As we learn of new events you may be interested in, we will try to keep you posted. If you have an event that would be appropriate for us to share please let us know.


Please Save the Date! 


Announcing the

2019 OCHH Annual Conference


"A Place to Call Home"



September 25 & 26, 2019* 

(We will have an early registration check-in event, beginning at 6:00pm, September 24th. Please join us!)

(*please see conference updates below)




 We will be returning to the beautiful

Resort at the Mountain in Welches, OR. 

Come for the education, networking and fun...stay and be rejuvenated by the peaceful feel of the resort!

Watch for information to come and when to begin booking your room at The Resort at The Mountain for September 25-26, 2019.



Thank you to everyone who attended the 2018 OCHH Conference. It was a wonderful success thanks to all of the participants and our fabulous keynotes and presenters!  ​


Conference Updates

*OCHH is doing something new this year. We have changed our format and will now offer two full days of our conference.

We will have an early registration check in set up at our opening event, the evening of September 24th, beginning at 6:00pm. We hope you can join us for an evening of networking, music &, of course, food!


Conference Registration


Registration Form for OCHH Conference Will be Available at Later Date for 2019 !!


Please click on the link  - 




Call for Presenters 2019! 



Thank you for your proposals! You are the heart of what makes this conference so great!


Please click on the link below to access the "Call for Presenters 2019" submission form:


2019 Keynote Speakers




2018 Keynote Speakers


Joshua Groesz MS

Social Services Director

Cascade Division

The Salvation Army


At 17, Josh joined the Oregon Army National Guard and was later attached to the First Calvary Division in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After six years of service, he earned a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling to become a National Certified Counselor. Professionally, he spent two years as the program director for the Military Helpline, a 24-hour crisis line for veterans, and over 5 years of teaching experience from Portland Community College and Clark College. Currently, he is the Social Services Director for The Salvation Army’s Cascade Division and provides consultation for all Salvation Army shelters in Oregon and Idaho. Previously, he spent two years as the Executive Director of The Salvation Army’s Veterans and Family Center, a transitional and permanent housing facility for veterans and their families. He spends his down time with wife, Chrissy, and two daughters, Mia and Simone. 



Tyrone Poole

President & Founder



Tyrone Poole, founder of, didn’t develop his concept in a sleek Silicon Valley incubator. He developed it in a Portland homeless shelter, as a resident. Nine years ago, while training to become a fireman, Tyrone suffered a serious leg injury that put him in a hospital bed for nine months and on crutches for nearly a year. Upon his release he had lost everything. He was evicted, his car had been repossessed, and he had incurred over twenty thousand dollars in medical debt. After months of couch surfing he found himself checked in to the YWCA homeless shelter. This is where NoAppFee was founded. He worked as a housing advocate for the shelter, whilst being a resident, to find low income and homeless families’ places to live. 



Kenny LaPoint, Assistant Director, Public Affairs for Oregon Housing and Community Services


Kenny has over 13 years of housing and community development experience. Prior to his service with the State of Oregon, Mr. LaPoint spent six years as the Housing and Resident Services Director for Housing Works, the Central Oregon Regional Housing Authority. Mr. LaPoint also served for over three years as a Homeownership Counselor for NeighborImpact, Central Oregon’s Community Action Agency.  Other prior service includes Co-Chair of Central Oregon’s Homeless Leadership Coalition (the region’s Continuum of Care); a member of the City of Bend’s Affordable Housing Committee, President of the Cascade Chapter of NAHRO (National Association of Housing Redevelopment Officials), Neighborhood Partnership’s Board of Directors, member of the Community Advisory Council for Central Oregon’s Coordinated Care Organization and one of the founding members of Icon City, a Central Oregon non-profit organization. 



 Conference Sponsors


We would love your support. If you would like to be a conference sponsor or would like more information please click on the link below. You may also contact us via information available on this website. Thank you!


Sponsorship Request Letter 2018


OCHH Sponsorship Letter


Red Diamond Sponsors


Diamond Sponsors


Alexandrite Sponsors

Fire Opal Sponsors

Scholarship Sponsors

Conference at a Glance

Please click link below -


2018 Conference At A Glance
2018 Conference At A Glance-F.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [162.8 KB]


SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery


SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR) is an approach that helps states increase access to mainstream benefits for people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness through strategic planning, training and technical assistance. (See workshops below for more information) For more information on SOAR Works click link below:




2018 Conference Workshops & Presenters



Aimee Walsh, Direction Service


The Youth House: A Collective Impact Response to Support Unhoused and Unaccompanied Youth in Our Community


As member organizations of The 15th Night collective impact initiative in our community, Direction Service, St. Vincent de Paul, and Hosea Youth Services united to develop an innovative program to provide transitional housing via independent studio apartments situated in a house like environment, along with mentoring, skill-building and high-fidelity wraparound planning. Unaccompanied youth between 16-18 are provided any needed supports and services to ensure successful transition into independent adulthood.


Aimee Walsh has been with Direction Service for nineteen years and is currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer. She previously served in several roles, including Director of Family Services for more than ten years and launched the Wraparound Facilitation program for children and youth with significant behavioral health needs almost four years ago. Aimee received an M.S. in Special Education at the University of Oregon where she conducted research in the areas of family involvement and collaboration. She has spent nearly two decades studying, working and advocating for children, youth and families who experience disability or special needs.


Josh Frank is the Project Coordinator with Hosea Youth Services. Josh attended the University of Oregon where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. A native of Eugene, Josh is dedicated to caring for the wellbeing of its citizens.


Eileen Chanti holds a Masters in Teaching, with a focus in teacher leadership and educational equity from the University of Chicago. While living in Chicago, Eileen worked within Chicago Public Schools as a teacher and teacher leader. Prior to taking on the role of Youth and Family Services Director at SVDP, she was the director of First Place Kids, First Place Family Center’s trauma-informed early childhood program for homeless children and their families. First Place kids serves over 130 kids a year and is open Monday through Friday, ensuring that young children and their families have the support and care necessary for equitable outcomes compared to their housed peers. As the Director of Youth and Family Services for St Vincent de Paul of Lane County, Eileen oversees First Place Family Center, a homeless family day center, the Night Shelter Annex for Families, and the Youth House for girls.


Dan Bryant, SquareOne Villages


It Takes a Community to Build a Village


Using tiny homes for affordable housing is about much more than saving money by building small. A successful village of tiny homes takes a community to build it AND building a community among the residents that live in it. Building community with tiny homes is a real solution to the affordable housing crisis.


Dan Bryant is a minister of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Eugene, Oregon and the Executive Director of SquareOne Villages, a non-profit that he helped to establish that creates self-managed communities of low-cost tiny homes for people in need of housing. He has received awards from Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, the Jewish Federation of Lane County, Catholic Community Services, the United Way of Lane County, the Eugene Human Rights Commission, Pineros y Campesinos Unidos, the Nobel Peace Laureate Project and the Lane County Chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.


Jimmy Jones, The ARCHES Project, Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency


Using Coordinated Entry in a Co-Location Environment: Bridging a High Needs Housing Program with an Integrated Service Model


The ARCHES Project is the point of entry for the City of Salem's high needs chronically homeless housing project, dedicated to housing 160 of the highest needs clients in the community. The Project also opened a new day center dedicated to providing the chronically homeless with integrated services from many agencies across the Social Domains of Health. This presentation is the story of the deliberate connections between our housing program, assessment protocols, and service strategy.


Jimmy Jones is the Director of the ARCHES Project in Salem. He designed the Coordinated Entry model in use across the Rural Oregon Continuum of Care and manages 22 grants for 14 housing programs in Marion and Polk Counties. He is also the lead for the Cascade VAT Team, which looks to house the most vulnerable, long term chronically homeless in the Salem area.


Breezy Aguirre is the Coordinated Entry Specialist and Program Manager at the ARCHES Project in Salem. She oversees the development and implementation of Coordinated Entry across much of Oregon, and personally leads the Marion-Polk Coordinated Entry Project.


Ashley Hamilton is a Program Manager at the ARCHES Project in Salem. She manages the Cascade Housing Project, an innovative rapid-rehousing approach to chronically homeless clients in Marion and Polk Counties. She manages the ARCHES Project in Polk County, and designed the innovative co-located Day Center Project based on the Social Determinants of Health, at the ARCHES Project in Salem.


Shyle Ruder, Fair Housing Council of Oregon


Fair Housing and Disability


Fair Housing laws protect people from illegal discrimination in housing. Individuals with disabilities qualify for certain protections when disability creates a housing barrier. This workshop includes:
• Fair Housing Basics
• The protected class of disability
• Reasonable Accommodations and Modifications
• What housing providers need to consider to determine what is reasonable


Shyle Ruder is the Education and Outreach Director at the Fair Housing Council of Oregon. Prior to her work at FHCO, Shyle worked in HIV/AIDS Services for 17 years with 14 of those years focused on housing services for people living with HIV/AIDS. As part of that work, she has taught about Fair Housing rights since 2006. Shyle served on the Renters Education Alliance Committee for seven years and helped develop the Rent Well tenant education series, an intensive 15-hour course designed to teach individuals their rights and responsibilities as renters. She recently graduated PSU with a Master’s degree in Postsecondary Adult Continuing Education.


