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Oregon Gets HUD Grants For Addressing Homelessness; $3.5M For Lane County

Tom Brandt

Nearly $3.5 million in federal grants are coming to Lane County, to tackle homelessness. 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued what’s called Continuum of Care (COC) grants.  They support new and existing homeless projects, which includes several across Lane County and the Eugene-Springfield area. 

Alexandria Dreher is Program Services Coordinator for Lane County Human Services.  She says the $3.4 million her agency’s received is the “lifeblood” of its homeless service systems.

“The $3.4 million is to renew and continue ongoing work, in permanent supportive housing, rapid rehousing for people who’ve experienced chronic homelessness and have a disability," explains Dreher.

"The awards include an increase to adjust for fair-market rent adjustments, which are $144,000.”

Overall, the state of Oregon received nearly $39 million in COC grants.

The last partial government shutdown affected many operations, including the announcement of COC grants from HUD.

Dreher says the grants will help officials tackle homelessness, including a new, ambitious, 10-recommendation plan to remove all homeless people from city streets soon.  After some delay, officials are ready to use the HUD money for several initiatives.

“Additional funding for our homeless management information system, (HMIS)," says Dreher. "That’s our main data system that takes a lot of staff time and licenses to utilize.  Costs substantial amounts of money.  That has been an unfunded mandate sometimes.” 

Another government shutdown seems unlikely this week. Despite getting less money than demanded for a border wall, President Trump is expected to sign off on the latest compromise deal from Congress.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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