The first steps toward implementing Metro’s Regional Supportive Housing Services program were taken last week, with the first meeting of a stakeholder advisory table.
“It was incredibly moving to launch this phase of the work at Metro,” said Metro’s Chief Operations Officer, Marissa Madrigal.
Greater Portland voters approved the program in May 2020, authorizing a tax on high income earners and businesses with gross receipts of more than $5 million that will fund supportive housing services for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
The program, which will be implemented in the parts of Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties covered by Metro, will provide services to many as 5,000 people and as many as 10,000 households. It complements the work of the affordable housing bond approved by voters in 2018.
Studies have shown that supportive housing services are necessary in order to end and prevent homelessness and ensure long-term housing stability. Metro’s supportive housing services program will be implemented by the counties and their respective housing authorities, in partnership with community and culturally specific organizations. The goal is to provide services that permanently elevate people out of homelessness, such as housing assistance, case management, mental health care, addiction and recovery treatment, job training, and culturally-specific services.
The advisory committee convened last week consists of 22 members who represent the diversity of greater Portland and lend broad expertise to the program. They will provide policy and programmatic guidance to inform development of regional values, local plan requirements, and outcomes metrics to measure programmatic success. All meetings and materials of this committee will be available and accessible to the public.
“It was lovely to connect with stakeholders I have worked with on housing and homeless services projects over the years,” added Madrigal, “and exciting to see how much positive energy and hope there is around the outcomes we’ll achieve together.”