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Applications Coming In For Local Homeless Relief Spending

BEND, OR -- Central Oregon will get $13.9 million from the Governor’s homelessness emergency package. Central Oregon’s council of governments (COIC) opened the application period Monday for that funding; the deadline is May 8 at midnight. COIC’s Scott Aycock says the tight turnaround is necessary because projects have to be complete by January 10, "That, in and of itself, is an enormously aggressive timeline. Especially if you’re dealing with construction or renovation, or anything like that."

Applications from local government agencies and nonprofits must pursue the goals set by the state, which includes creating 111 new shelter beds. "I would expect that we will get some applications that expand existing shelters to provide more beds; we might get some applications that have completely new shelters," Aycock tells KBND News. He doesn’t expect any proposals to construct a brand new facility - simply due to time constraints. 

The second regional goal is to rehouse 161 unsheltered households. "That, generally speaking, is going to be things like working with landlords who are willing to take in populations that require a subsidy to be able to make the rent," says Aycock. "There’s also some discussion of things like converting hotels to housing; even if it’s not what most people think of as multi-family housing. But where there’s maybe some shared facilities."

So far, COIC has received just one application. Bend City Manager Eric King tells KBND News the city's application will be in by Friday, to get the former Rainbow Motel open as a shelter. A final decision on which projects get funded is expected to be made May 17th by the Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC) group. 

Aycock doesn’t believe money alone will solve the problem, but he says it gets people thinking about ideas that could lead to future solutions. "We’re always trying to think about how we can leverage these specific opportunities into bigger picture, longer term, more sustainable outcomes. And getting all these interesting ideas that are coming out of community conversations, or somebody who has a relative with lived experience, or perhaps they themselves experienced homelessness - you know, whatever it is, it’s generating a lot of creative thinking."


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