City Approves $392,500 for Homeless, Social Services

The Corvallis City Council has approved record funding of around $392, 500 for homeless and social services in the area. The funding will come through the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG) and includes one-time federal CARES Act funds for pandemic recovery. 

The funding this year is due to a one-time action by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which administers the CDBG program. Typically, HUD caps the amount of federal funding that can be directed toward social services providers. The cap was lifted this year in recognition of the extraordinary challenge facing communities because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As a result, the City of Corvallis was able to direct a much larger amount of its annual federal funding allocation to assist local providers assisting vulnerable populations in the community, according to a press release. Funding needs were largely identified through efforts at the Benton County Emergency Operation Center, which has led the local pandemic response and involves staff from both Benton County and the City of Corvallis. 

Here’s a closer look at the local funding allocation: 

  • $112,000 for Room at the Inn women’s winter shelter, which has been operating as a year-round facility during the pandemic, but lacks operational funding to do so.
  • $80,000 for the Corvallis  men’s winter  shelter,  which  is now operating a  hygiene  facility  for  homeless individuals and families but, like the women’s shelter, does not have funding to operate year-round.
  • $65,000 to replace the roof on the Van Buren House permanent supportive housing facility.
  • $52,500 for the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV) to upgrade for two shelters and support operational costs associated with the pandemic.
  • $83,000 in operating costs for seven area nonprofits providing support services.

“This funding represents a much-needed surge of assistance to social services providers in Corvallis,” said Housing and Neighborhood Services Manager Kent Weiss, who led the team that coordinated the funding package. “I am pleased that we are able to make a big impact in our community during such a difficult time.” 

Funding requests and proposals were reviewed and recommended by the City’s Housing and Community Development Advisory Board. 

The funding for homeless services providers was part of a much larger $2.2 million expenditure of CDBG and other federal and local funds approved on July 20 by the City Council, which included money for affordable housing, emergency rental assistance, and support for small businesses.