Frequently Asked Questions
- How is permanent, supported housing going to improve the lives of the homeless?
When people come in out of the cold, they use less substance. Their loneliness is also relieved. Trust is built up slowly, and with assertive case management, they are helped to access physical and mental health resources, as well as social services. Jobs programs can further move these people towards stability and self-sufficiency.
- How does the current shelter improve the lives of downtown residents and business owners?
Up to 40 individuals a night, formerly sleeping in the doorways and alleys of downtown, can be housed in our current shelter. While using the shelter, these people have reduced their substance use, received mental and medical help, stabilized their behavior, and many have moved on to more stable housing. Without our services many of these people get sicker and may even die on the street, and increase the load on the jail and emergency rooms. Local crime would be increased as people sometimes commit crimes just to be housed in jail. Additionally, without our bathrooms there would be more public urination and defecation. When the homeless are in our shelter they are not on the streets or in local neighborhoods.
- What about the safety of women?
Women are now housed in a separate building in another part of town. It is planned for their supported housing to be located very separate from the men’s housing. Paid staff and numerous cameras help ensure safety.
- If COI is providing housing for women, why is CHF trying to do the same thing?
We plan to offer a few beds for short-term emergency use for women. Sometimes COI is full. Sometimes women are still actively using substances, or have been evicted from COI due to relapse.
- How is CHF planning to end homelessness and get more people in permanent housing?
The first step is stabilization of health, behavior, and connection with physical and mental health resources, social service resources, and case management. This prepares clients for acceptance into permanent housing as it becomes available. We cooperate with the Corvallis Housing Oversight Committee to help create services for the homeless, and permanent housing options. We operate Partners Place as permanent supportive housing for up to 16 individuals. We are exploring partnerships with other organizations to create more permanent housing units, as well as building more supported housing ourselves.
- What is CHF policy on drug and alcohol use in the current building?
Absolutely no drugs or alcohol are to be possessed or consumed within any parts of our buildings. Every person asking for shelter has their possessions and clothing checked each night for drugs and alcohol. If any is found, they lose the privilege of shelter for that night. If drugs or alcohol are found later in the night, they are confiscated, and the person holding those may be evicted, and may even lose privileges for longer periods.
- Is CHF working with CARDV or COI or CSC?
Yes. CARDVA and COI have clients that relapse into substance use and then come to us. We work with CSC to transition our people into permanent housing, such as that provided by Willamette Neighborhood Housing.
- How is CHF going to address the “build it and they will come” concern?
Over the past several years we have not experienced any increase in demand for beds in either shelter operations. We serve the most vulnerable and we may use a Vulnerability Assessment Tool to make sure our beds remain for the most vulnerable of our community.
- How are you going to handle those with serious drug and alcohol addictions?
We are a Behavior Based facility, so people can stay in the shelter and housing if they follow rules of behavior. We provide case management for each individual coming into our services. We make referrals and facilitate transportation to detox facilities and substance abuse programs. We assist people obtaining health and social service benefits. We encourage 12 Step Group participation.
- What is the security going to look like? Will you have on-site security at all times?
We will have paid staff supervisors at all times when the shelter and housing is occupied. Continuously monitored and taped cameras in multiple locations have helped us the past few years greatly enhance security. We work very closely with Corvallis City police, and do not hesitate to call them for questionable behaviors inside the shelter, or even nearby outside the shelter