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Community Action Partnership of Oregon has personnel available to help meet your media needs. If you are writing or planning a story on poverty in Oregon or a related topic, please contact Jeff Sargent by using our contact form or by phone: (503) 316-3951.

Press Releases

Get state updates and agency news from Oregon Housing and Community Services. Get national Community Action news and press releases from Community Action Partnership (the National Association).

Media Kit

In the News

Nonprofit Organizations: Did you know about  No-Cost Governance Assessments by UO Nonprofit Clinic?

The University of Oregon Nonprofit Clinic provides a free governance assessment to Oregon nonprofits (budget size $50k to $3m). Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with assessments conducted January through April each year.

Participating Nonprofits are assigned an interdisciplinary team of graduate students drawn from the U of O’s School of Law, the Nonprofit Management Program, the Business School and the Master’s Degree Program in Conflict and Dispute Resolution (CRES).  An experienced consultant assists the team.

The Nonprofit Clinic provides tailored assessments, intended to assist Oregon Nonprofits’ Boards of Directors in identifying strengths, needs for growth and educating them about best practices. A written report, guidance on how to accomplish suggested changes and a detailed resource packet to help with implementation of recommendations is included.

The Clinic also proves a valuable legal compliance check, including review of the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.

For more information, visit 

New Veterans Housing Project

The Klamath Housing Authority (KHA) has announced a new veterans housing project on East Main Street after securing a $2 million grant from the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department.

Titled Liberty Park Village, the development would create eight housing units for homeless veterans, as well as provide access to rehabilitation services.

Diana Otero, KHA executive director, said she learned the grant had been awarded Friday. Plans are now underway to begin construction by July or August.

“There’s some preliminary work that still has to be done,” said Otero.

She said KHA plans to purchase the former KDKF television station building on the 200 block of East Main Street for the project. The property is currently owned by Chambers Communications Corp., of Eugene, the license holder for KDKF, a satellite station for KDRV, out of Medford.

The building is occupied by Mentor Oregon, which recently vacated their previous facility on Vine Avenue. A representative for the group said they are aware of plans to sell the building and are prepared to move out in July.

Otero said they have budgeted $1.2 million to renovate the building and construction will take around six months to complete. She said the remainder of the grant will be used to purchase the property, valued in tax records at $168,210, and to hire employees to help with resident rehabilitation.

Otero said the grant is expected to cover the entire project without matching funds from KHA. She said this will allow for low rental rates because KHA does not need to pay off any loans on the facility.

Liberty Park Village will likely be managed by staff at Liberty Commons, a separate KHA facility less than a mile up the road. Liberty Commons was completed in 2016 using another $2 million grant from the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department.

Outside of Liberty Park Village, KHA is continuing to work on Sky Meadows, a 32-unit complex on Homedale Road. Otero said their success with such housing projects helps lessen the burden on the local rental market.

“Any housing that I get, it’s a win for the whole community,” she said.

Jackson County Emergency Housing/Shelter Contact Info

  • Medford Gospel Mission
    Mens Shelter (men only)- 541-779-1597
    125 W. Jackson St. Medford, OR 97501
  • Womens Shelter (women and children)- 541-772-2931
    534 N. Bartlett Ave. Medford, OR 97501
  • Rogue Retreat
    Kelly Shelter (Transitional Warming Shelter Medford, Oregon)- 541-499-0880
    1410 W 8th St, Medford, OR 97501
  • Hope Village (Tiny Home Homeless Community)- 541-499-0880
    1410 W 8th St, Medford, OR 97501
  • St. Vincent DePaul
    Family Shelter (limited capacity)- 541-772-8163
    2424 N. Pacific Hwy. Medford, OR 97501
  • Community Works
    Dunn House (Domestic Violence Shelter)- 541-779-4357
    Must call- address not listed for safety purposes
  • Salvation Army
    Hope House (Transitional Shelter and Housing)- 541-773-7005
    1065 Crews Rd. Medford, OR 97501
  • Options for Homeless Residents of Ashland
    Ashland Warming Shelters (Sunday through Thursday Nights)- 541-631-2235
    611 Siskiyou Blvd #4 Ashland, Oregon 97520
  • Maslow Project
    Day Shelter (for youth and families with children)- 541-608-6868

Calling all women veterans! Apply now

A limited number of financial scholarships have been made available to first‐time attendees only through a generous donation from Military Officer’s Association of America, Portland Chapter.

