NeahCasa's Emergency Housing Mission
Develop programs that provide compassionate, cost effective responses to those, here, in our community who are faced with life crises that require emergency housing resources.
Support existing emergency services programs with housing related assistance.
NeahCasa Response: 2005 - 2011
NeahKahNieSchool District's Family Resource Program
The district provides Family Resource Coordinators and Resource Centers in each school work to mitigate the impacts of homlessness, providing family case management and referral services, resource centers for clothing, books and other essentials, and assistance in finding housing. The program is funded under the Federal McKinney-Vento Act through the State of Oregon. The premise of the program is that a stable home life is essential to the learning environment.
In 2005, the coordinators told NeahCasa that their greatest need was emergency funds for families threatened with homelessness - evictions and utility shutoffs. In a district with 688 students, with well over 50% falling under poverty criteria and qualifying for the student lunch program, there are typically 40 to 50 students whose families fall into homelessness. This tragedy was being faced in the context of a skyrocketing recreational, retirement and 2nd home market locally which continues to eat away at the few affordable alternatives that do exist. Since 2008, the national and local economies have put even more at risk.
NeahCasa's Student Family Emergency Housing Grant Program was designed in cooperation with the district. Its first family grant was made in January of 2006. The district reports that this is the only reliable and effective tool they have in addressing homelessness itself and that the families we assist stay in the district and the kids remain in school. Corollary assistance by NeahCasa included housing search resources, leadership in bringing tenant training resources to the county, close coordination with the Northwest Oregon Housing Authority (NOHA), development of affordable housing resources and landlord assistance to those interested in providing affordable long term rentals.
CARE takes over the program: 2011
By September 1, 2011, NeahCasa and the district refined the program and established a sustainable base of community support and partners allowint the program to be adopted by CARE, Inc. Tillamook County's established, housing services non-profit. Over this six year start up period we helped 270 district youth stay in their homes and their shools.
Jay Kosik, Former District Superintendent: “NeahCasa has built a program that helps our district’s Family Resource Centers keep students’ families in their homes. We are grateful for all the efforts of this community, for NeahCasa’s contribution and now for the professional resources of CARE in helping ensure an education for our youth.”.
Women's Resource Center
Sadly, of course, domestic violence continues to be an issue in the county. NeahCasa has been privileged to help in a small way with the long-awaited new Domestic Violence Shelter. Someday we hope to help establish one in the Nehalem Bay area as well.