Help for the Unhoused

Town Hall Scheduled for Thurs, Oct 3

While the epidemic of homelessness can be viewed on a regional or national scale, it comes down to our shared community to offer on-the-ground assistance. We do not need to wait for Salem or DC to take action — our unhoused are local community members, and it’s time we put our heads together to find solutions for those in need. Our next CitySpeak will bring together local leaders for two panel discussions assessing current challenges and future opportunities.

Slated for Thursday, October 3 at the Corvallis-Benton Library, the evening runs from 6:30 to 8:30. As with all CitySpeak events, attendance is free. Quite a bit of time has been reserved for audience comments and questions.

The first panel includes Corvallis Mayor Biff Traber and Benton County Commissioner Xan Augerot. The two will briefly discuss the current landscape of services, and the recent formation of a local council to address homelessness — along with the hiring a of a new coordinator for the council.

The second panel includes Community Outreach Executive Director Kari Whitacre, Room at the Inn Manager Sarah Power, and Unitarian Universalist Minister Jill McCallister — the UU runs the current Men’s Emergency Cold Weather Shelter in South Corvallis. Power is also on the Board for Corvallis Housing First, while Whitacre brings her expertise on outcomes for various modalities of intervention.  This panel will spend some time on the current map of local services, but will quickly move to opportunities to reduce local homelessness in the future.

Both panels will be co-moderated by Steve Schultz and Stevie Beisswanger. Schultz is the publisher for this newspaper and president of City Club of Corvallis. Beisswanger is this paper’s editor-in-chief. The event is co-produced by The Corvallis Advocate and the City Club of Corvallis.

The Corvallis-Benton County Library is located at 645 NW Monroe Ave. Plan to arrive a few minutes early. Questions and comments are highly encouraged. Presentations for outside agencies and organizations should be submitted for approval by Thursday, September 26. Submit requests to

By Andy Thompson