Benton County and City of Corvallis awarded $1 million for Coordinated Homelessness Response

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Friday, July 15, 2022

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Benton County and the City of Corvallis have been jointly awarded $1 million through House Bill 4123 to support a coordinated response to homelessness. Benton County and the City of Corvallis, along with housing and homeless service providers, have been working together since prior to HB 4123 to lay the groundwork for coordinated homeless response. The two agencies are already meeting many of the requirements set out in the legislation and intentionally pursued the pilot funding to support and grow existing homelessness response operations.

What will the City and County do with the money?

Benton County and the City of Corvallis plan to use the new funding and guidance from the state to support existing homelessness response operations, pursue technical assistance to build capacity among our homeless provider community, and help with the implementation of a sheltering system. The Benton County coordinated homelessness response network will be using policy recommendations developed by the HOPE Advisory Board as a road map for implementation.

What work is being done now?

Benton County and the City of Corvallis are in the early analysis and planning phase of the bill’s implementation. The City and County are engaging local community partners about building organizational capacity, strengthening the sheltering system, and supporting a coordinated homelessness response. Additionally, the City and County are in communication with other recipients of this award to research best practices, build sustainable models, and ensure an equity-based approach to homelessness response. In the past year, shelter bed capacity in Benton County has increased by about 44%.

What has been done up to this point?
The City and County have been building the foundation for a coordinated homelessness response office as part of a ten-year plan to address issues related to homelessness. Much of this foundation contributes to meeting the requirements set out in HB 4123. This includes:

  • The formation of a joint HOPE Advisory Board with community representation to develop policy recommendations.
  • Twelve HOPE Advisory Board Recommendations to guide strategic planning.
  • Hiring staff to support the establishment of a coordinated homeless response office and serve as point of contact:
    • Project Manager
    • Grant Writer/Researcher
    • Communications Coordinator

What happens next?

October 1, 2022: Memorandum of Understanding among identified member agencies for the implementation of HB 4123 due.

July 1, 2023: Adopt 5-year Strategic Plan identifying ways to support existing work by:

  • Centralizing communication, policy development and overarching coordination for improved efficiency and accountability.
  • Identifying opportunities to leverage existing funding and resources for effective implementation of homeless intervention strategies.
  • Improve existing system(s) to provide more equitable access to residents experiencing homelessness.

As the City and County move out of the early planning and analysis phase, the two agencies plan to release more information in the coming weeks.

For more information: