September 20, 2023

Wyden, Merkley: Central Oregon to Receive $953,950 in Federal Funds to Prevent Youth Homelessness

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council has earned more than $950,000 in federal funds to develop and implement a coordinated community approach to preventing and ending youth homelessness in the region.

“This federal investment in Central Oregon will lead to solutions that help young Oregonians get off the street and into housing so they can get their lives on track,” said Wyden, who has introduced legislation aimed at ending homelessness and tackling the housing affordability crisis. “Homelessness requires an all-hands-on-deck approach, and that’s exactly what these federal resources will help accomplish in Central Oregon.”

“It is critical to ensure young Oregonians have access to safe, stable housing as they grow and transition from childhood to adulthood,” said Merkley.This federal funding will boost coordinated, community-driven efforts in Central Oregon to take on the youth homeless crisis in the region and set vulnerable young Oregonians up for future success.” 

The $953,950 in funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will be used toward developing a community plan that helps young people experiencing homelessness, including unaccompanied and pregnant or parenting youth, where no member of the household is older than 24.

"Intervention to end youth homelessness can prevent adult homelessness which is why today’s award is so pivotal in the trajectory of young people’s lives in Central Oregon," said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Margaret Salazar. "As the only recipient in the Northwest, this award is a testament to the good work being done by Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council and their partners in Bend and the surrounding areas."

"Today highlights the Homeless Leadership Coalition’s vision and persistence, and underscores the strong partnership with our federal partners,” said Tammy Baney, Executive Director of the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council. “The unfortunate reality that our region's unhoused population of young people has grown nearly 30% since 2022 is both alarming and a call to action. Today we come together to loudly state our commitment to young people, and just as loudly to proclaim that hope is on the horizon."