Scholarship recipients will share a room (two nights) with one other recipient, and receive a stipend for gas costs of travel. The gas stipend will be based on the distance from Sunriver.

Applications must be received by March 15 to be considered.

A PDF of the application may be downloaded here, or apply online at the below link.

Please spread the word to any interested women veterans who’d like to attend!

See Details and Apply


Veteran Services Grant Program: Request for Grant Proposals

The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA) is pleased to announce the Request for Grant Proposals (RFGP) for the ODVA Veteran Services Grant Program was issued on December 27, 2017. The deadline for submitting grant applications is February 1, 2018. 

The Oregon State Legislature passed House Bill 2891 in 2017 that established Veteran Services Grant Fund with $550,000 available for grants. The program uses Oregon Lottery Fund dollars established under Ballot Measure 96, which provide lottery funds specifically for services to Oregon veterans. 

The purpose of the Grant Fund is to expand outreach and services to Oregon veterans, or promote:

  • Mental health care or physical health care;
  • Housing security;
  • Employment opportunities and employment stability;
  • Education and training opportunities;
  • Transportation accessibility and availability;
  • Promoting veterans’ organizations that provide critical services for veterans; or
  • Supporting existing programs identified by the Veterans’ Affairs Advisory Committee. 

Grants awards will range from $25,000 to $250,000. The grant period is from the grant award date to June 30, 2019, when all funds must be used and all work completed. All grants are “one-time” grants and grant recipients should not assume that grant funds will be available in subsequent years. 

Eligible organizations must have at least a one-year history of providing services and be a:

  • Nonprofit organizations incorporated under 501(c)(3).
  • Veterans organizations incorporated under 501(c)(19).
  • Tribal, regional, local governments. State agencies under programs established by state or federal law.
  • Oregon quasi-public agencies.
  • Oregon intergovernmental agencies. 

The Grant Evaluation Committee includes Veterans’ Affairs Advisory Committee members and other veterans. 

How to Apply for a Grant: ODVA posted the Request for Grant Proposals (RFGP) and the Grant Application form on the Oregon Procurement Information Network website, ORPIN To access the RFGP and Application, a Proposer must register (“Supplier Registration”) and use the ORPIN system. After registering, login and go to “Browse Opportunities,” then “Advanced Search” and enter ORPIN Opportunity Number for this grant, which is 274-1014-17

Questions: All inquiries on this grant must be addressed only via email to: All responses to inquiries will be posted on the ORPIN website under this RFGP. 

ODVA Website: ODVA posted this document and the administrative rules for the grant on its website. Click “View Grant Info” to see them. Note that the RFGP and Grant Application are only on ORPIN.

Leadership Lunch Focuses on Affordable Housing

On October 12, 2017, over 270 leaders from Washington County and the surrounding region convened for an important conversation on affordable housing at our Leadership Lunch. These generous supporters came together, giving over $64,000 to help Community Action deliver hope, help, and change to families across Washington County. Attendees also heard from top business leaders about what affordable housing is, why it matters to our community, and what leaders in the private sector can do to help address this challenge.

