After five months of adjusting to operations during the pandemic, we wanted to provide an update on our programs and services with an emphasis on how COVID-19 has impacted our organization.
NHA COVID-19 Update
- Despite the challenge of working during the pandemic, our Homeless Intervention Services staff has continued to successfully place 14 families experiencing homelessness into permanent housing since April. The average stay for families at the Annie Ross House family emergency shelter has decreased by one day since the beginning of the pandemic.
- Because of the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Umatilla County, we have heightened our protocols at our 94 units in Hermiston and are ready to implement plans to protect the health of our residents and staff.
- To date, we are pleased to report that we still do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 among NHA residents or staff.
- While fundraising during the pandemic has its challenges, we are grateful for our foundation partners that have provided COVID-19-related funds that help us continue our mission during these challenging times. Thank you to the Oregon Community Foundation, Care Oregon, the Yarg Foundation, the Spirit Mountain Community Fund, Banner Bank, Wells Fargo, and the Oregon Health Authority.
- Thanks to generous funding from the Yarg Foundation, we are excited to announce that NHA will provide a rent assistance fund for households struggling to pay rent because of the pandemic. Oregon has extended its eviction moratorium until September 30, 2020 and residents will have six months after that to repay any past due rent.
- We are thrilled to announce that a new affordable housing project in Ontario, Oregon has received 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC)–the first time in 10 years that a project in Malheur County has done so. The project will convert a former community care center into 57 units of affordable housing for individuals and families in rural Oregon.
- Our annual fundraiser, Home Sweet Home, is taking place virtually on September 17. Visit our website nwhousing.org to find out how you can participate.
- We have several new staff members to welcome: Angela Dankenbring, Shelter Engagement Specialist; RJ Datta, Shelter Engagement Specialist; Beezie Burton, Resident Services Coordinator; and Angelina Denson, Senior Housing Developer. Welcome to the team!
- NHA is committed to becoming an anti-racist organization. The NHA REDI (racial equity, diversity, and inclusion) committee is instrumental to moving this work forward. NHA staff Lisa Hayes and Katie Ash have recently stepped up to head this committee. We’d also like to recognize the outstanding leadership of outgoing REDI co-chairs Grace Badik and Liz Winchester.
Thank you for all of your support during this time, and we hope you are staying healthy and safe this summer. We know that this is a time of uncertainty and upheaval as we struggle against not only the COVID-19 pandemic but the pervasive sickness of systemic racism in our country. Anti-racism work is a top priority for NHA. Please visit our Equity at NHA page to find out more about what we are doing to dismantle racism within our organization and our work.