(1) As used in this section, homelessness means the lack of a decent, safe, stable and permanent place to live that is fit for human habitation.
(2) The Legislative Assembly finds and declares that:
(a) Homelessness is a detriment to individuals, families and communities. The effects of homelessness impact quality of life, productivity and self-sufficiency, career and educational opportunities, health and wellness. Those effects may also extend to future generations.
(b) Preventing and ending homelessness is important for all levels of government, business and the community.
(3) The Housing and Community Services Department and the Department of Human Services shall serve as the lead agencies in administering the state policy regarding homelessness.
(4) It is the policy of this state that the Housing and Community Services Department, the Department of Human Services, the Oregon Housing Stability Council and the Community Action Partnership of Oregon work to encourage innovation by state, regional and local agencies that will create the comprehensive and collaborative support system and housing resources vital for a successful campaign to end and prevent homelessness. The comprehensive and collaborative support system should include, but not be limited to:
(a) The redesign of existing response systems to homelessness to include a realignment of services with permanent housing.
(b) The inclusion of community-based treatment, outreach services, early intervention strategies, housing and service management and an interagency system that can address individuals with compound needs.
(c) The coordination of multiagency services provided to people with chronic needs, older adults and homeless and runaway youths, including but not limited to criminal justice, housing, public welfare, health, mental health and youth and family services, to create integrated and cost-effective programs that deliver housing and service needs of homeless persons in a seamless and timely manner.
(d) Programs of care for the homeless that have an accompanying set of outcomes to increase accountability and further development of more effective methods in reaching client outcome goals and cost effectiveness. Outcomes for increasing the accountability of programs of care for the homeless include shortening the length of stay in emergency housing, eliminating repeated periods of homelessness and addressing the issue of homelessness in all areas of the state.
(e) An individualized approach to the homeless person that includes an assessment of individual needs, identification of appropriate solutions that may include services, coordination and cost-effective use of support across agencies and appropriate monitoring and evaluation of the homeless persons individual progress. [2009 c.407 §1; 2015 c.180 §20]
Note: 458.528 (Policy on homelessness) was enacted into law by the Legislative Assembly but was not added to or made a part of ORS chapter 458 or any series therein by legislative action. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.