Government: JSIP Talks Homeless Service Options, Navigation Center Concept, Almost Final Election Results 

JSIP Homeless Services Inclusion: After the second survey of Benton County residents, it was decided to include homeless services in the Justice System Improvement Program (JSIP). Nick Hurth, JSIP Program Manager, spoke to the Benton County Commissioners in a special Monday session, November 14, to go over the options his team has come up with to address this component. 

It was determined that the five options to be considered are 

  1. Secure Residential Treatment Facility – the Health Department presented this option. It is “essentially transitional housing with onsite mental health treatment for unsheltered people who are in the Justice System.” 
  2. Homelessness Services/Housing Navigation Center – Executive Director of the Corvallis Daytime Drop-in Center, Allison Hobgood, offered information concerning this option.  
  3. Permanent short- or long-term housing – “whether traditional housing or a microshelter.”  Heating/Cooling/Smoke (Air Quality) Shelter – Health Department recommendation.  
  4. General “bucket” funding – a nonspecific alternative that offers no preferred option.

The projects outlined would cost in “the tens of millions of dollars” according to Kurth. After three meetings, the JSIP team found that in order to include these services, outside funding will be required.  

Navigation Centers Particulars: The centers take into mind the specifics of what houseless people in the area need. They include several people working in a specific space to offer community members “one stop shopping” for local communities which take into mind the specifics of what houseless people in the area need.  

One continuing aspect of the centers would be drop-in day services – a space to come spend time during the day to access the service providers in the space.  

Other spaces would be non-congregate respite emergency shelters – a series of units which offer stabilization for the moment to the most vulnerable in the community. 

“Ideally, this is the first step in getting people into housing, and getting people into most safe spaces,” Hobgood said. 

Commissioners Xan Augerot asked about the inclusion of heating/cooling center services in the Navigation Center space. Hobgood said that this wasn’t outside the realm of possibility provided there was enough space, however this would be a consideration that would be down the road.  

The Navigation Center is not slated to be located on the same land as the proposed Justice Center. 

Elections Results: In case you missed the nearly final results, the Corvallis City Councilmembers as of January are Jan Napack for Ward 1, Briae Lewis for Ward 2, Hyatt Lytle for Ward 3, Gabe Shepherd for Ward 4, Charlyn Ellis for Ward 5, Laurie Chaplen for Ward 6, Paul Shaffer for Ward 7, and Tracey Yee for Ward 8.  

Ward 9 will likely go to Tony Cadena, however no candidate received over 50% of the first ranked vote so this will be determined in December. The final two candidates are Cadena with 44.11% and Nyssa Towsley with 33.18%. 

Mayor Biff Traber will be handing his gavel over this year, but again no one candidate received more than 50% of the vote. Currently, Charles Maughan holds 37.97% and Andrew Struthers holds 34.48%. This election will be determined by second choice rankings in December.  

Benton County Commissioners Pat Malone held his seat with just under 67% of the vote. Sheriff Jefri Van Arsdal won with nearly 100% of the vote.  

Representative Peter DeFazio will be leaving the keys to the District 4 office in the hands of Val Hoyle. Ron Wyden won re-election, as did Dan Rayfield and Sara Gelser Blouin. 

By Sally K Lehman 

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