Alison McIntosh, Neighborhood Partnerships and the Oregon Housing Alliance


Creating change through State Legislative Advocacy and Strategic Communications


The 2019 Oregon Legislative session will be critical for housing advocates as they seek to address big housing issues facing people across Oregon. Join this session to get the scoop on what's being proposed in Salem for 2019, how you can participate, and become a more effective advocate.


Alison serves as the Deputy Director for Policy & Communications where she leads the work of the Oregon Housing Alliance, a legislative advocacy coalition working to ensure all Oregonians have a safe and stable home. From 2014-2016, Alison served as the Government Relations and Communications Liaison at Oregon Housing and Community Services, where she helped lead the agency's legislative work and served as the agency Spokeswoman. Alison served at NP from 2006 - 2014, and in that role worked on advocacy, communications, and policy analysis. She coordinated the work of the Housing Alliance and advised NP's initial work on asset building. Alison began working for non-profit organizations in 2001 as a community organizer in Minnesota. After moving to Portland in 2003, Alison gained experience in local housing issues as a volunteer and Board member for the Portland-based Community Alliance of Tenants. She holds a BA in Political Science from Macalester College in Minnesota.


Dylan Weil, Community Outreach through Radical Empowerment (CORE)


Best Practices for addressing the needs of homeless young adults


A discussion of youth and young adult homelessness with a focus on 16-24-year olds in Lane County. Thousands of youth and young adults in Oregon are not receiving the care, attention, and services they need in order to lead happy and healthy lives. What can we do as a community to better meet the needs of young people in Oregon. Specifically, we will talk about what these efforts look like through the lens of an emerging non-profit. We will explore the stigmas surrounding youth homelessness as well as the reasons why specified programming is necessary to meet the needs of a broad population. The purpose of this is to engage and encourage conversation about what our community can do to better serve our young people.


Dylan Weil, CORE Outreach Director, recently moved from his hometown of Seattle to Eugene. He has been working in the social and human services field for over three years with a background of agriculture, food service, and photojournalism. He studied photojournalism at Western Washington University and social justice at Fairhaven Interdisciplinary College. He has worked as a Lead at a crisis intervention center for young adults supervising overnight staff at an emergency shelter. He has also worked in drop-in centers, outreach programs, and transitional living facilities. Recently Dylan has co-founded Community Outreach through Racial Empowerment, a non-profit organization based out of Eugene dedicated to supporting, advocating, and empowering young adults. In addition to CORE Dylan works as a Food Services Coordinator at a local youth non-profit in Eugene.


Brittney Ferara is a native Seattleite. She moved to Eugene OR in August of 2017. She has been working in the social and human services field for ten years. She has worked as a shelter worker, drop-in staff, case manager (housing, employment, CESC, education, shelter, etc.) as well as a program manager of a crisis intervention center where she supervised shelter, drop-in, outreach workers and case managers. Brittney has primarily worked with homeless youth and young adults as well as families. When Brittney moved to Eugene she helped co-found Community Outreach through Racial Empowerment, a non-profit organization based out of Eugene dedicated to supporting, advocating, and empowering young adults. In addition to CORE Brittney works at a local Eugene nonprofit as the Outreach Coordinator.
Brittney also has a bachelor’s of social and human services with a focus on social justice from the Evergreen state college in Olympia, WA.


Layni Campbell, Looking Glass Community Services


Intersections of Runaway & Homeless Youth and Sex Trafficking-how trauma effects our choices


Runaway and Homeless Youth are extreme risk for being trafficked almost immediately finding themselves on the streets. Learn about Oregon state law regarding this hard to work population and the realities they face on the streets and in the juvenile justice system.


Layni Campbell, Trafficking Prevention Specialist, has experience working with Runaway and Homeless youth, street outreach and trafficking prevention. She is a community educator and advocate for disenfranchised communities. Her position was the first of its kind working with youth in Lane County.


