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Benton County offers funding to eligible providers to help reduce homelessness

A man uses a tablet while talking to an older couple about housing.
Benton County Health Department
A funding opportunity in Benton County is available to qualified organizations and providers to help with case management and street outreach services to reduce homelessness county-wide.

As part of its efforts to reduce homelessness, Benton County has secured $440,000 to fund case management and street outreach services countywide. Applications from interested entities are being accepted now.

As a project manager with the Coordinated Homeless Response Office within the Benton County Health Department, Rebecca Taylor explained what the evaluation committee will look for in a successful applicant.

“We understand that experiencing homelessness can be very traumatic and navigating back into a stable housing environment can also present its own challenges,” Taylor said. “So [it’s] really, a provider who’s able to provide that intensive case management that can respond to a range of needs.”

Needs like helping with housing navigation, rental subsidies and landlord engagement. Taylor said a successful street outreach services applicant would provide stabilization and harm-reduction practices to people experiencing homelessness with the ultimate goal of getting them housed. Proposals are due by 5pm, April 15, 2024.

Interested organizations should review the Notice of Funding Opportunity on the Benton County website.

Benton County received assistance from partners at Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) for the one-time funding opportunity to support the community's coordinated response to homelessness.

Taylor explained case management funding amounts to $360,000 and street outreach services will be funded with an $80,000 allocation. She said each service will play an important role in Benton County’s House Bill (HB) 5019 Rapid Rehousing Initiative. They will coordinate a system of care to address and prevent homelessness through a Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool (FHSP) led by the Benton County Health Department.

“All provided services will be culturally responsive, low barrier, and ensure equitable access and outcomes through Housing First principles and evidence-based practices,” Taylor said. Culturally responsive programs and services will be prioritized.

Applications will be reviewed by a Benton County Health Department evaluation committee with a funding recommendation forwarded to the Board of Commissioners for final approval. Again, the deadline for proposals is 5 p.m., April 15.

The goal of the Initiative is to achieve long-term housing stability for 31 Benton County households by June 30, 2025. However, Taylor said, this is just the start.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked in a variety of media including television, technical writing, photography and daily print news before moving to the Pacific Northwest.