The state Legislature on Thursday moved forward on funding for low-barrier emergency homeless shelters, including $1.5 million for a shelter in Roseburg.
The funding for the Roseburg shelter is included in an $18 million budget re-balancing measure. The Subcommittee on Capital Construction held a hearing on the measure Wednesday and moved it forward to the full Ways and Means Committee, which is scheduled to consider it during a work session Friday.
The first of two pieces of legislation that could ultimately bring Roseburg $1.5 million for…
House Speaker Tina Kotek said in a press release that many communities across the state are working to address the needs of their unhoused neighbors.
“These communities are ready to build and we must get them this funding as quickly as possible so they can make these facilities operational by next winter,” Kotek said.
House Bill 5042 is the rebalancing measure for 2019-21, and navigation center funding for Eugene, Salem, Bend, Medford and McMinnville, along with Roseburg, are included in it.
The funding was previously in House Bill 2004, which was approved in the House Committee on Housing but referred to the Ways and Means Committee.
Companion House Bill 2006 passed through the House Committee on Housing on a unanimous bipartisan vote Tuesday and does not need to be referred to Ways and Means. It lays out the policies for the navigation centers.
State Rep. Gary Leif, R-Roseburg, worked with Kotek to obtain funding for the Roseburg project.
In an email, Leif said Roseburg faces many challenges with its unhoused and unsheltered population, and rail lines ending here contribute significantly to the problem.
“Finding proactive solutions for these people requires a strong partnership between the City and State,” he said.
He said the legislation moving forward is a great start toward a meaningful solution.
Roseburg City Manager Nikki Messenger wrote a letter to Kotek in an effort to secure funding, and Roseburg Homeless Commission Vice Chairperson Mike Fieldman also worked with Leif and Kotek on the effort to secure funding.