About two dozen representatives from Salem-area housing and social services agencies met at the Kroc Center last week to hear about the movement initiated by the Mid Willamette Homeless Initiative Steering Committee to pull out of the 28-county Rural Oregon Continuum of Care and form a local CoC.
Invitations to the two-hour meeting came from Jimmy Jones, Executive Director of the Mid Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, who has been working closely with the steering committee and Mid Willamette Valley Council of Governments staff, Sean O’Day, Janet Carlson, and Jan Calvin on community outreach. The MWHI Steering Committee is housed at MWVCOG.
Jones, O’Day, Carlson, and Calvin met before the main meeting with representatives of the three local agencies awarded CoC Program grants for 2019: Robin Winkle, Homeless Services Director for Shangri-La; Jayne Downing, Executive Director for Center for Hope and Safety; and TJ Putman, Executive Director for Salem Interfaith Housing Network, dba Family Promise.
Besides the current grantees and the wider community (including citizens who are homeless), those most likely to be affected by the restructuring are homeless shelter and housing providers. Housing reps at the meeting: Candace Jamison, Executive Director for Marion County Housing Authority; Christian Edelblute, Executive Director for West Valley Housing Authority; Nicole Utz, Acting Administrator for Salem Housing Authority; Rita Grady, Executive Director for Polk Community Development Corporation; Kim Lyell, Polk CDC; Shelly Ehenger, Federal Programs Manager, City of Salem; Brent DeMoe, Director of Family and Community Outreach for Polk County; Dan Clem, Executive Director for the Union Gospel Mission; Kristin Keunz-Barber, Strategic Partnerships Manager for Northwest Human Services; Dan Williams, Administrator for the Salvation Army of Marion and Polk Counties’ Kroc Center; Jason Ramos, Director of Social Services for TSA; Josh Graves, Deputy Executive Director for Catholic Community Services; and Kim Lemman, Executive Director for St. Francis Shelter. (Notably missing: reps from the Oregon Departments of Human Services and Housing and Community Services, WestCare Veterans Home, Shelly’s House, Sable House, Titus 3 House.)
But, supportive and preventative services reps also were present: Melissa Baurer, Community Liason and Service Integration Coordinator for Santiam Hospital; Cyndi Leinassar, Community Relations Liason for Salem Health; Ian Dixon-MacDonald, Vice President of Programs for Marion Polk Food Share; Heather Wright, Polk County Homeless Connect; Christina Korkow, Executive Director for Recovery Outreach Community Center; Cathy Todd, Director of Employment Services for Easter Seals; Patrice Altenhofen, Executive Director for Family Building Blocks; and Lisa Harnisch, Executive Director for Early Learning Hub.
Also present were Caleb Green, Assistant Program Coordinator for Community Action Partners of Oregon, which houses ROCC staff, and Peggy McGuire, Deputy Director of Programs for Community Services Consortium of Linn, Benton and Lincoln Counties.
Featured photo: the April meeting with Salem-area housing and social services agencies. From right: Patrice Altenhofen, Dan Williams, Jason Ramos, Michael Livingston (Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization, Melissa Baurer, Kristin Keunz-Barber, Nicole Utz, TJ Putman, Jimmy Jones, Dan Clem, Christian Edelblute, Jan Calvin, Sean O’Day, Janet Carlson.