Deschutes Co. Commission OKs $1M boost for homeless outreach services

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The Deschutes County Commission has approved American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) investments of more than $1 million to support additional homeless outreach services.

The ARPA investments approved by the Board will fund three new behavioral health positions that will provide homeless outreach and services across the County for the next three years.

“With winter approaching, we are happy to be able to make this investment and increase our presence to provide additional support to those who are ready to access services,” said County Commissioner Tony DeBone.

The new staff members will provide outreach to new projects the City of Bend is developing and also support increased need in Sisters, La Pine and Redmond.

“Building additional capacity on our homeless outreach team will help to support some of the key projects emerging in Central Oregon,” said County Commissioner Phil Chang. “These new staff will provide behavioral health outreach, engagement and case management support to individuals in a variety of settings such as shelters, supported housing and managed camps.”

The ARPA investment approved by the Board will also support supplies and a new outreach truck to support staff providing on-street outreach that can serve as a mobile resource hub for those unable to safely leave their location or belongings in order to access services.

“This investment will help to support the skilled team that is currently providing behavioral health services in Deschutes County,” said County Commissioner Patti Adair. “It is critically important that we connect our vulnerable unhoused community members to potentially life-saving housing and services.”

Deschutes County will receive more than $38 million in ARPA funds.

The County received the first half of the funds in May and expects to receive the remainder of the funds next year.

To date, Commissioners have obligated $31 million in ARPA investments. To learn more about the County’s ARPA investments, visit www.deschutes.org/arpa.

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