Clackamas County funds $7.2M to cities to address homelessness

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April 3, 2024 - - the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners has approved 20 grants to cities within the county for homeless services. The grants totaled more than $7.2 million and were awarded to the cities of Canby, Estacada, Gladstone, Happy Valley, Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, Molalla, Oregon City, Sandy, West Linn and Wilsonville.

The city-led initiatives grant program was created to make strategic, local investments of homeless services funds from the Supportive Housing Services Measure and other sources.

“This is a monumental step,” said Clackamas County Chair Tootie Smith. “Every city is different and has unique needs, and they need the resources to respond to their own constituents. This grant program has been valuable because it’s spurred creative ideas and brought up new conversations across the county about how we can solve homelessness together,” Smith said.

Adam Brown, Deputy Director of Clackamas County Health, Housing and Human Services Department agreed that the 16 cities inside the county know their communities the best. “Our cities have been eager to understand how the county’s homeless services system addresses the needs that they see locally,” Brown said. “We see this as a huge opportunity to improve our homeless services, spur innovation and creativity to better address homelessness, and supplement often under-resourced local efforts to meet the needs of low-income households in cities,” Brown said.

Some of the awarded programs include a food pantry in Gladstone, rent assistance in Milwaukie, a community services officer in Sandy, and financial literacy in Wilsonville.

“The Gladstone Food Pantry is a lifeline for our community. It extends its services to school-based pantries, Tukwila Springs affordable senior housing, and the Gladstone Community Center,” Gladstone City Administrator Jacque Betz said. “We express our heartfelt gratitude to the staff and board at Clackamas County for their partnership, which ensures the continuity of this invaluable program. Investing in our community will prevent homelessness and provide sustenance to our most vulnerable families, allowing them to focus on other aspects of life,” Betz said.

Click here for the board meeting packet, list of proposals, and video of the board meeting.