Roy Kim, Owner of Central Bethany Development, spoke about the importance of partnership in addressing the affordable housing need, and how Community Action helps him understand the perspective of those in need of affordable housing. [CLICK TO WATCH ROY KIM]

Sarah Joannides, Director of Social Responsibility at New Seasons Market, shared how the proximity of affordable housing to the workplace impacts their workforce. As one of the largest employers in the state, this issue has become a top priority for their business and has influenced the company’s role as an advocate promoting affordable housing. [CLICK TO WATCH SARAH JOANNIDES]

Caroline Roper, a client of Community Action, rounded out our speakers by sharing her own story of transformation thanks to the support she received from Community Action helping her find affordable housing. When she was able to stabilize her home, she was able to create stability in other areas of her life, to the benefit of both her and her children. [CLICK TO WATCH CAROLINE ROPER]

Our deepest thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, Tuality Healthcare, our additional sponsors and table hosts, and all of our guests for making the Leadership Lunch a tremendous success.

Head Start Rally in Washington DC Draws Enormous Crowd

Near the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, hundreds of people gathered for the “Families Unite for Head Start Spirit Rally.” Many were parents or Head Start employees who came from all over the United States, including California, Texas, Arizona, Florida, New York, and elsewhere. Virtually every state in the Union was represented.

The National Head Start Association organized the rally and set up 300 visits to congressional leaders later that day with the goal of encouraging lawmakers to increase funding for Head Start programs.
Several house representatives and a U.S. senator were on hand to speak, including U.S. Rep. Charlie Christ (D-FL) and U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR). Their powerful speeches excited the enthusiastic crowd.

Sen. Jeff Merkley speaks to head start rallySenator Merkley talked about the importance of fighting for expansion of funding. “Just a week ago there was a bill on the senate floor to increase military spending by 80 billion dollars,” he said. “What would be the impact to Head Start and Early Head Start if we increased funding by a few billion dollars?” Senator Merkley then asked the crowd to think of all the returns that would come back to society if the nation invested in helping all children thrive and succeed. He said, “Generations to come would feel the positive effects.” (video below)

Lawmakers weren’t the only ones taking the stage to energize the crowd, numerous Head Start parents spoke as well. Hector Banuelos from Los Angeles (a father of six) told a heartwarming story about how Head Start made a positive difference in his life and the life of his children. Banuelos admitted that he was ill-prepared to be a parent, but Head Start gave him the tools needed to flourish. “If you are a parent,” said Banuelos, “and you take advantage of every program they have, you will become a successful parent.” Banuelos also said, “Before you can take care of others, you have to take care of yourself first.”

That is a concept that Head Start believes in. And they are committed to their work, giving every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, an opportunity to succeed in school and in life. In the 50 years since its inception, Head Start has improved the lives of more than 32 million children and families. The Community Action Partnership stands proudly beside them in support of everything they do.

View the CAP press release.

$350,000 Immediately Available to Help Homeless Veterans

SALEM, OR – Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) in partnership with the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs is pleased to announce the release of $350,000 in resources to provide immediate assistance for Oregon’s homeless veterans. Governor Kate Brown is leading the effort to end veteran homelessness in Oregon, and these funds will be implemented by Community Action Agency partners across the state and delivered through the Veterans Emergency Housing Assistance program administered by OHCS.

“Every veteran in Oregon deserves safe and stable housing,” Governor Brown said. “I’m proud of the progress we’re making to ensure every veteran has a roof over his or her head, and this dedicated funding takes us another step closer toward ending veterans homelessness in Oregon.

“We’re excited about our partnership with the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs as we work together to end veteran homelessness in Oregon” said Margaret Salazar, Director of Oregon Housing and Community Services.  “Our veterans have bravely served our country and we owe it to them to ensure that they have a safe and stable place to call home.”

The most recent homeless Point-in-Time count found the number of homeless veterans in Oregon has declined by 121 people, which is a decrease of 9% from 2015. Significant attention and resources, particularly from local governments, have been focused towards housing Oregon’s homeless veterans and these numbers indicate progress is being made. However, there is still work to do; the 2017 Point-in-Time count found 1,251 veterans are still homeless in Oregon. With the additional $350,000, we expect to provide even more homeless veterans with housing opportunity and see veteran homeless rates continue to drop.

“In the last few years, we  have made great progress in reducing the number of homeless veterans, but we still have a long way to go to meet our goal of ending veteran homelessness in our state,” said Cameron Smith, director of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs. “This funding is essential as we continue to work to address the housing needs of all of Oregon’s veterans and their families.”

