CURRY COUNTY, OREGON
The Curry County CHIP Coalition is comprised of a diverse group of community members and partner organizations working across various sectors to improve the health of all the communities in Curry County, Oregon. We invite you to attend the next Coalition meeting.
The CHIP Coalition is made up of 7 Workgroups to address the 7 CHIP Focus Areas. This issue's Newsletter features the activities of these Workgroups:
Access to Healthcare Workgroup
Curry County Suicide Awareness and Prevention Council Veterans Task Group Work in Progress
Four training efforts were accepted and are currently works in progress for our Curry County Suicide Awareness and Prevention Council's Veterans Task Group members:
Develop “Question, Persuade, Refer” (QPR) Suicide Prevention Trainings and Presentations for Mental Health Awareness Month with Community Partners working toward a monthly opportunity for QPR trainings and other information-packed presentations such as information regarding Moral Injury Group Development.
A minimum of Veterans Task Group Members, under the direction of Pastor Michael Lancaster will be trained by the end of April by National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Multnomah and the Veteran’s Administration (VA) as the group develops a local Moral Injury Group for Curry County Veterans.
"The Trifecta of Trauma: Cognition, Mood and Behavior Changes following a Critical Incident" (presented by Cinnamon Reiheld.) Five Veterans Task Group members were able to take this training. We will develop Trauma Informed Care Training opportunities in the near future.
Power of Ten Peer Support Specialist trainings are ongoing and we will develop a local Veterans and Family Members Peer Support Specialist Workforce for Curry County.
Housing and Homelessness Workgroup
Our Workgroup has been meeting monthly to gain a better understanding of the landscape of housing in Curry County, from partners who primarily work with people requiring supportive or subsidized housing.
After reviewing a housing needs assessment produced by the City of Brookings, and a housing study for all of Curry County, we concluded that increased development of supportive and subsidized units is desperately needed – no surprise there.
Our Workgroup suggested we team up with our CHIP Behavioral Health Workgroup to form a joint CHIP Workgroup, as both groups realized a great deal of alignment and, in some cases, overlap in the work we are doing and the clients we serve. This joint Workgroup meets quarterly to gain a better understanding of those alignments and to decipher where redundancies or overlap may be occurring in our community, and how to maximize our collective subject matter expertise for the greater good.
The result of this joint Workgroup has created a better understanding of the work we do in our community and who we serve so as to better direct clients to services available to them and the eligibility criteria for those services.
The Curry County Homeless Coalition, a member of both Workgroups, is developing a plan of action to acquire a large parcel, located in the county. The parcel houses a decommissioned school, with existing buildings totaling up to 20,000 square feet of structures, and 7.3 acres of land. We are proposing to use some of Curry County’s ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) fund allocation to purchase the property.
With the passage of HB 2100 in the recent legislative session, our plan is to apply to OHCS (Oregon Housing and Community Services) for funds to rehabilitate the existing buildings into emergency and transitional housing, with onsite physical, mental, and oral health services.
This project would serve our unsheltered community members who need somewhere to stabilize, establish healthcare providers, and gain access to myriad support services with the goal of transitioning into long-term, safe, stable housing.
Housing provided would be emergency and transitional in nature, giving a household up to two years to achieve client-centered goals, stabilization and improved social determinants of health.
This housing project will change the overall social services landscape in Curry County by providing wrap-around support services for families and individual households living in places not meant for human habitation, such as garden sheds, vehicles, RVs, tents, and in some cases completely unsheltered.
A phased project
This project will require a phased-in approach to be successful.
Phase I is acquisition of the property, major clean-up of the surrounding acreage, and obtainment of a conditional use permit to operate an encampment complete with congregate sanitation, kitchen, and other infrastructure to support temporary residency.
Phase II of the project is to establish historic preservation status of the buildings, design and rehabilitation of the existing buildings. Phase III is to establish operations of emergency and transitional housing.
Our proposal for Phase I of our project will go before the Curry County ARPA Advisory Council for consideration in August of this year.Our initial operations plan is to contract with an experienced provider in our region for 18-24 months. This will allow time to build capacity to operate the project using local trained staff and administration.
This project will be successful if our CHIP Workgroup members come together to address the various aspects of need, i.e. food, housing, healthcare security. In order to see this project through we will be reliant on partners like Coast Community Health, AllCare, Advanced Health, Law Enforcement, South Coast Food Share, Oregon Coast Community Action, United Way of Southwestern Oregon and more.
We look forward to supporting a positive collective impact on our whole community.
Youth & Seniors Workgroup
Every Child Curry - My NeighbOR
Since April of 2020, Every Child Curry has been hard at work to help provide for the increased tangible needs of vulnerable children and families in the foster system. As of July 2021, foster/resource families in Curry, as well as anyone with an open ODHS case, or NOW Kinship families (anyone raising a family member outside of the ODHS system), can use the link below to request needed items. Community members can also sign-up to be a My NeighbOR supporter and help donate needed items when able.
Become a My NeighbOR supporter to help provide tangible items (diapers, wipes, bedding etc) to children & families in need. Sign up at:
Youth and families in the foster system, as well as any kinship families (raising a relative outside without an open DHS case) can request needed items here:
Extra grocery money for families for days when kids are not in school or in remote learning
Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) is part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. P-EBT is money for buying food at home for students.
Oregon is sending P-EBT to families with eligible students this summer. The grocery money is to make-up for meals students missed while schools and childcare were closed part-time or full-time during the 2020-21 school year. You can still get “grab-and-go" or summer meals from the school while receiving P-EBT.
P-EBT is a program in partnership with the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE).
Student Support Specialists and Trauma Informed School System Project
This grant funded project has its roots in discussions with school districts in 2020. Due to the COVID pandemic, the need for trauma intervention rose while the funding for this three year pilot program decreased as revenue declined. It was determined that the immediate need for trauma support in every school with a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Trauma Informed person must be addressed and that the project itself must also continue.
South Coast Educational Service District (SCESD) began collaborating with the University of Oregon’s Oregon Research Schools Network (ORSN) to help build a sustainable research practice partnership across the south coast helping local schools to improve their trauma-informed practices. The ORSN has partnered with Dr. Jeff Todahl from UO’s Center for the Prevention of Abuse and Neglect (CPAN) to contribute his expertise around trauma and healing. This collaborative has been working with south coast school districts since September, 2020 and is helping to train and support approximately 50 Student Support Specialists who are supporting students across all area schools.
These Student Support Specialists were engaged as part of the states grow-your-own educator model, recognizing a shortage of available school counselors and mental health providers in the three south coast counties the SCESD serves. In part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and schools moving to online and hybrid learning, this program has incorporated some innovative approaches in training and supporting these Student Support Specialists, including the use of live virtual meetings and a secure online platform to access video-based micro-professional development modules, and additional digital media and resources.
This partnership is also piloting a new program, working directly with local area districts and schools, including Central Curry and Coquille School Districts, Sunset School, North Bay Elementary, and Hillcrest Elementary. The program will help develop trauma-informed school systems that will be integrated school-wide, looking to improve upon existing classroom practices, discipline systems, and administrative policies. This pilot project focuses on building sustainable partnerships with school leadership to facilitate their own growth and progress towards creating unified trauma-informed school systems to better help students heal and stay on track towards academic success.
These efforts will help foster learning and the social-emotional development of students impacted by these programs, and will ultimately benefit south coast families and communities for years to come.
For more information on this partnership
please contact Dawn Granger.