Legislation will set stage, strategy for ending homelessness
Mar 31,2009 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

SB 200 Emphasizes Housing First For People Experiencing Homelessness

SALEM, Ore.  – Legislation that establishes state policies to guide efforts to end homelessness was passed unanimously by the Senate this morning. SB 200 calls for a comprehensive and collaborative system of housing plus services as vital for any success in ending and preventing homelessness.

“Each person experiencing homelessness faces unique barriers requiring an individualized approach,” said Senator Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland), chair of Senate Committee on Commerce and Workforce Development. “Senate Bill 200 recognizes these circumstances and encourages a process that stresses finding permanent homes for people using integrated services.”

Rosenbaum says that this comprehensive approach includes:

  • A focus on permanent housing, rather than temporary solutions

  • Enhanced collaboration between county and state agencies that deliver integrated and cost-effective programs in a seamless and timely manner

  • Measurable outcomes – focused on housing stability – for increased accountability

“Given the economic downturn, Oregon’s problem with homelessness isn’t going to be fixed overnight,” said Senate Majority Leader Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin). “That said, this legislation sets the stage for implementation of our statewide strategy to end homelessness.”

In 2006 the Governor established the Ending Homelessness Advisory Council. The legislation passed today is part of the council’s plan to end homelessness by 2016.

The bill will now go to the House for consideration.