Monday, October 14, 2019 at 9:00 AM at the Joint Office of Homeless Services at 721 SW Oak St. Suite 100 Conference Room, Portland, Or 97205. RSVP not required.

For additional information, or to obtain a copy of this FAQ in an alternate language, please contact Lailah Hamblin at lailah.hamblin@multco.us

For questions related to Multco Marketplace, please contact tsmmarketplacesupport@multco.us

Up-to-date information on Adult Homeless Services RFPQ-51-2020 can be found at the County’s Bids and Proposal site at https://multco.us/purchasing/bids-proposal-opportunities

Overall homelessness number falls in 2019 despite tough housing market — but most extensive street count yet finds more without shelter

Despite a housing market that continues to fail people with disabilities and push neighbors from their homes, the number of people counted as homeless in Multnomah County has fallen over the past two years, according to results from the 2019 Point in Time Count. 

Overall, data released by the Joint Office of Homeless Services on Thursday, Aug. 1, shows some 4,015 individuals were counted this year in emergency shelter, in transitional housing or without shelter. Two years ago, the number was 4,177.

READ: THE FULL REPORT | CRUNCH: INTERACTIVE DATA DASHBOARD

The drop included reductions among groups the City of Portland and Multnomah County have continued to prioritize. Among women, the count fell by 10 percent. The number of people counted in families with children fell by more than half. The overall reduction also included work to reprogram transitional housing units into more-effective permanent housing.

“Homeless counts have remained stable in Multnomah County during the past decade despite a growing population and tight housing market. More people and higher rents should have led to more homelessness than exists today. They didn’t, and for that, the region’s public and nonprofit homeless agencies deserve credit.”
— John Tapogna, president of ECONorthwest

But notably — in part because this year’s street count was the most extensive yet — the number of people found and counted without shelter has climbed. This year, 2,037 individuals were counted as unsheltered, up from 1,668 two years before.

“The results of this year’s Count aren’t a surprise. We are helping more people than ever prevent and end their homelessness, but tens of thousands of our most vulnerable neighbors still struggle, day after day, to find safe, stable and affordable housing,” said Marc Jolin, director of the Joint Office of Homeless Services and the A Home for Everyone (AFHE)(link is external) community planning initiative.

The rise in the unsheltered count was driven by a significant increase — 479 people, or 37 percent — in people considered chronically homeless. That means they have at least one disabling condition — a mental health condition, addiction disorder, chronic illness or physical disability — and have been homeless for at least a year. Roughly two-thirds of those counted without shelter fit that description.

What’s more, the share of people without shelter who reported first-time homelessness grew at a faster rate this year, 35.1 percent, than the overall unsheltered population.

Those results largely confirm what providers have seen for years. People living with fixed incomes and who face disabilities continue to bear the brunt of the region’s housing crisis.

“These numbers confirm what we’re seeing every day. Too many of our neighbors with disabilities are having to live on our streets,” said Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury. “Disability checks and other fixed incomes just can’t cover rising rents, and this is exactly why we are prioritizing not just affordable housing, but the type of affordable housing that comes with a case-worker for people to stay housed. We know it works and we need to do a lot more of it.”

Snapshot from the 2019 Point in Time Count report

Snapshot from the 2019 Point in Time Count report

Racial disparities persist

People of color also remain overrepresented in the count — a product of institutional, systemic and interpersonal racism affecting almost every sector of life for communities of color.

The number of people of color counted was essentially unchanged, even as the overall count of people experiencing homelessness declined. People of color now make up 38.1 percent of the count, even though they are only 29.5 percent of Multnomah County’s population.

Among African Americans, the count identified a significantly larger number of people experiencing chronic homelessness. Even as the total number of African Americans in the count declined, the number of people who were counted as chronically homeless increased by 98 people, or almost 74 percent.

Native Americans, meanwhile, saw their overall numbers increase, and they remain the most overrepresented community in the homeless population. In 2019, people who identified as Alaska Natives and American Indians made up 11.6 percent of the count, despite making up only 2.5 percent of Multnomah County’s population.

“We have made investments in culturally specific and responsive services. But we know that racism in all its forms continues to push disproportionate numbers of people of color into homelessness and is a major obstacle to their efforts to return to permanent housing” Jolin said. “Our work to end homelessness must continue to address this by expanding access to services that meet the unique challenges faced by each community of color.”

Comprehensive street count helps identify more people

In a continuing effort to increase accuracy in the count, this year’s unsheltered count was the most comprehensive ever.