Tricia Ratliff, Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action's HOME Youth & Resource Center


Challenge Accepted: Addressing Youth Homelessness Begins with 100 Days


100 days; 3 months give or take. What’s possible in 100 days? Join a few of the Marion County team in reviewing the Challenge structure, successes, lessons learned, and tips for beginning a similar initiative. Hear about next steps, an option for localized TA, and have opportunity to ask questions.


Tricia Ratliff is the Program Director for Community Action's HOME Youth & Resource Center in Salem, Oregon. She has loved the 13 years she's spent working in youth and community education, with the past 5 years being her favorite working directly with homeless youth.


Brian Schimmel, Old Town Forest Grove, Forest Grove Temporary Emergency Shelters


Innovative Resourcing: Best Practices for University Partnerships


To make sustainable, long-term change, service programs to rehabilitate the homeless need to offset costs while expanding services. Speakers will present the value of university partnerships toward human resource and service needs. Attendees will gain ideas, tips & resources for initiating and growing a partnership and strategies for university engagement.


Brian serves as Community Outreach Director for Old Town Church in Forest Grove, Oregon, and Program Director for the Forest Grove Temporary Emergency Shelters; the program operates in cooperation with the Washington County Severe Weather Shelter Response System. He also serves on the Washington County Continuum of Care (CoC) Board. Prior to this, Brian completed a 20-year career at Intel Corporation as a problem solver and global supply chain innovator.


Stephanie Stokamer is the director of the Center for Civic Engagement at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. She has worked with community organizations, faculty, and students for over 15 years to integrate and align educational objectives with addressing local, national, and global problems. She has authored numerous publications and presented nationally on civic education, partnerships between higher education and community organizations, and developing active and informed community members. She also teaches civic engagement courses, including Action for Affordable Housing.


Dana Schultz, Central City Concern


Portland's HOPE Collaborative: Lessons in A Scattered-Site, Housing-First Approach


The HOPE Program is a Permanent Supportive Housing voucher program based in Portland, Oregon serving the most vulnerable and chronically homeless individuals and families in the area. The program houses 141 people in rental homes around the metro region. We use a Housing-First approach to serve HOPE clients and have confronted the many challenges this model poses. But for the HOPE team, many rewarding lessons have been gleaned over the last couple years about implementing Housing First services which could lend some guidance to future Housing-First programs.


Dana Schultz is the PSH Manager at Central City Concern, overseeing all supportive and permanent housing programs.

Crystal McIntyre is the HOPE Program Housing Specialist for Central City Concern.

David Rugh is a HOPE Program Peer Support Specialist for Transition Projects, Inc.


Bianetth Valdez, HomePlate Youth Services


Point in Time Volunteer Training: Community Engagement through Training


Please join us for a discussion of approaches to volunteer engagement in the Point in Time Count, a review of successes and challenges in Washington County’s volunteer training and management and sharing ideas for future strategies to engage community members in the PIT!


Bianetth Valdez is currently the Outreach Coordinator with HomePlate Youth Services, a drop-in resource center for homeless and unstably housed youth in Washington County. Bianetth graduated from Portland State University with a Masters in Social Work. She also holds a Bachelor’s in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin (Go Longhorns!) She has almost 9 years of social work experience under her belt, working predominantly with low-income, minority youth. She is passionate about social and racial justice, anti-oppressive work, and housing/homelessness.
Jeanne-Marie Ritter is the Homeless Outreach Service Coordinator at Luke-Dorf Inc., a healing community, providing PATH outreach in Washington County. She has experience in crisis response and counseling, victim advocacy, and homeless outreach. She sits with people in their most challenging places, and after that crochets her cares away.


Amy Lamerson, Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio. SOAR Ohio State Lead

SOAR Oregon Review (Wednesday) SOAR Institute (All day Thursday)

SOAR Oregon Review Session: How to improve outcomes.
The SOAR Institute: What Service Providers Need to Know. Breakout sessions as follows.
Introduction to SOAR and free online course access.
SOAR Basics and What SOAR Ohio Looks Like.
SOAR Fundamentals and the Medical Summary Report.
SOAR Special Populations and SOAR, Online Application Tracking.


Amy Lamerson, MSW, joined COHHIO in September of 2016. She currently coordinates and manages the SOAR Ohio Project, which works to assist individuals experiencing homelessness with potential SSI/SSDI benefits. Amy previously worked as a Veteran’s Case Manager in the SSVF program and Housing Specialist for Faith Mission, in Columbus, OH. There, she worked in both Men’s and Women’s shelters, assisting with coordination of services in mental health, substance abuse, and rapid rehousing using the Housing First and Critical Time Intervention Models (CTI) with single adults. Amy attended the Ohio State University in Columbus for her Bachelor of Science in Social Work, Minor in Sociology with a Certification in HIV/AIDS Education. She then received an Accelerated Masters in Social Work with a focus in Administration, Policy and Clinical Diagnosis from OSU. During college, she interned for the Ohio Dept. of Health.


