WRAP provides a comprehensive homeless prevention program for women with children, single women, and families who are in danger of losing their housing. Referrals are received from a variety of local sources such as the Benton County Adult Services Team. A case manager works closely with the clients to insure that rent subsidies go directly to property management and that long term self-sufficiency can be achieved.
The need is large and unaddressed. Corvallis 509J District reports that 180 individual students have inadequate housing, defined as homeless or doubled-up families. The number of families in Corvallis who are on TANF at the present time is 238. These families include 600 children. The Oregon Kids Count reports that 15.2% of the children in Benton County live in poverty.
The need is exacerbated by the lack of low-income housing. Jim Moorefield, Executive Director of Willamette Neighborhood Housing, in a talk to the City Club of Corvallis and the Oversight Committee for the Benton County Ten- Year Plan to End Homelessness said that the affordable rental vacancy rate in Corvallis is 1%.
With the shortage of affordable housing and high rates of child poverty, often families are unable to find housing in our community. We have begun a program supported by donor funds to offer a small rent stipend of $200, and a program which includes case management including advocacy for a short period of time. Our goal is to prevent families with children from falling into homelessness and to assist them toward self-sufficiency.