Lane County Homeless Youth Services Received $3.3 Million in Federal Funding

For the first time, Lane County received funding from Youth Homelessness Demonstration Programwhich is run by the US Department of Housing and Homelessness.

The program supports communities working to implement a coordinated approach to preventing and ending youth homelessness.

county commissioner Pat Farr, who is chair of the Poverty and Homelessness Council, said the grant was competitive. He attributed the victory to the fact that young people who experienced homelessness were involved in the application process.

“You know for years adults have been talking about how we can help homeless kids, now we have kids talking about how you can help us with homelessness… I’m really thrilled let this be a chance for the children to help set the agenda that will help them,” he said.

Farr said the funds will be used to support services provided by 15th night and Mirror. The Looking Glass Station 7 emergency shelter has been temporarily closed due to staffing issues.

“It really is a place where children can get away from it all and settle into a lifestyle that is away from the crisis that is part of their lives and away from the potentially dangerous situations and relationships they find themselves in” , did he declare.

The funds could also be used to create a center where young people can stay and access services to help them through a crisis, Farr said.

“It was underfunded and we tried to open it on Lane County property, but we worked really hard to get there, it’s a possibility,” he said.

Farr said the grant is one of the most exciting things the county has received and could be a real game-changer.

The Mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance which serves homeless youth in Marion and Polk counties also received an award from HUD. They received $3.69 million to fund similar projects aimed at preventing and ending youth homelessness.

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