Marion Kotowski, Douglas County Human Trafficking Task Force, Up2Us Now Child Abuse Prevention Coalition, Mercy Foundation


Human Trafficking & High-Risk Populations: Prevent, Identify, Respond


Human trafficking is in every state, crosses every educational and socioeconomic boarder but some populations are at higher risk. This presentation will cover the pervasiveness of trafficking, rural vs. urban areas, risk factors and engaging your community to prevent, identify and respond to the incidences of trafficking.


Marion Kotowski, Violence Prevention Specialist. Marion has been working in the social service field for over 30 years. Prior to establishing and coordinating the Douglas County Human Trafficking Task Force and serving as the Violence Prevention Specialist for the Up2Us Now Child Abuse Prevention Coalition and Mercy Foundation, Marion worked with severely emotionally disturbed and abused children in residential treatment facilities and schools in northern California as a Behavior Analyst. Marion also held positions as Vice-Principal and Director of Outreach and Support Services identifying and addressing the needs of the high-risk inner-city populations as well as the unique needs of disenfranchised families in rural areas. Marion has called Oregon her home for the past 14 years and now resides in Douglas County.


Cari Debban, Bay Area First Step, Inc.


Recovery Happens: Addressing discrimination against individuals experiencing homelessness and addiction in rural Oregon


Learn the benefits of using success stories to combat prejudice against homelessness, addiction, and mental health issues. There will be a discussion about how unsubstantiated fears about the characteristics of individuals with disabilities influence the land use process. Topics include an overview of protected classes, conditional use permits, the requirement for clear and concise criteria and how they relate to typical zoning regulations and processes. Learn the importance of demonstrating community support during the land use hearing process and understand the need for reform.


Cari Debban, CRM is the Recovery Center Director for BAFS. She manages a 24-bed Transitional Housing Program and Drop-In center. Her work involves coordinating housing and services for Coos County Community Corrections, Coos Health and Wellness-Behavioral Health, DHS- Child Welfare, emergency shelter and local treatment provider consumers. She is a Certified Recovery Mentor (CRM) and a lead instructor for Recovery Happens OHA and ACCBO approved Peer Support Specialist training program, for adult addictions.

Patty Sanden, B.S. is the Finance Director for BAFS. Responsible for the organizations finances, contracts, and reporting. She has written many successful State and Federal grants. She earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. Patty helped start Coos County's first Drop-In center for homeless teens, the Maslow Project of Coos County. She is the Chair of the Local Alcohol and Drug Planning Committee.


Amanda Antenucci, Outside In


Working with Trauma Survivors to Find Stabilization in Unsafe Times


Vulnerable individuals have reported feeling increasingly unsafe in their communities, including treatment contexts. This presentation will explore how attacks on vulnerable communities impact our work with survivors. The group will also define and explore how practitioners may mirror the trauma experiences of the populations served.


Amanda Antenucci, LCSW, MAC is the Clinical Services Manager at Outside In and supervises the mental health and substance abuse treatment programs for this organization. Amanda has worked in trauma treatment in a variety of contexts including outpatient, inpatient, residential, corrections, and community-based.

Joseph Bonnell, MS, QMHP, CRC, CADC III is a counselor providing mental health and addictions treatment at Outside In. . He has experience working with youth experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities, queer and trans folk, and in HIV prevention.


Joshua Groesz, The Salvation Army


Finding strength after trauma


Everyone experiences a little or a lot of trauma in their lives. How does it destroy some, but empower others? "Finding strength after Trauma" reviews Post Traumatic Stress and Post Traumatic Growth and how both can come from a traumatic event. This workshop will present specific strategies on how to work with clients who continue to self-destruct and turn their suffering from constant crises, overwhelming stress, anxiety, and depression into motivation to continue living and enjoy their life being lived.