Funding for this program is part of a swath of new and expanded veteran services made possible through the allocation of 1.5 percent of net Lottery revenues, which Oregon voters approved by an overwhelming margin in 2016 (as Measure 96).

ACCESS – OHCS Special Projects Report

2017 Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness in Oregon

Every two years, during the last ten days of January, there is a nationwide effort to count every homeless person across the country. This Point-in-time count attempts to capture both sheltered and unsheltered homeless people to provide a snapshot of homelessness in the United States. In 2017, staff from homeless assistance agencies, county and city employees, and hundreds of volunteers across Oregon conducted a street count of the unsheltered population, and data were collected on the homeless population living in emergency shelters and transitional housing throughout the state. Along with the total number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons, information was gathered on a wide range of characteristics of the homeless population such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, veteran status, and disability status. Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) obtained data from every Continuum of Care (CoC) in the state and provides these estimates at the county and state level here and in an interactive dashboard available at

According to this year’s PIT survey, the number of homeless people in Oregon increased by 6%, from 13,176 in 2015 to 13,953 in 2017. There were increases in both the number of sheltered (3%) and unsheltered (8%) people experiencing homelessness. This increase in homelessness is likely the result of a number of economic and demographic factors that have led to more Oregonians struggling to find housing they can afford. According to the latest Census Bureau data, Oregon was the 6th fastest growing state in the nation in 2016 and more than three-quarters of this growth came from people moving into the state. However, housing production declined dramatically from 2005 through 2010 and has only recently begun to recover, leading to a critically low housing supply. A low housing inventory coupled with a growing population has led to some of the lowest rental vacancy rates in the country. Furthermore, from 2008 to 2015, family median incomes decreased 1.8 percent while median rents increased 9.8 percent (in 2015 inflation-adjusted dollars). Tens of thousands of people are simply unable to afford these rising housing costs and have had to sleep in shelters, in their cars, or on the street.

Point-in-Time counts are an important source of information about neighbors who cannot find a permanent place to call home on a given night, but they do not tell the full story of homelessness in our communities. Due to the difficulties of attempting to count people who are living in places not meant for habitation in the coldest months of the year, it is likely that these numbers are an undercount of the homeless population on a given night. This year proved especially difficult due to the severity of the Oregon winter. Furthermore, some homeless families are not in shelter or on the streets, but are living with friends and family. Many CoCs go beyond a count of sheltered and unsheltered individuals and also count the number of people who are living doubled up with friends or families and are considered “precariously housed”. Others are able to provide more information on how many individuals and families are accessing services over the course of a year, rather than just on a single night. For more information about a particular CoC’s counts, methodologies, and the local initiatives being taken to address homelessness, please see the contacts at the end of this report.

On a single night in 2017:

  • The number of people experiencing homelessness in Oregon was 13,953. Forty-three percent or 5,986 were sheltered, and 57% or 7,967 were unsheltered.
  • Seventy percent of this population were people living in households without children, 43% of whom were sheltered and 57% of whom were unsheltered (Figure 1).
  • One out of four homeless people were in households with children, and were more likely to be sheltered, with 48% in shelters and 52% living in unsheltered locations (Figure 1). The remaining four percent of the homeless population, or 605 people, consisted of unaccompanied children under the age of 18. These children are overwhelmingly living in unsheltered locations, with just 18% living in shelters and the remaining 82% on the streets, cars, or other uninhabitable places.
  • The number of homeless people increased from 13,176 in 2015 to 13,953 in 2017, an increase of 6%. The unsheltered population grew at a rate of 8%, while the sheltered population increased by 3%.
  • There were 3,387 chronically homeless people, making up 24% of the total homeless population.3 Nearly three-quarters (74%) of the chronically homeless individuals counted were unsheltered.

