City of North Bend release – Legislation proposed by Oregon Rep. Jason Kroph would build a pilot project to provide local coordination between cities and counties to tackle homelessness. The legislation would create regional collaboratives between cities and counties to address homelessness better. Coos County and the cities of North Bend and Coos Bay are among eight pilots being considered for the legislation, to be debated in the special legislative session next month. These pilot sites would each receive $1 million, over two years, as seed money to set up the programs. Rep. Kropf is developing the bill and pilot project (see with the League of Oregon Cities and the Association of Oregon Counties. While the pilot would not offer new services on its own, it would increase communication and coordination between municipalities and allow them to identify gaps in services. The program would come with four basic standards: working with regional partners, establishing oversight boards in the regions, developing a five-year strategic plan to identify service gaps, and finding ways to sustain funding beyond the two years the state will provide money. The regional collaboratives will further report back to the legislature on their progress. Last week, questions were raised at a housing legislative committee meeting on whether the collaboratives would continue funding programs after state funding ended. Ariel Nelson, a lobbyist with the League of Oregon Cities, said addressing that issue is a crucial part of the conversation with members. The state funding is similar to seed startup money, she said, and ongoing funding could look different depending on which community the programs are operating in and what level of funding is required. In creating the legislation, Rep. Kropf aid cities are in an excellent position to address zoning and planning issues while counties provide health services. Combining the expertise of both could create stronger coordination with other groups like nonprofits and faith organizations. The eight collaboratives selected for the pilots are: ● Benton County/City of Corvallis; ● Coos County/City of Coos Bay/City of North Bend; ● Deschutes County/City of Bend; ● Hood River County/Wasco; County/Sherman County/City of The Dalles/City of Hood River/Mid-Columbia Community Action Council; ● Lincoln County/Lincoln City/City of Newport/City of Toledo; ● Polk County/Falls City/City of Monmouth/City of Independence/City of Willamina/City of Dallas/Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde/Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency; ● Tillamook County/City of Tillamook/Bay City/City of Garibaldi/City of Rockaway Beach/City of Wheeler/City of Manzanita/Community Action Resource Enterprises Inc. (CARE); ● Umatilla County/City of Hermiston/City of Stanfield/City of Echo/City of Umatilla.