A Message From The Executive Director

Recently, KGW8 wrote a story about Heartwood Commons, a Washington County-owned permanent supportive housing (PSH) building that provides deeply affordable housing and onsite supportive services to 54 residents who have exited homelessness. CPAH works with Sequoia Mental Health to support the residents there and we are proud of that work. Additionally, CPAH is also celebrating the first year of operations for The Joyce, a CPAH owned PSH community serving 66 people who have also been homeless.

These kinds of communities are critical to our efforts to end homelessness by providing people with deeply affordable permanent housing and important support to help them be successful and navigate challenges as they come. And PSH is independent living, with tenants having the rights and responsibilities of living with a lease. For many people, this is perfect, and will also prepare folks to move on to more conventional housing as their support needs decrease. KGW8 shared concerns that not all folks who are homeless could be successful in PSH, and their story was focused on an individual who lost his housing to eviction.

I understand this concern, and also, as a provider of housing and services, I get that the answer to who needs what kind of housing is complicated. But the truth is that even if we had enough housing, we would still need additional tools to end homelessness, particularly for those in our community who experience severe and persistent mental illness. Some of our community members may need a place to live that is a treatment community or facility, with more oversight available. Truly, without adequately funded behavioral health services, we will always struggle to ensure that we have what we need to address this crisis.

Permanent supportive housing is a powerful way to address homelessness. But it cannot be the only way. We need housing, and we also need residential treatment options, places for people to stay when they can’t be successful in housing for a time, places where there are services and treatment, meals and relationships, and the opportunity to heal. We definitely need it much faster than it is being built.



Warmly –

Rachael Duke, Executive Director