Selected Demographics of the Homeless Population:

  • The majority of homeless people (73%) were over the age of 24, while 19% were under 18 and8% were 18-24.
  • Men made up 60% of the homeless population, women represented 39% of all homelesspeople, and transgender people made up 0.5% of the homeless population.
  • 1,494 homeless people (11%) identified as Hispanic or Latino and the remaining 89% were NonHispanic/Non-Latino.
  • The breakdown of the homeless population by race shows that 81.1% were White, 6% were African American, 4.2% were Native American, 0.6% were Asian, 1.2% were Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, and the remaining 6.8% were multiple races.
  • All homeless people of color, except Native Americans and those identifying as multiple races, were more likely than white homeless people to be sheltered than unsheltered. For example, 68% of African American homeless people were sheltered compared to 41% of white homeless people.
  • All people of color, except Asians, are overrepresented in the homeless population. For instance, African Americans make up just 2% of the population in Oregon, but make up 6% of the homeless population in Oregon and Native Americans make up 1.1% of the total population and 4.2% of the homeless population (Table 1).

Homeless Veterans

  • There were 1,251 homeless veterans in Oregon, according to this year’s PIT count. This is 9% of the entire homeless population. Forty-seven percent of these homeless veterans were sheltered and 53% were living in unsheltered locations.
  • The vast majority (90%) of homeless veterans were men, but 120 were women, 6 were transgender and the remaining 3 do not identify as female, male, or transgender. The number of homeless veterans decreased by 121 people or 9% from 2015.
  • Homeless veterans are more likely than the overall homeless population to be chronically homeless, with 36% of homeless veterans experiencing chronic homelessness, compared to 25% of the overall homeless population.

Homelessness among Subpopulations

  • Fourteen percent of all homeless people in Oregon have a serious mental illness and 12% have substance abuse disorder. Homeless individuals with a serious mental illness or a substance abuse disorder are very likely to be unsheltered.
  • Sixty-eight percent of those with a substance abuse disorder and 72% with a serious mental illness are living in unsheltered locations.
  • Sixty-five homeless people reported that they have HIV/AIDS; 60% were unsheltered.

Unaccompanied Youth and Parenting Youth

  • There were 1,731 unaccompanied youth and parenting youth experiencing homelessness in 2017.
  • Unaccompanied youth make up 84% of this population (1,462 people) and most of these unaccompanied youth (65%) are adults aged 18-24, while the remaining 35% are children under 18.
  • The number of unaccompanied youth increased by 14% from 2015 while the number of Parenting Youth decreased by 8%.
  • A significant majority (81%) of unaccompanied youth under 18 are unsheltered, compared to 56% of unaccompanied youth aged 18-24.
  • All but two of the 125 parents in parenting youth households are adults aged 18-24 and the remaining two parents are under age 18. They are parents to 144 children under 18.
  • Parenting Youth are more likely than unaccompanied youth to be sheltered, with 74% living in shelters.
  • Unaccompanied youth are more likely than the overall homeless population to be women and to be transgender. Forty-four percent of unaccompanied youth are women and 1.4% are transgender, compared to 39% and 0.5% of the homeless population overall.

Homelessness by County

  • Multnomah County had 4,177 people experiencing homelessness, representing 30% of the state’s homeless population. The counties with the largest homeless populations after Multnomah were Lane (1,529), Marion (1,049), Deschutes (701) and Clatsop (682).
  • There were five counties with a Hispanic homelessness rate of more than 15%: Malheur (41%), Umatilla (22%), Jefferson (18%), Wasco (17%) and Hood River (17%).
  • Four counties have a higher percentage of African American homeless people than the state average of 6%: Multnomah (14%), Harney (10.5%), Washington (9%) and Polk (8%). Jefferson County’s chronically homeless individuals make up 62% of the homeless population.
  • Baker County, Crook County, and Lane County have the next three largest rates of chronically homeless people at 43%, 42%, and 42% respectively.
  • The largest numbers of homeless veterans are in Multnomah county (444), Lane county (164) and Jackson county (95).
  • The county with the largest percentage of unaccompanied youth and parenting youth is Curry (79%).

