The state Senate passed a bill Thursday that will provide $1.5 million in funding for an emergency shelter in Roseburg.

The Senate passed House Bill 5042 on a vote of 23 to 5.

In addition to shelter funding for Roseburg, the bill provides funding for shelters in the cities of Salem, Eugene, Medford, Bend and McMinnville, as well as for a shelter called Bybee Lakes Hope Center in Portland, which would be operated by the nonprofit Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers.

The shelters, called navigation centers, would be low barrier shelters open seven days a week and include showers, mail service, and connections to help veterans obtain health services, permanent housing and public benefits.

The bill was already approved by the House. If it is signed by the governor, a Roseburg shelter could be up and running by July 2022.

The shelter funding is part of $300 million in investments, including funding for summer learning and childcare and wildfire recovery.

“This money is a real win for our kids,” Senate President Peter Courtney said in a written statement Thursday.

He said the bill will also help communities dealing with homelessness and last year’s fires.

“The Legislature will help Oregonians wherever they are hurting,” he said.

Rep. Gary Leif, R-Roseburg, worked with Speaker of the House Tina Kotek and Roseburg city officials to ensure the inclusion of Roseburg’s shelter in the package.

Sen. Dallas Heard, R-Myrtle Creek, who has vowed to vote "no" on every bill until the state Capitol building reopens to the public, voted against the bill.

Companion House Bill 2006, which lays out the policies for the navigation centers, was passed by the House on Monday.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

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(1) comment

NJ

This seems like an odd statement: "Rep. Gary Leif, R-Roseburg, worked with Speaker of the House Tina Kotek and Roseburg city officials to ensure the inclusion of Roseburg's shelter in the package."

It almost appears as though Mr. Lief is working outside the normal legislative process by going straight to the House Speaker rather than doing what would be called normal legislating. Is there some reason why it's reported this way? Is Mr. Lief not legislating normally or would like to appear that he's not legislating normally? The bill covers a number of communities who will receive funding. One would think there must have been committee work to identify the need, assess the funding necessary, create the bill, and present it to the State House of Representatives. Would this not be his normal job as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Human Services?

If Mr. Lief is doing good things in Salem, legislating in a bipartisan way, representing with inclusion, working for a better community, let's try to not make it appear as though he's working outside the normal legislative process. He's there doing what he was elected to do. There's no need to make him appear as though he's different from any other legislator.

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