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(web page updating terminated September 1, 2011, upon transfer to CARE, Inc.  See program home page)

Student Family Emergency Housing: Neahcasa years 2005 - 2011

Program Description

Program Need:

Public funding for shelter needs is severely strained.  Most publicly subsidized housing exists in mid-county with 1 to 2 year waiting lists.  And, the only county shelter has been closed due to lack of funding.  Tillamook County median income is among the lowest in the state.   At the same time, there has been a severe increase in housing costs and a loss of affordable housing to market and investment pressures. Over 50% of the student body qualifies for the student lunch program.  Today, of the 688 district students, 52 are classisfed as homeless. Related reports on homeless:

September 2008 Oregon State Department of Education articles on increased rural student homelessness: Daily Astorian 9/11/08, Oregonian 9/10/08, Oregonian 9/11/08

July 2008, Hidden Costs of the Housing Crisis by Partnership for America's Economic Success

2007 Report on Homelessness increases in Oregon Schools

Daily Astorian article on area homeless youth

Summary of housing affordability challenges to working families in Tillamook County

Our Own New Orleans in Tillamook County

The most immediate need is support of emergency housing for those families with children in the NeahKahNie School District faced with the abyss of homelessness.  Under a federal mandate to address barriers to learning such as homelessness, the District has obtained Federal funding under the McKinney-Vento Act for a part-time Family Resource Coordinator in each school to assist students and their families in finding school supplies, services, clothing, food, jobs and housing.  Most are families including teens, working or between jobs, and simply unable to feed and shelter their families for now and need help getting through a tough place.  Our Neahkahnie School District has led the way in the county, finding grants to staff Family Resource Centers in each school, but lack the tools to address emergency housing needs in particular.

Family Resource Coordinators and Family Youth Services Team

Louise Christianson, Emergency Housing program Co-Manager Kristi Woika, Nehalem Elementary, coordinator of district Family Resource and federal programs. Melonie Ferguson, FYST coordinator
From middle left, clockwise: Emergency Housing team members Maureen Taylor and Mike Cook, and Family Resource Coordinators Terry Houskins, Garibaldi Elementary, Fredia Tosch, NeahKahNie High and Middle Schools, and Linda Hershey, Nehalem Elementary.

The specific needs identified include:

    • An expanded network of owners and landlords of existing and potential rental units who are willing to entertain flexible solutions to family shelter needs.
    • Assistance to single family and 2nd home owners in creating and making available rental units for this purpose – granny flats, RV sites, etc.
    • Financial and other support to families to help retain their existing housing.
    • Financial support to help bridge the gap between family resources and landlord needs in securing a rental agreement.
    • Access to home/budget management training and case worker support

Program Resources:

    • Advisory support of Neahkahnie School District Family Resource Coordinators
    • NeahCasa, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation formed as an affordable housing advocate for North County, to provide project management, fundraising and coordinate volunteer support.
    • Commission on Children and Families and CARE, cooperating to provide case-worker support as required
    • Legal Aid of Oregon, providing guidance regarding related State and Federal requirements
    • Funding commitment from the Meyer Memorial Trust, US Bank, Windermere Realty and individual grants totaling $25,000 for operations through the 07/08 school year

Links to individual section pages:


Housing Search and Listings
Legal Guidelines
Project Team Access

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