A number of the implementation items that came out of the Downtown Task Force are occurring at ARCHES. These include expanded day room space, showers, 24/7 restroom facilities, laundry, and storage. Construction is expected to be complete in September 2019.
The City and ARCHES will continue to partner on further expansion of service hours throughout the fall. As expanded service hours are added, ARCHES may take on the role of being the primary non-emergency contact for questions or issues relating to homelessness.
ARCHES staff, HomeBase Shelters of Salem, and volunteers from the homeless community, have developed a Pocket Guide for Homeless in Salem that is by the homeless for the homeless. This compact, foldable handout identifies resources, service providers, and meal locations, and is a new, excellent tool for the homeless community as well as downtown businesses. Additionally, ARCHES staff and volunteers are performing daily morning walk-throughs of the downtown corridor to route overnight campers (on sidewalks, in alleyways, in doorways) to help from service providers (ARCHES/HOAP/UGM).
United Way has produced a Mobile Hygiene Unit to be operated by ARCHES that will frequent areas with a high density of unsheltered populations to provide basic need services.
United Way is also working on a tiny home project and portable showers to meet the needs initially of seniors, women, and veterans. The goal is to build 1,000 affordable housing units (200-350 sq. ft.) in Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties by 2030. These tiny homes will have a maximum rental rate of $350/month and an estimated per unit cost of $70,000 (includes land, fees, and construction).
Union Gospel Mission
A new site at 700-800 Commercial St NE and 253-275 Division St NE was recently approved and a Riverfront Downtown Urban Renewal Area grant was issued in June 2019 for this project. The new site will expand UGM dining capacity from 72 to 232 seats and 220,000 meals annually (a 36% increase). It will also increase shelter capacity from 150 to 300 beds (116% increase in annual nights of shelter). It will also include recovery and education services.
Police behavioral health detachments
The Salem Police Department has officers who are specially trained to help people experiencing a mental health crisis. These officers also work with agencies in both Marion and Polk Counties.
The City of Salem partners with the City of Keizer to receive and distribute federal grants that fund a wide range of activities that build, buy, or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or homeownership. These grants also providing direct rental assistance to low-income people.
The City of Salem has programs to assist with utility and sewer bills, and awards roughly $400,000 each year in grants to local non-profits that provide emergency or essential services to the most vulnerable populations with the highest need.
2-1-1 Information and referral service
2-1-1 is a free, confidential referral and information helpline to connect people of all ages to financial, domestic, health, or disaster-related services. These services are offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
CDBG awards from the City go to local non-profits that provide emergency or essential services to the most vulnerable populations with the highest need.
HOME Investment Partnership Program
The HOME Program provides formula grants that communities use (often in partnership with local nonprofit groups) to fund a wide range of activities including building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent, homeownership, or providing direct rental assistance to low-income people.
Marion-Polk Food Share
Food assistance provided through Marion-Polk Food Share and other communmity organizations helps those in our community who often have to choose between rent and groceries.
Following the recommendation of the Mid-Valley Homeless Initiative, the City of Salem contributed $45,000 toward the hiring of a regional coordinator at the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments. This person is responsible for planning and coordinating programs and projects to prevent and reduce homelessness with our region's cities, counties, agencies, and services providers.
Continuum of Care
The Mid-Valley Homeless Initiative is leading efforts to establish a local Continuum of Care to improve service delivery, coordination, and data gathering, with the dual goals of better meeting the needs of our community and securing additional federal funds to provide more services. Council passed a resolution supporting the creation of a local Continuum of Care on June 10, 2019.
Downtown Homeless Solutions Task Force
The Task Force included City leaders, business owners, service providers, property owners, residents, and advocates for the homeless. They worked together to identify specific, measurable, time-bound solutions to make downtown Salem inviting and welcoming to all Salem residents and visitors. The Task Force completed its work by developing a number of recommendations the summer of 2018. An implementation plan was presented to Council at a work session in February 2019.