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Church @ the Park is developing transition-focused shelter communities for rural Polk County. We own a property in Dallas on Holman Ave that we are intending to use for unsheltered residents of rural Polk County and we are exploring opportunities in other Polk County communities where we can offer safe and stable temporary housing with wrap-around services.

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POLKCOUNTY

History

In partnership with the Mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance, a collaborative organization engaging in a communitywide commitment to coordinate, leverage, and align efforts and resources to prevent and end homelessness, C@P applied for and received funding on April 1, 2023 to provide temporary, emergency sheltering in rural Polk County.

 

From the Alliance website: 

 

On January 10, 2023, Governor Tina Kotek declared a state of emergency in response to a 63% rise in homelessness since 2016. Oregon’s Departments of Emergency Management (OEM) and Housing and Community Services (OHCS) partnered to lead this work with the Office of the Governor.

 

The Oregon Housing and Community Services Department delivered $11.2 million for new shelter beds and rehousing work in the Marion/Polk region. These funds support the addition of more than 200 new low-barrier emergency shelter beds and the rapid rehousing of more than 180 unsheltered households.

 

The 2023 Legislature approved funding to continue the work began under the Governor’s executive order 23-02. The Alliance will receive $21.7 million through SB 5511 and SB 5506.

 

Our Polk County team is continuing to work with the different agencies, churches, and organizations that are caring for the unsheltered neighbors in rural Polk County.  At a recent community meeting, Polk County Family & Community Outreach shared that there are presently 114 people who are unsheltered in rural Polk County.  69 of those people are in families.

Timeline

Click here  to read our most recent update to the Mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance, which includes a timeline of our work in Polk County

Current Services

C@P has an outreach team that is providing services and care to unsheltered residents of rural Polk County.  In March of 2023, C@P’s Polk County outreach team met with 23 unsheltered people in rural Polk County - 6 of those people they met for the very first time. 

 

When our outreach team meets with folks, they address things like financial literacy and budgeting, accessing showers and food resources, obtaining personal documents such as IDs and social security cards.  The team offers support for people by improving their physical safety through helping them with funds to repair vehicles which people are living out of, accessing mobility tools like wheelchairs, and applying for available shelters. 

 

Unfortunately, there are a limited number of shelter beds available in the area and most have high qualification barriers to entry. Additionally, as people qualify for permanent supportive housing programs there are not enough units available in Polk County for them to apply for. 

 

In addition to reaching out to unsheltered people where they are residing, our outreach team attends various community partnership meetings and service opportunities.

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Check out some Frequently Asked Questions

How to Get Involved

Attend a webinar - next webinars are scheduled for May 16, 2024 at Noon and 7:00pm
Links for the webinars will be shared on social media and via our newsletter
 

Subscribe to the newsletter (link at the bottom of the page)
 

Invite a C@P rep to your church, book club, neighborhood meeting, etc. for a conversation


 

 Order a yard sign, t-shirt, or button


 

Take a tour of one of our existing sites

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