Led by Portland State University’s Regional Research Institute, a record number of professional outreach workers (130) and volunteers (142) divided the County into sectors and spent a week looking for people without shelter. They visited places people are known to camp — walking sidewalks and greenspaces, checking vehicles — and they engaged people at more than 80 locations where people experiencing homelesness are known to visit (libraries, meal programs, clinics, etc.).

Portland State also worked closely with culturally specific outreach providers, including in particular agencies that work with the African American and Native American communities. The outreach efforts of culturally specific organizations helped improve the accuracy of the unsheltered count in these communities.

Responding to chronic homelessness

But the data also underscores the urgency around Portland and Multnomah County’s ongoing and expanding efforts to better address chronic and unsheltered homelessness.

That work includes:

  • Supportive housing: Portland and Multnomah County are moving toward their goal of creating 2,000 new affordable and services-connected apartments by 2028. More than 600 units are in place or in development. The number of unsheltered people who reported a substance use disorder increased by 303 in this year’s count. People in treatment who also have housing are 10 times more likely to succeed in their treatment than those without housing.

  • Rent assistance: The Joint Office is making historic targeted investments to help chronically homeless people move through shelters and back into appropriate housing more quickly.

  • Hygiene amenities: Portland is investing in hygiene facilities and trash collection to help people address the consequences of having to live their private lives in public.

  • Downtown behavioral health center: Multnomah County’s behavioral health resource center — offering peer-run services, a day center, and shelter and transitional housing — is out for bid and could open by summer 2021.

  • Evolving shelter system: Two new services-enhanced, navigation focused emergency shelters are set to open this summer: the River District Navigation Center in the Pearl District and the Laurelwood Center on SE Foster Road.

  • Specialized outreach: The Navigation Team launched this spring. It brings intensive engagement, service connections and mental health expertise to the highest-impact encampments.

“We’ve proven that focused, aggressive investments in support services can generate positive outcomes for thousands of people in our community who would otherwise be homeless. That success is reflected in the strides we've made helping families and women,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said.

“We also see that our chronic homeless population is getting older and sicker. With our commitment to supportive housing, we believe we can bring positive changes. We will also continue working with our partners in this work to maintain our progress preventing homelessness in the first place." 

Responding to the housing crisis

This year’s smaller overall number underscores the importance of Portland and Multnomah County's continued efforts to respond to the housing crisis — policy changes like tenant protections but also major investments in services like rent assistance that help people stay in housing or regain it as quickly as possible. 

The number of people helped by our homelessness response system to stay in permanent housing — or return to it and then keep it — has grown dramatically in response to the ongoing housing crisis.

Looking at snapshots taken at approximately the same time as the Point in Time Count, that number has grown 50.5 percent since 2017, reaching a total of 12,480 people. 

Without those additional investments, it’s likely many community members receiving housing services would otherwise find themselves on the streets and be part of the Count. 

That’s because high housing costs, compared to incomes, continue to put vulnerable people at risk of homelessness.

In Multnomah County, more than 21,000 disabled people rely on federal Supplemental Security Income benefits that top out at $771 a month. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment, meanwhile, has climbed to $1,200 in Multnomah County. 

Even people working full-time jobs are at risk. Last fall, consulting firm ECONorthwest found some 56,000 low-income households across the metro region who pay so much for housing — more than half their income — they could land on our streets on any given night.

"Homeless counts have remained stable in Multnomah County during the past decade despite a growing population and tight housing market,” said John Tapogna, president of ECONorthwest. “More people and higher rents should have led to more homelessness than exists today. They didn’t, and for that, the region’s public and nonprofit homeless agencies deserve credit."

Planned Alternative Shelter in St. Johns: FAQs and Community Letters


READ: Oct. 12, 2018, letter delivered to next-door neighbors at n. roberts

READ: Oct. 29, 2018, letter from JOHS director Marc Jolin to neighbors

READ: NOV. 1, 2018, LETTER FROM ROSE CITY NEIGHBORHOOD PRESCHOOL, WHICH SHARES A BUILDING WITH DO GOOD MULTNOMAH’S VETERANS SHELTER

READ: dec. 3, 2018, answers to questions from st. johns neighborhood association and other neighbors after back-to-back november community meetings with immediate neighbors and overall community

What is the plan for a village-style alternative shelter in St. Johns? 