Joshua Groesz MS volunteers on the Board of Director's for OCHH and is one of our keynote speakers for this year's conference. Joshua holds a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Southern Oregon University and after spending two years as the Executive Director for The Salvation Army's Veterans and Family Center in Beaverton Oregon, he is now the Divisional Social Services Director for all of the Salvation Army social service programs in Oregon and Idaho. In this role, he acts a consultant for eight shelters and approximately 20 Salvation Army Corps. Prior to joining the Salvation Army, he spent five years teaching at Portland Community College and Clark College and two years as a program director for a Military helpline and trainer for volunteers taking calls on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. His wife, Christina, and two beautiful daughters Mia (7) and Simone (3) keep him grounded as he was diagnosed with PTSD after serving a one-year combat tour in Iraq.


Ryan Deibert, Joint Office of Homeless Services (City of Portland/Multnomah County)


Bringing solutions to scale: How Multnomah County is planning to produce more than 2000 units of supportive housing in the next ten years


Ending homelessness means getting real - both about best practices and about scaling to meet actual needs. This session will focus on how Multnomah County and its regional partners are getting real about supportive housing: measuring need, estimating costs, and planning to develop more than 2000 units in ten years.


Ryan Deibert began his career in ending homelessness more than 20 years ago, as a street outreach worker with a Health Care for the Homeless Clinic in Chicago. He has since dedicated his career to improving and expanding the programs and community networks that help our neighbors experiencing homelessness get back into housing and health. He's served in a range of program development, implementation and evaluation roles in Washington and Oregon, including as State lead on supportive housing programs for people living with HIV/AIDS. While at the Portland Housing Bureau, he contributed to creating A Home for Everyone - Multnomah County's CoC and community-wide initiative to end homelessness. Ryan holds a Master of Public Health degree, with a focus on social determinants of health. He currently leads strategic analysis, planning, and policy development initiatives as the Manager of Planning, Policy & Performance at the City of Portland/Multnomah County Joint Office of Homeless Services.


Connor McDonnell, Oregon Housing & Community Services


Connecting McKinney-Vento Liaisons and Continuum of Care: What do effective partnerships look like?




Connor McDonnell is a Housing Integrator with Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) where he supports homelessness and affordable housing initiatives across Oregon. He has worked as a housing case manager supporting individuals experiencing homelessness transition into permanent housing, in city government, and prior to OHCS in the local Portland HUD Field Office. He is passionate about supporting local jurisdictions, building permanent supportive housing, and ensuring that our most vulnerable residents have a safe and stable place to call home.


Jennifer McDermond, Corvallis Housing First


Case Management and Advocacy


Case Management a panel discussion: Case Management across the care continuum takes on many different facets which are influenced mainly by different agency objectives. This can cause a “gap” in services coupled with a lack of inner agency cohesion will oftentimes leave the clients and advocates with no clear path to assistance.


Jennifer McDermond, QMHA, has worked in the field of social services for over 11-years and enjoys working with those most vulnerable populations. She has obtained Bachelors degrees in Political Science, Music, and Psychology with a minor in Military Science from Oregon State University. As well as maintained continuing education CEUs in Interpersonal Neurobiology through the PCC Climb Center. She lives and works in Corvallis with her family to include 3 furry children and enjoys teaching and hosting Labyrinth walks; as well as, singing and writing for fun.


Kai River Blevins, OutServe-SLDN


Best Practices for Ensuring Access to Services for Transgender Oregonians


Having access to homeless shelters, healthcare, social services, and veterans’ benefits can be lifesaving. The gap in provider competency and ability to appropriately serve transgender people in social service environments varies wildly across the state. Come learn about transgender identities and best practices in a hands-on, inclusive environment. All that is required is for you to bring respect, a desire to learn, and the ability to assume good intentions of others. This session welcomes all learners and encourages everyone to "Be where they are at" in their understanding of transgender people. We will build in flexibility and ample opportunity for interactive dialogue


Kai River Blevins (they/them) is the Director of Education, Chapter, & Veteran Services for OutServe-SLDN, and a transgender Army veteran. In this capacity, Kai spearheads the organization's cultural competency and education platforms, manages the organization's membership associations and community partnerships, and works to ensure agents working on behalf of LGBTQ veterans throughout the country have the skills and resources they need to be successful. Kai completed their Master of Legal Studies at Willamette University College of Law, with an emphasis on gender, sexuality, and race, especially transgender legal issues. They completed their bachelor's degree in Political Science and Sociology (magna cum laude) at the University of Colorado Denver.


Mikasi Goodwin is a dedicated grassroots organizer who works with the Corvallis Transgender Support Group, The Democratic Socialists of America and Tenants United. She strives to build community organizations that directly empower poor people and give them the tools to fight back against oppression. Her most recent work has been helping found the Benton County Democratic Socialists of America and Corvallis' own tenants union, Tenants United.