We want to thank the following Continuums of Care for providing OHCS with the data necessary to complete this analysis. The people listed below can be contacted for more information about the counts in their regions and local initiatives to prevent and end homelessness:

  • Central Oregon CoC (Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson Counties): Hope Browning, NeighborImpact;
    Press Release:
  • Clackamas County CoC: Abby Ahern, Clackamas County;
    Press Release:
  • Eugene, Springfield/Lane County CoC: Pearl Wolfe, Lane County;
    Press Release:
  • Hillsboro, Beaverton/Washington County CoC: Annette Evans, Washington County Department of Housing Services;
    Press Release:
  • Medford, Ashland/Jackson County CoC: George Jarvis, Jackson County Homeless Task force/ACCESS;
  • Oregon Balance of State CoC: Joann Zimmer, Beyond the Box Strategies, LLC/Community Action Partnership of Oregon;
  • Portland, Gresham/Multnomah County CoC: Denis Theriault, Multnomah County;
    Press Release:


Career Tech Students Take on
Whale of a Project for Rose Parade

By Kendall S. Cable, Contributing writer

NEWPORT, OR. It all began with a used golf cart. Then came a metal frame welded by City of Lincoln City Maintenance staff. Next, seven students from Career Tech High School’s Woods and Metals Program created a plywood foundation for strategically-placed PVC and chicken wire to rise. Finally, from burlap, rice and thistle breached a whale of local distinction that migrated to Portland’s Rose Parade Saturday.

The float, a promotion for Lincoln City’s Pixiefest to take place June 24-25 at Chinook Winds Casino and Resort, was helmed by Pixie Captain and Lincoln City Councilor Kip Ward, who intentionally grew a beard for the event, according to Ed Dreistadt, Lincoln City Convention and Visitor Bureau director. The whale, accompanying pixies, and Pixiefest are a nod to Pixie Kitchen and Pixieland – former local establishments which catered to children.

“The Career Tech students saved the day,” stated Dreistadt. “We located a used golf cart and the city maintenance staff constructed the brackets for a wood platform to be attached to, but all the rest was courtesy of the Career Tech crew. They designed the platform, the whale, and the waves and then built it all.”

For the seven students (Corrie Martin, Jason Miranda, Tyler Rini, Kendra Arns, Cameron Ogle, Levi Huppert, and Jordan Serden), the project was an act of teamwork and patience – 40 hours of patience, according to John Kiser, Career Tech Woods and Metals Program crew leader.

“There wasn’t a lot of arguing or head butting with the design process,” Kiser said. “Everyone agreed on what we would do and got right to it.”

The 14-foot-by-8-foot float was built during Wednesday class time in Schooner Creek Designs’ woodshop. Students learned a variety of skills and worked with tools such as sanders and jig saws.

“I think it was a good project for the kids to learn how to use the power tools. It was good for them,” Kiser said. “Some of them have not used a sander or jig saw before. It was good hands-on training with those power tools.”

Just as important as tools and technique is teamwork, according to one student. From city hall to the students to the community, all made the project possible.

“The best part was working together as a group, teamwork,” Miranda stated. “It takes a lot of work to do the littlest things. But if you do, you learn a lot.”

For more information regarding Pixiefest, go to Pixiefest is a collaborative effort led by Kiwanis Club of Lincoln City in partnership with Theatre West, Chinook Winds Casino Resort, Lincoln City Outlets and Farmers Insurance.

Career Tech High School is chartered through Community Services Consortium, the community action agency helping people in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln Counties. For more information go to or

Photo by John Kiser
Career Tech High School students who worked on Lincoln City’s float for Portland’s Rose Parade (Left to right): Cameron Ogle, Corrie Martin, Levi Huppert, Jordan Serden, Kendra Arns, Tyler Rini, and Jason Miranda.

Photo by Ed Dreistadt
Lincoln City Councilor Kip Ward steers the Pixiefest float during Saturday’s Rose Parade in Portland.