The City of Portland and Multnomah County’s Joint Office of Homeless Services is working with Do Good Multnomah, a shelter and housing services provider, to partner with residents of Hazelnut Grove, an established, self-organized community of people experiencing homelessness, around the establishment of a transitional shelter village in St. Johns for roughly 20 people.

CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE PDF OF THIS FAQ

Hazelnut Grove residents would be among the first group in the new village, with people experiencing homelessness in St. Johns offered priority access to fill remaining spots and then fill spots as they open when residents move forward to permanent housing.

Like the long-term location of the Joint Office-supported Kenton Women’s Village, due to be fully built out this year, a St. Johns village would not resemble an unsanctioned campsite. It would have sleeping pods, plumbing, electricity, nonprofit support around housing outcomes, and security features.

In October, the Joint Office identified a site on North Roberts Avenue, near North Lombard Street, as one option for providing a legal, permitted alternative shelter, after reviewing more than 400 city-owned properties. The Joint Office and partners in the work attended two community meetings in the fall to talk about the Roberts site. A “village fair” to further explore the project was convened at Wayfinding Academy in St. Johns in January 2019. A site survey was undertaken after that.

Then, this spring, while the review of the Roberts site was under way, congregants at the St. Johns Christian Church voted to offer land at 8005 N. Richmond Ave., via lease, as an alternative to the Roberts site. The Richmond site is larger and appears to pose fewer design challenges (neighbors have constructed encroaching driveways through the city-owned land, for example). And it is much closer to community amenities such as additional bus lines, the Library, grocery stores, food assistance locations, and the County’s North Portland Health Clinic.

The Joint Office shared an update about the church vote with neighbors and neighborhood groups the next day, on April 8. St. Johns Christian Church is hosting an open house mixer with community members on April 23.

What is Hazelnut Grove?

Hazelnut Grove is a village-style alternative shelter community that’s been operating on city-owned land in the Overlook neighborhood — but without infrastructure like water, sewer and electricity, or a service provider partner— since 2015.

It serves roughly 15 single adults and people in couples. Hazelnut Grove has a board of advisers, including neighbors and community members who live outside the Grove. It is governed through general assembly meetings; those meetings are open to neighbors to attend.

Residents at Hazelnut Grove have been involved in community work in the Overlook neighborhood, including serving on the Overlook Neighborhood Association’s board. Hazelnut Grove also has built enduring and supportive relationships with nearby neighbors in Overlook that would continue even after a move. Members also volunteer in the neighborhood and for the Oregon Food Bank.

Hazelnut Grove’s current site operates with donations, with some facilities and logistical support — such as trash pickup — provided by the City of Portland. Like the city’s three other alternative shelters, Hazelnut Grove’s current site is on city land. But it has been operating without partnership from a service provider and formal city approval. 

An alternative shelter is not a camp or a campsite. It is simply a shelter that is not facility-based, i.e. not in a single building. Alternative shelters, structured as pod villages, have tiny homes or “pods” where guests stay. They share communal buildings that house shared services and amenities such as cooking and meeting spaces, social services office and storage.

Who would stay at the village and for how long?

The village would serve couples and single adults 18 and older.

Pets would be allowed. Guests would be able to have a bed as long as they need, with the expectation that they are engaging with Do Good Multnomah and working toward permanent housing. We expect the village to accommodate about 20 adults.

Participants will stay at the site subject to participation agreements that set expectations for how they treat each other and how they conduct themselves in the surrounding area. Anyone unwilling or unable to abide by these agreements will not be able to stay at the site. Drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs will be not be permitted at the village.

What would a village in St. Johns mean for people in need locally?

A village in St. Johns would mean significant facilities improvements for residents at Hazelnut Grove while creating opportunities for folks in St. Johns to receive shelter and services while learning from the model of community support the Grove has built. Partnership with an established provider would also mean residents would receive transitional services to move forward to permanent housing.

Do Good Multnomah, besides operating a long-time Veterans shelter in Northeast Portland, has experience working with a village. It is working with Clackamas County to operate a village-style alternative shelter for Veterans. Do Good also has experience offering transition services, rapid rehousing assistance and developing permanent housing. 

You can learn more about Do Good Multnomah at dogoodmultnomah.org/.

The closest site-design comparison is the Kenton Women’s Village, which you can learn more about at www.catholiccharitiesoregon.org/provide-shelter/kenton-womens-village/.

What’s the timeline?

No matter the site, it will be months before a village opens in St. Johns. A firm date has not yet been established. Construction/installation and ongoing services and facilities would be funded by the Joint Office of Homeless Services, which also funds those services at the Kenton Women’s Village. The village would also be subject to applicable city inspection standards.

