Supportive Housing Services program achieves remarkable outcomes in its second year
Clackamas County’s supportive housing services program is celebrating remarkable outcomes at the end of the program’s second year in operation. In the last twelve months, the program has:
- Placed 665 people into permanent housing
- Prevented evictions for 643 people
- Provided 676 people with rent assistance
- Served 788 people through emergency and transitional shelter, such as the Veterans Village
This news comes on the heels of the January 2023 point in time homeless count, which shows homelessness decreasing by 30% in the last year in Clackamas County. In addition, the supportive housing program boasts a 98% retention rate. This means that 98% of formerly homeless people placed in housing have not returned to homelessness in 12 months. The benchmark for successful housing retention is 85%, meaning that Clackamas County is well on our way to meet our goal that homelessness is rare, brief, and does not reoccur.
“These outcomes are a significant increase over previous years,” says Supportive Housing Services Manager Courtney Hamilton. “These numbers represent our friends, family and neighbors. I am struck by the tireless commitment and compassion of our staff and community partners who have made these outcomes possible, and I’m confident that this team will be successful in eliminating homelessness in our county.”
Rachel Thomsen is one person who’s recently found a home thanks to Clackamas County’s housing services and rent assistance programs. After experiencing homelessness for seven years, Rachel found community, acceptance, and a new will to live through The Father’s Heart Street Ministry, a Clackamas County-contracted service provider. Explaining how the stigmas against homeless people hurt her, Rachel says,
“I had seven years feeling dead inside. I didn't realize how badly not being accepted by society hurt me until The Father’s Heart told me they loved me.”
Rachel is now employed as the shelter manager for The Father’s Heart.
Notable in the supportive housing services program expansion this quarter, Clackamas County also accomplished the following:
- Improved the partnership between our housing, mental health and addiction programs
- Launched a robust street outreach program to people experiencing homelessness
- Vastly improved the coordinated housing access program, which connects people in need to the most appropriate housing and resources for them. Coordinated housing access specialists are now answering hotline calls live,