Joint Press Release from Homeless Leadership Coalition, NeighborImpact and Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council
The Homeless Leadership Coalition the region’s largest coalition of service providers coordinating a response to our local houseless crisis. HLC serves as the leadership body for the federally designated Continuum of Care serving Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson Counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. The Homeless Leadership Coalition directed the allocation of $786,031 in federal Continuum funding in fiscal year 2021 to address homelessness in the region.
The changing of the guard is aligned with the emergence of local governments as moving forces in addressing the challenge of houselessness. Groups such as the Bend Affordable Housing Committee and a soon-to-be formed collaborative of Deschutes County and its major cities are taking leadership roles in creating strategies and allocating budgets to support new initiatives.
New projects such as managed camps, emergency shelters and navigation centers are being developed and managed by the City of Bend. Cities are using federal COVID-relief funding and Community Development Block Grant funds, among other sources, to invest directly in services to the houseless.
“For a long time, local governments left funding and operating houseless services to the nonprofit sector,” said Scott Cooper, Executive Director of NeighborImpact. “NeighborImpact was the obvious partner to support the Homeless Leadership Coalition and coordinate other service providers; in a new environment, it makes far more sense to have COIC take on that role, since local governments are their specialty. We support this move.”
NeighborImpact will remain heavily involved with the Homeless Leadership Coalition managing “back of the house” operations such as the regional data system and coordinated entry system. It will also continue to provide direct services to the homeless and those at imminent risk of homelessness, using funding passed through the Continuum of Care. COIC will take the lead on the planning and policy front.
“COIC supports the region’s governments, helping communities identify and address common needs through collaboration, shared service delivery, technical assistance, information sharing and resource development. Local governments are making solutions for the houseless a priority. This is a natural extension of our mission to serve the region,” said Tammy Baney, executive director of COIC.
Eliza Wilson, chair of the Homeless Leadership Coalition, commented: “The Homeless Leadership Coalition has carried the water for caring for the houseless, planning and advocating for expanded services and knitting together service providers for a long time. The work of the HLC has helped Central Oregon respond better than most regions to the challenges of houselessness, but the crisis is intensifying.
“We welcome local governments as funders and partners, and we are looking forward to close coordination between their plans and ours to ensure a collaborative, compassionate and robust response to the needs of Central Oregon’s most vulnerable neighbors.”
The leadership transition will begin immediately and conclude by June 30.
About Homeless Leadership Coalition: The Homeless Leadership Coalition (HLC) is a collaboration of community partners in Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. The HLC works to prevent and end homelessness by improving regional and cross-system collaboration and coordination so that our communities will have a comprehensive response in place that ensures homelessness is prevented whenever possible, or if it can’t be prevented, it is a rare, brief, and non-recurring experience. To learn more about the Homeless Leadership Coalition, please visit www.cohomeless.org.
About NeighborImpact: NeighborImpact is a private non-profit governed by a board of directors drawn from across the community. Since 1985, NeighborImpact has led the region in developing solutions and bringing resources to Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. We help meet the basic needs of Central Oregonians, build economic security, and create a community where everyone thrives. NeighborImpact receives federal, state, and local grants, foundation grants and donations from individuals and businesses in our community. To learn more about NeighborImpact please visit www.neighborimpact.org.
About Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council: COIC supports the region as a trusted leader and partner, helping communities identify and address their unique and common needs through collaboration, shared service delivery, technical assistance, information sharing, and resource development. To learn more about COIC, please visit www.coic.org