What would happen to Hazelnut Grove’s current site in Overlook?

The City of Portland will work with Overlook Neighborhood Association to decide the future of that site. At first, a fence would stay up around the site. The idea of a community garden has been floated. The City of Portland’s Office of Management and Finance would likely coordinate any restoration work needed. 

How will a village fit within the services already offered by partners in A Home for Everyone, our community’s strategy for addressing homelessness?

After leading a dramatic expansion that doubled year-round shelter capacity in our community, partners in A Home for Everyone, including the City of Portland and Multnomah County, are now working to transform those temporary, emergency spaces into enduring, purpose-designed shelter opportunities that serve our ultimate goal of helping neighbors keep or return to housing.

Although this kind of alternative shelter will be set up on open space, with common areas and movable pods, expectations are no different than for any other traditional shelter.

Hazelnut Grove or any provider must provide safe and supportive environments for their guests and help them transition to permanent housing. They also must be good neighbors to those nearby.

Alternative shelter provides a sense of community, and it’s another option for people who do not want, or struggle to succeed in, facility-based shelter and don’t have access to permanent housing options. It also empowers participants by giving them a voice in how their sites are governed, and allows participants to engage with community members.

It’s not meant as a replacement for programs like rent assistance, housing case management or facility-based shelter, all of which successfully help thousands of neighbors in our community every year.

How can neighbors in St. Johns contribute to a successful village?

Village residents would be expected to contribute to their new neighborhood like any other new arrival might — including volunteering and hosting community events, co-gardening space and offering to work with volunteers.  Neighbors such as those working with the St. Johns Center for Opportunity are already stepping up to help connect villagers to those opportunities.

The Kenton Women’s Village, as an example, has successfully integrated itself into the Kenton neighborhood and beyond, winning honors during the most recent St. Johns Parade for a float built by residents.

Next-door neighbors at one of our facility-based shelters, the Wy’east Shelter on SE 122nd Avenue, recently raised money and organized a welcoming party for shelter residents.

Do Good Multnomah, which operates a men’s Veterans shelter in Northeast Portland, also has a track record of working with other tenants in the church complex it occupies, including a preschool. On Valentine’s Day, students at the school presented the Veterans with heart-shaped pizzas.

How would Do Good Multnomah address safety concerns?

Like any good neighbor, and like any other social services provider, a village must be responsible for safe and effective property management that ensures safety for the guests of the village and the village’s neighbors

A few examples that build from our experience from other sanctioned villages, such as the Kenton Women’s Village, Dignity Village and Right 2 Dream Too:

●     The village will have a fence and gate, with an office at the gate.

●     Village management will provide a liaison to the neighborhood association and a 24/7 phone number — and will facilitate meetings with neighbors as needed.

●     General assembly meetings will be open to the public.

●     Most importantly, the village will engage the surrounding neighbors in community activities. Meeting each other and knowing one another individually helps everyone feel comfortable, safe and a part of the neighborhood.

With respect to concerns about people with certain criminal histories receiving services at sites near residential communities, we should be clear: If an individual’s criminal history precludes them from being within a certain distance of a school, they wouldn’t be allowed to live at this shelter. Just as they wouldn’t be allowed to live in a nearby apartment, house or tent. Do Good Multnomah will also screen out predatory sex offenders directly.

Parole and probation officers, as they do throughout our community, enforce supervision terms that set those boundaries. And they will arrest those who violate them, again, whether they live in homes of their own or are sleeping in unsanctioned campsites.

As we have in other neighborhoods, we are committed to ensuring that the program succeeds, for its residents but also for the community. And in the unlikely event that problems arise that cannot be timely addressed, we will revisit the operator, the program model, and even the continued use of the site for this kind of village community. 

Do Good Multnomah would also work to ensure there is no unsanctioned camping around the village location.

For further information: please reach out to April Rohman, senior program specialist for adult shelter at the Joint Office of Homeless Services, at April.Rohman@multco.us.

Severe weather shelters open for first time this season on Sunday night, Feb. 3

The arrival of the season’s first severe cold snap — bringing frigid temperatures and wind chills, and threats of accumulating snow — means that severe weather shelters will open throughout Multnomah County on Sunday, Feb. 3.

Severe weather shelters do not require identification or any other documentation. No one seeking shelter during severe weather will be turned away.

