The Oregonian's Molly Hottle recently spoke with Sally Erickson, Program Manager for the Portland Housing Bureau's Ending Homelessness Initiative.
The interview, which touched on both the 2011 Street Count and our progress on the 10-Year Plan to End Homeless, ran in today's Oregonian.
Sally's status report on the 10-Year Plan: "In the last couple of years, one of the changes that happened..was an improved rent assistance program. It's a collaboration among local governments and the housing authority to provide eviction prevention funds as well as rent assistance." Increased funding from the federal government and more non-profits accessing those funds have helped more people stay in their homes.
The strong partnerships between local governments, non-profits, and the private sector are also a big part of our success with the 10-Year Plan. "We are very fortunate in Portland," Sally told the Oregonian, "despite our economic climate, that we have terrific non-profit organizations here. The amount of collaboration between local governments is important. I think the political support from City Council right now is really terrific."
Sally shared her impression of this year's Street Count: The people we're counting "want to make it better for others. People, I think, consented to answering the questions because they thought that by sharing this information, we will be able to get more services...Also, there's no difference between the people I was talking to and someone you'd meet elsewhere. Several of the people I talked to reminded me of my father-in-law or, you know, people that I know. There's nothing unique about them versus someone who is low-income and in housing."