Julia McKenna uses gender neutral (they/them/theirs) pronouns. Julia is originally from Pennsylvania where they got their BA in Psychology and minor in Spanish at Penn State. They worked in State College, PA for 3 years at a transitional living program for teenagers, which led them to study public policy. Julia completed their Master of Public Policy at OSU in June of 2015. Julia has content expertise in innovative housing types, community-based solutions to houselessness, and best practices for serving LGBTQ+ people experiencing houselessness.


Tim Black, White Bird Clinic


CAHOOTS: Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets, an innovative approach to mobile crisis intervention for unhoused populations.


Having access to homeless shelters, healthcare, social services, and veterans’ benefits can be lifesaving. The gap in provider competency and ability to appropriately serve transgender people in social service environments varies wildly across the state. Come learn about transgender identities and best practices in a hands-on, inclusive environment. All that is required is for you to bring respect, a desire to learn, and the ability to assume good intentions of others. This session welcomes all learners and encourages everyone to "Be where they are at" in their understanding of transgender people. We will build in flexibility and ample opportunity for interactive dialogue


Tim Black is the Operations Coordinator for CAHOOTS and has been a crisis counselor with the program since 2010. Prior to CAHOOTS, Tim has worked in outreach, case management, and crisis services for runaway and homeless youth in Lane County, as well as wilderness therapy and outdoor education.

Kate Gillespie is a LCSW and has worked for White Bird for 9 years as a crisis worker and clinical supervisor for the agency. She has worked in the mental health field for nearly two decades; her background includes working in a state psychiatric hospital, emergency department, and non-traditional therapeutic environments like wilderness therapy.


Dona Bolt, Oregon Dept. of Education


McKinney-Vento in Public Schools: Getting to Graduation


We will look at data on homeless children and youth in families, and unaccompanied homeless minors, in all parts of the state, and discuss what school district liaisons are doing to help students attend, succeed in, and graduate from school. Participants will gain familiarity with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education program, rights of homeless students, requirements of districts and sources of assistance available. Graphs and maps will help illustrate the extent of homelessness in Oregon. Examples of successes, and work still to accomplish, will also be discussed.


Dona Bolt has been State Coordinator of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Program at the Oregon Department of Education since 1987. She provides training, dispute resolution and technical assistance for school district Homeless Liaisons, collaboration with Head Start, Child Care programs and Runaway & Homeless Youth shelter providers, and program planning for education initiatives. She has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children & Youth (2001) and the Oregon Coalition on Housing and Homelessness (2013). In 2017, she received a “Mental Health Hero” award from the Trillium Family Organization.

Monica Beemer, Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP)


The Homeless Bill of Rights Campaign: Fighting the Criminalization of People who are Homeless and Poor


Through WRAP research, the Federal mass-divestment in affordable housing and subsequent massive growth in homelessness became a national discussion and target for organizing. Through street outreach and further intensive research, WRAP also began documenting the steep increase in laws across the country that criminalize people for being poor and homeless. Through 1000’s of interviews of homeless people across the country, we began to document their ideas for solutions to these violent laws. We wrote legislation, the Right to Rest Act, and began organizing from our state bases in Oregon, Colorado and California around the Homeless Bill of Rights Campaign (HBRC). As with all WRAP campaigns, the HBRC brings together grassroots, social justice groups from across the Western U.S. to build our strength and power together while organizing from the base and strengths of each of our own communities’ homeless students, requirements of districts and sources of assistance available. Graphs and maps will help illustrate the extent of homelessness in Oregon. Examples of successes, and work still to accomplish, will also be discussed.


Monica Beemer MSW, served as the Director of Sisters of the Road, a nonprofit cafe and community for people experiencing homelessness in Portland, Oregon, from 2001 to 2013 and as Station Manager of KBOO Community Radio from 2014-2017. She has served on the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP) board for the past 10 years, supporting and organizing with the Homeless Bill of Rights and other WRAP campaigns. Monica is on the National Planning Committee of the Social Welfare Action Alliance, social workers building a movement for radical social change social work in the United States. She is on the Oregon Coordinating Committee for the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. She is from both rural (Newport) and urban (Portland) Oregon.