Service providers and the Joint Office of Homeless Services are also calling for community donations of life-saving winter gear. Because this season has been so mild, service providers say they haven’t been receiving their usual amount of donated supplies, which help outreach workers keep people warm and dry night after night.

Items especially important to donate items including waterproof hats, gloves, blankets, tarps and coats. More information on what to donate, and where to take it, is at 211info.org/donations.

Transition Projects will open severe weather shelters tonight at Bud Clark Commons (655 NW Hoyt, in Portland), Imago Dei (1302 SE Ankeny, in Portland) and Sunrise Center (18901 E Burnside, in Gresham). Bud Clark Commons and Imago Dei will be open to adults, couples and families and their pets from 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, to 7:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 4. Sunrise Center will be open from 9 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, to 7:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 4.

2019 Point in Time Count starts Wednesday, Jan. 23, with unprecedented coordination among outreach workers, volunteers

2019 Point in Time Count starts Wednesday, Jan. 23, with unprecedented coordination among outreach workers, volunteers

Starting the night of Wednesday, Jan. 23, hundreds of outreach workers, service providers and volunteers coordinated by Portland State University and the Joint Office of Homeless Services will undertake Multnomah County’s most ambitious Point in Time Count of homelessness yet.

Every day and night through Tuesday, Jan. 29, they’ll be working to reach as many neighbors experiencing homelessness as possible, asking them where they slept the night of Jan. 23: In a shelter? Transitional housing? Or somewhere without any shelter at all?

Surveyors will also collect vital demographic data meant to tell us more about who is experiencing homelessness — for example, their age, race and ethnicity, length of homelessness, whether they are disabled, and whether they are veterans or have experienced domestic violence.

“The count doesn’t provide every answer: It doesn’t tell us why someone became homeless or what it will take to help any particular person end their homelessness,” said Marc Jolin, director of the Joint Office of Homeless Services, which is funded by the City of Portland and Multnomah County. “But it’s a critical tool for helping us understand the current level and nature of the need in our community. It’s vital data that helps guide our community’s investments in ending homelessness.”

2019 Point in Time Count: FAQ

When is the Point in Time Count?

The most recent Count took place in February 2017. This year’s Count is set to start Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, and will last through Jan. 29. During that time period, volunteers and outreach workers will ask people experiencing homelessness where they slept on the night on Jan. 23, which serves as the designated “point in time” referenced in the Count.

Federal officials require a basic count of people in shelters and on the streets at least every two years and they determine the date of the Count. Our region has kept to the every other year schedule since holding its first Count in 2005. This year’s Count will be our region’s eighth.

After victories for housing measures in local elections, Multnomah County and Portland's supportive housing plan is even more important

In light of Tuesday’s election results, with widespread majorities in Oregon and the Metro area supporting affordable housing measures, we’re reposting this report and release from January on supportive housing.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Contact: Denis Theriault, denis.theriault@multco.us

Supportive Housing Plan Complete! City Council and Board of County Commissioners to Hear Report Tuesday.

At a joint work session Tuesday, September 11, commissioners from Portland and Multnomah County will hear a briefing from our colleagues at Corporation of Supportive Housing (CSH), who have done excellent work to complete a full report outlining: community-wide need for supportive housing; estimated costs, potential funding sources and resource coordination that it will take to meet that need; and key next-steps to continue implementation. The work session is scheduled from 2 - 3:30 PM, at City Council chambers and will be live-streamed if you'd like to watch.

Overall, the necessary investment to achieve the supportive housing goal is estimated at $592 million to $640 million over 10 years. Operating costs after those 10 years are estimated at $43 million to $47 million a year. The report from CSH includes a plan to align those costs across all levels of government and alongside the private development, philanthropic and health care sectors.  

The report also makes clear that significant progress toward the 2,000-unit goal is already under way. Since last fall, 517 new units of supportive housing have already opened or are in development.

Those units mark important early proof that the strategies presented in CSH’s report can work to produce hundreds more housing units across the community.

Supportive housing — which combines deep affordability with intensive care, including mental health and addiction services — is essential for helping neighbors with the most barriers not only obtain homes but also keep them.

And the number of people who face those barriers is growing. People with significant disabilities and long periods of homelessness are the fastest growing population on our streets

Supportive housing is often the most effective way to serve a significant share of our neighbors experiencing homelessness. It’s a proven way to end the painful and expensive cycles that send some neighbors from hospital beds to jail beds to shelter beds to sidewalks and back again. Ending those cycles by providing supportive housing, in turn, saves lives, while also saving money spent on emergency health care, Medicaid and public safety, among other services.

