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CareOregon awards $250,000 for housing projects

Jun 21, 2018, 07:00 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. — This spring, CareOregon has continued its focus on housing as a key factor for health and well-being by dedicating its most recent community giving to supportive housing projects. A total of $250,000 was granted to five social services organizations that provide housing directly to their clients.

The organizations include four in Multnomah County, and one based in Jackson County.

“We know that good health requires more than just good medical care,” said Pam Hester, CareOregon heath & housing program manager. “It requires that members have their basic needs met. Addressing social and economic factors that affect health, especially housing, is a requirement for good health and healthy communities. That’s why it’s so important to the work we’re doing with our partners in the community.”

CareOregon serves more than 275,000 Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) members through its affiliation with four Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs). Its vision of making health care work for everyone, regardless of social and economic circumstances, includes work to address the social and economic issues that have a major impact on our community’s health and entire health care system. CareOregon community grants over the last three years have totaled more than $800,000 to housing-related projects.

The grants awarded this spring include:

  • Rogue Retreat (Jackson County)—$60,000 for property leasing and program startup costs for a Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Housing program for pregnant women and mothers of children 1 year old or younger, who are enrolled in a MAT program for opioid addiction. CareOregon has previously awarded Rogue Retreat two grants totaling $45,000.

  • Bridges to Change (Multnomah County)—$51,000 to open a new residential treatment house for women with children and to provide funding for a resident services coordinator supporting several facilities. Bridges to Change serves people who are struggling with substance use disorder, mental health issues, poverty or homelessness.

  • Luke Dorf (Multnomah County)—$50,000 to double the registered nurse time for the Bridgeview Enhances Nursing Program. The program in downtown Portland offers transitional housing to people who are homeless or marginally housed, and have been diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness.

  • Transition Projects (Multnomah County)—$50,000 to support a new wellness access specialist for this program, which helps more than 10,000 people each year survive the streets, and find and retain housing. Transition Projects has previously received a CareOregon grant of $65,000.

  • Bridge Meadows (Multnomah County)—$39,000 to support key staff positions for a new program. The Dorothy Lemelson House and New Meadows Program will serve young adults 17–24, who have aged out of the foster care system, have no permanent family connections and are at risk for homelessness. CareOregon awarded Bridge Meadows a previous grant totaling $45,000.

A common element of all these programs is a strong focus on interventions within “intentional community settings” that address more than just housing.

“The projects we supported this year are not just addressing the housing needs,” Hester says. “They are also providing social support and creating support networks for people who share common issues. That support is important for both health and well-being.”

The organizations will also be coming together regularly as a group with CareOregon during the grant year, to learn and share from each other.

“For CareOregon, grant making is more than providing funds and then going away,” Hester says. “We’re trying to forge strong ties, so that these organizations understand and support what we do, and we understand and support what they’re doing.”

For information, contact Jeanie Lunsford, 503-416-3626,


Appendix A

Rogue Retreat (Jackson)
Grant Amount: $60,000

Medication Assisted Treatment Housing Program —Rogue Retreat is developing its first Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) housing program for pregnant women and women with children under 1 year of age, and who are enrolled in a MAT program for opioid addiction. CareOregon funds will be used to cover leasing costs of the property and program startup costs such as furnishing the property, staffing, staff training, staff travel, facilities maintenance and Rogue Retreat Supportive Services.

Bridges to Change (Multnomah)
Grant Amount: $51,000

Next Step Housing for Women and Children with a Resident Services Coordinator — Bridges to Change provides recovery housing and housing mentors, including a substance use disorder treatment program launched in 2016. Each person who enters Bridges to Change is struggling with addictions, mental health issues, poverty and/or homelessness. The CareOregon grant will help provide next-step housing for women with children and give them support as they navigate being a parent and finding gainful employment. CareOregon funds will be used to open a new residential treatment house and support half the cost of a resident services coordinator position across multiple facilities.

Luke Dorf (Multnomah)
Grant Amount: $50,000

Bridgeview Enhanced Nursing Program — Founded in 1977, Luke-Dorf is a mental health and addiction recovery provider supporting adults 18 and older living with mental illness. Luke Dorf’s mission is to provide exemplary mental health and addiction services that promote lasting wellness. The Bridgeview program, housed in the James Hawthorne building in downtown Portland, is an established program offering transitional housing to individuals who are homeless or marginally housed and diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness. Residents are referred from acute or long-term psychiatric hospitalizations or from other community mental health agencies throughout Multnomah County. CareOregon funding will be used to double the RN time allocated to Bridgeview from .3 to .6 FTE.

Transition Projects (Multnomah)
Grant Amount: $50,000

Transition Projects Wellness Access Specialist — Transition Projects exists to help those experiencing homelessness transition successfully into housing. The agency operates out of nine locations throughout the Portland Metro area. These facilities enable a team of over 300 to each year help 10,000 people experiencing homelessness to survive on the streets, and find and retain housing. Transition Project’s goal is to improve housing stability for highly vulnerable people who have experienced homelessness and who are placed into permanent supportive housing in Multnomah County. CareOregon funding will support the salary and benefits for a new Wellness Access Specialist position.

Bridge Meadows (Multnomah)
Grant Amount: $39,000

New Meadows: Preventing Homelessness for Youth Transitioning out of Foster Care — Bridge Meadows develops and sustains intentional, intergenerational neighborhoods for low-income elders, adoptive families and youth formerly in foster care. The goal is to build place, permanence and shared social purpose one community at a time. Bridge Meadows works at the intersection of child welfare, affordable housing, health and aging, offering a community-driven program of integrated onsite services and therapeutic interventions to improve quality of life, health, housing stability and educational attainment for residents at every stage of life. CareOregon funds will be used to support a portion of the salaries for key program staff positions—Community Support Specialist and Associate Director—at the Dorothy Lemelson House and New Meadows Program. This is a new program at the Bridge Meadows North Portland site, and will serve young adults 17 to 24 who have aged out of the foster care system, have no a permanent family connection and are at risk for homel

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