07-19-2018  2:52 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
Foster kids aging out
CareOregon
Published: 18 June 2018

This spring, CareOregon continued its focus on housing as a key factor for health and well-being by dedicating its most recent community giving effort to supportive housing projects. A total of $250,000 was granted to five social services organizations that provide housing directly to their clients.

The organizations include four in Multnomah County, and one based in Jackson County.

“We know that good health requires more than just good medical care,” said Pam Hester, CareOregon heath and housing program manager. “It requires that members have their basic needs met. Addressing social and economic factors that affect health, especially housing, is a requirement for good health and healthy communities. That’s why it’s so important to the work we’re doing with our partners in the community.”

CareOregon serves more than 275,000 Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) members through its affiliation with four Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs). Its vision of making health care work for everyone, regardless of social and economic circumstances, includes work to address the social and economic issues that have a major impact on community health and the entire health care system. CareOregon community grants over the last three years have totaled more than $800,000 to housing-related projects.

The grants awarded this spring include:

  • Rogue Retreat (Jackson County)—$60,000 for property leasing and program startup costs for a Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Housing program for pregnant women and mothers of children 1 year old or younger, who are enrolled in a MAT program for opioid addiction. CareOregon has previously awarded Rogue Retreat two grants totaling $45,000.
  • Bridges to Change (Multnomah County)—$51,000 to open a new residential treatment house for women with children and to provide funding for a resident services coordinator supporting several facilities. Bridges to Change serves people who are struggling with substance use disorder, mental health issues, poverty or homelessness.
  • Luke Dorf (Multnomah County)—$50,000 to double the registered nurse time for the Bridgeview Enhances Nursing Program. The program in downtown Portland offers transitional housing to people who are homeless or marginally housed, and have been diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness.
  • Transition Projects (Multnomah County)—$50,000 to support a new wellness access specialist for this program, which helps more than 10,000 people each year survive the streets, and find and retain housing. Transition Projects has previously received a CareOregon grant of $65,000.
  • Bridge Meadows (Multnomah County)—$39,000 to support key staff positions for a new program. The Dorothy Lemelson House and New Meadows Program will serve young adults 17–24, who have aged out of the foster care system, have no permanent family connections and are at risk for homelessness. CareOregon awarded Bridge Meadows a previous grant totaling $45,000.

A common element among these programs is a strong focus on interventions within “intentional community settings” that address more than just housing.

The organizations will also be coming together regularly as a group with CareOregon during the grant year to learn and share from each other.

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