Melanie Snippe, Samaritan Health Services – Samaritan Internal Medicine in Corvallis


Bringing Primary Care Resources to the Community – 2 Years in the Making


The Outreach clinic, formed by collaboration between Samaritan Internal Medicine, Corvallis Housing First, and Corvallis Daytime Drop-in Center continues to have a positive impact on homeless individuals and the surrounding community for the 2nd year in a row. Presentation to provide a clear picture of the benefits of bringing health resources to the community on an individual, organizational, and community-wide level. In some ways, the Outreach clinic has taken on a life of its’ own and helped everyone involved have a better understanding of what it takes to meet the needs of the homeless population in our community.


Melanie Snippe currently works as an RN Care Coordinator for Samaritan Internal Medicine in Corvallis. She pursued a career in nursing based on a desire to serve communities with limited access to health resources. She is honored to be a part of Samaritan’s Outreach Clinic initiative and believes that positive outcomes are possible for everyone with the right tools and support.

Jennifer Wilkens is an RN Care Coordinator at Samaritan Internal Medicine Clinic in Corvallis. Her background includes work on a post-op floor, and in pre-op education, and she has Bachelor's degrees in both education and nursing. She has lived all over the United States and even Europe but has chosen to call Oregon home for over a decade. She feels a deep commitment to care coordination, where she can fuse her passions for nursing and education and make a real difference in the lives of her patients. She jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this outreach program to assist individuals with navigating the healthcare system and community resources to improve their overall health.

Amaranta Lopez is a Health Navigator from Benton County Health Department, co-placed at Samaritan Internal Medicine Clinic in Corvallis. Western Oregon University graduate with a Bachelor degree in Community Health Education. Throughout her education she has volunteered in many community service projects to help the low-income population in her community. The highlight of her week is being able to make a positive change to the unhoused and/or impoverished individuals by connecting them to services.



Gissel Blanca Gonzalez, Catholic Charities, Denver Archdiocese


Trauma Informed Approach in a Low Barrier Setting

Participants will be guided through a discussion focusing on Trauma Informed Practices in a low barrier setting. Participants will be asked to contribute to definitions and share their lived experiences on this topic.


Gissel Blanca Gonzalez is a program manager of three low barrier emergency shelters for women, in the City of Denver. She is best known for implementing her vision of creating community within shelter, to help participants overcome barriers of homelessness.




OCHH Annual Awards


Do you know anyone or any organization you would like to honor? Now's the time!

We are looking for nominations for our 2018 annual awards


Nomination Information:

* Nominations for the OCHH Awards should not exceed 300 words in length

*Nominations can be supplemented with newspaper articles or public notices


Submission Deadline:

August 31, 2018


Please email your nominations to


Mail to:


P.O. Box 439

Silverton, OR 97381


Please include '2018 Award Nomination' in the subject line


Honors Given at OCHH Conference


Beverly "Ma" Curtis Award

This award is given to a homeless or formerly homeless person who has made a significant contribution to ending homelessness. This contribution can take the form of advocacy for the homeless, as a role model for other homeless people, or as a social service provider. The award is a testimony to the inspirational role that Beverly "Ma" Curtis played in the social movement to end homelessness.


2018 Winner -


OCHH Award of Merit - Individual Award

This award is given to an individual who has shown excellence in providing services to alleviate the suffering of homeless men, women, and children.


2018 Winner -


OCHH Award of Merit - Organization Award

This award is given to an organization that has shown excellence in providing services to alleviate the suffering of homeless men, women, and children


2018 Winner -


OCHH Lifetime Achievement Award

This special award is given to a person who has given outstanding service to Oregon's homeless and to ongoing support of OCHH and the OCHH conference



Fair Housing Council of Oregon


Fair Housing Exhibit

fair housing exhibit rack card.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [330.4 KB]


Fair Housing Poster theme will be announced December 2016  (Click on Link for more details)


Thank you so much for visiting the Oregon Coalition on Housing and Homelessness website.


We hope you will come back again and see what our update crew has been up to!



P.O. Box 439, Silverton, OR 97381


OCHH Board of Directors


Karolle Hughes, MBA

Independent Nonprofit Consultant



Wayne Ellsworth

Outreach Coordinator

South River Community Health Center



.Juliana Marez

MV Liaison & Indian Education Coordinator

Board Member


Joshua Groesz

Combat Veteran

Social Services Director

Cascade Division

Salvation Army

Board Member


Kenny Lowe

Housing & Choice Model Services Lead

Benton County Health Services

Board Member


Delores Burgos

Native American Youth & Family Center (NAYA)

Board Member


Jess Horowitz

Outreach Specialist

Hepatitis-A prevention

Benton County Health Department

Communicable Disease Prevention

Board Member


Additional Conference Planning Committee Members



















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