The joint City/County work session will also include a brief update on community-level progress through our shared efforts under A Home for Everyone (AHFE). Nearly 6,000 people were helped from homelessness back into housing in the fiscal year that ended June 30. That’s a 21 percent increase from the number helped the year before, and a 99 percent increase, or essentially double, from what providers accomplished before A Home for Everyone launched in 2013-14.

More than 8,000 people spent at least one night in shelter, double the number served four years ago. In addition, more than 6,300 people received rent assistance for the first time so they could stay in housing, thousands more than just a few years before. That success demonstrates the strength of working closely across jurisdictions and around a common strategy.


Joint Office of Homeless Services Statement on 2017 Domicile Unknown Report

DomicileUnknown_2017_COVER-PAGEforweb.jpg

The Multnomah County Health Department, in partnership with Street Roots, released the 7th annual Domicile Unknown report on Tuesday. The report counted at least 79 deaths in 2017 that involved someone experiencing homelessness.

The county began tracking deaths on the street starting in 2011, to help shape public policy discussions in our community on homelessness. Among the policies that emerged was the creation, with the City of Portland, of the A Home for Everyone initiative in 2014 and then the Joint Office of Homeless Services in 2017.

Marc Jolin, director of the initiative and the Joint Office, shared the following statement:

“Year after year, Domicile Unknown mourns dozens of lives stolen too soon by homelessness — showing us the deadly cost of a housing market that pushes thousands of people onto our streets, day after day, sometimes without ever offering a way back.

 “The lesson should be clear: It’s not enough to catch people after they’ve fallen into crisis. We have to stop our loved ones, friends and neighbors from ever falling into crisis in the first place.

“The Joint Office and providers in our community are leading that effort locally, pushing for thousands more units of supportive housing and building on the City and County’s unprecedented investments in rent assistance.

“But we won’t end this cycle of loss until we acknowledge — across all levels of government, and all sectors of our community — that every single one of us deserves a decent and affordable place to live and access to quality, life-saving health care.”

Supportive Housing Plan Complete! City Council and Board of County Commissioners to Hear Report Tuesday.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Contact: Denis Theriault, denis.theriault@multco.us

Supportive Housing Plan Complete! City Council and Board of County Commissioners to Hear Report Tuesday.

At a joint work session Tuesday, September 11, commissioners from Portland and Multnomah County will hear a briefing from our colleagues at Corporation of Supportive Housing (CSH), who have done excellent work to complete a full report outlining: community-wide need for supportive housing; estimated costs, potential funding sources and resource coordination that it will take to meet that need; and key next-steps to continue implementation. The work session is scheduled from 2 - 3:30 PM, at City Council chambers and will be live-streamed if you'd like to watch.

Overall, the necessary investment to achieve the supportive housing goal is estimated at $592 million to $640 million over 10 years. Operating costs after those 10 years are estimated at $43 million to $47 million a year. The report from CSH includes a plan to align those costs across all levels of government and alongside the private development, philanthropic and health care sectors.  

The report also makes clear that significant progress toward the 2,000-unit goal is already under way. Since last fall, 517 new units of supportive housing have already opened or are in development.

Those units mark important early proof that the strategies presented in CSH’s report can work to produce hundreds more housing units across the community.

Supportive housing — which combines deep affordability with intensive care, including mental health and addiction services — is essential for helping neighbors with the most barriers not only obtain homes but also keep them.

And the number of people who face those barriers is growing. People with significant disabilities and long periods of homelessness are the fastest growing population on our streets

Supportive housing is often the most effective way to serve a significant share of our neighbors experiencing homelessness. It’s a proven way to end the painful and expensive cycles that send some neighbors from hospital beds to jail beds to shelter beds to sidewalks and back again. Ending those cycles by providing supportive housing, in turn, saves lives, while also saving money spent on emergency health care, Medicaid and public safety, among other services.

The joint City/County work session will also include a brief update on community-level progress through our shared efforts under A Home for Everyone (AHFE). Nearly 6,000 people were helped from homelessness back into housing in the fiscal year that ended June 30. That’s a 21 percent increase from the number helped the year before, and a 99 percent increase, or essentially double, from what providers accomplished before A Home for Everyone launched in 2013-14.

More than 8,000 people spent at least one night in shelter, double the number served four years ago. In addition, more than 6,300 people received rent assistance for the first time so they could stay in housing, thousands more than just a few years before. That success demonstrates the strength of working closely across jurisdictions and around a common strategy.