Arena joins Benton County as HOPE Program Coordinator

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Following a national search and rigorous interview process, Julie Arena will join Benton County on October 14, 2019 as the Housing, Opportunity, Planning and Equity (HOPE) Program Coordinator.

Arena spent the last five years working for the State of California in health care and public health. Working as a policy analyst and coordinator for two years, she became an expert on substance use disorder treatment, prevention, and recovery, including sober living environments and recovery residences. She worked as a legislative coordinator and policy specialist in public health since 2016 in the areas of communicable disease control, HIV prevention and treatment, and syringe exchange programs.

Arena holds bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Sociology, and a J.D. from University of California – Davis.

Reporting directly to Health Department Director Dawn Emerick, Arena’s responsibilities will include the development, implementation, and ongoing maintenance of the Housing, Opportunity, Planning, and Equity (HOPE) program as well as facilitating a multi-jurisdictional advisory council that will advise and make recommendations to the City of Corvallis and Benton County concerning how to assess, plan and respond on the issues of homelessness. The formation of a multi-jurisdictional housing instability and homelessness advisory council follows the dissolution of the Housing Opportunities Action Council in May 2019, and the subsequent four-month long planning process to establish HOPE.

“I am thrilled that Julie accepted the offer to join Benton County. Her background in substance use disorder treatment, prevention, and recovery policy analysis, paired with her knowledge of public health, positions her as an excellent fit. I believe Julie will build diverse public-private partnerships necessary to address issues of housing instability and homelessness in the short, near and long term,” said Dawn Emerick, Health Department Director.