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The Homeless Money Pit
“It’s appalling, the lack of creativity that we have in finding solutions”

Homelessness is one of the hottest topics at all levels of government, but it seems that no matter how much is done or how much is spent, the problem never gets better. It always gets worse.

Now, the Oregon Legislature is considering HB 2004, introduced by House Speaker Tina Kotek. The bill allocates millions of dollars "to support emergency shelters through grants to local community organizations for the acquisition, retrofitting and operation of emergency shelters throughout this state."

The bill first was written to send the money to the Oregon Housing and Community Services Agency to provide funding for low-barrier housing. Low-barrier housing is housing that has fewer rules -- euphemistically known as barriers -- such as requirements that the resident be drug-free, sober, not have pets, etc. It has since been amended so that the nearly $10 million in grant money will be distributed by a non-profit organization, the Oregon Community Foundation.

It's worth asking why the money goes to a non-profit -- especially one where at least nine of the 15 board members are Democrats, and many of them high dollar donors to Kate Brown. Is it because if the money stays in a state agency, there is accountability and if it goes to the non-profit, the public loses the ability to watch the money.

One legislator had this to say, about the bill. "It's appalling, the lack of creativity that we have in finding solutions to the homeless problem. Sending $10 million dollar in a grant to a non-profit so that they can give out grants, doesn't seem like a solution."

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-06-10 12:31:28Last Update: 2021-06-10 18:20:43

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