Gorge Outreach is a new program launching in Hood River, Sherman and Wasco counties to support vulnerable unsheltered individuals through the COVID-19 crisis.
Gorge Outreach (GO) is intended to help homeless community members decrease their vulnerability to infection while also limiting transmission of COVID-19.
Seven people have been placed in hotel rooms this week under the program, and more can be taken when an additional GO staff member is hired, to help manage outreach, intake and case management, said a press release.
GO is under the umbrella of Community Action Partnership of Oregon. Local partners include the City of Hood River, Hood River County Health Department, Providence Hospital, Hood River Hotel, Columbia Gorge Food Bank, FISH Food Bank, Hood River Shelter Services, St. Vincent DePaul and others. The goal is to support unsheltered individuals and families in the Mid-Columbia to follow CDC guidelines to practice social distancing and decrease vulnerability to infection and transmission of COVID-19, according to Sarah Kellems of Hood River Shelter Services.
Priority for hotel vouchers will be individuals or households with a member who are in a high risk category per current CDC guidelines and individuals with disabilities and/or underlying health conditions. Secondary objective will be to provide linkage to emergency shelter, community healthcare, and social service resources to promote improved health and social outcomes and decrease impact of high utilization of emergency services and contacts with law enforcement agencies and first responders.
For referrals call 971-238-4438. A GO Program Coordinator will contact clients with 24 hours for an initial eligibility screening.
Gorge Outreach is also currently hiring a Hood River Outreach Facilitator. This position pays $20 an hour and is under the direction of Hood River Program Coordinator Alisa Fowler, LCSW. The position is temporary; call 971-238-4438 for details.
Primary responsibilities include data management and other paperwork, and performing street and camp outreach with a program coordinator to identify and engage eligible individuals, case management for linkage to basic needs resources such as food and health care, assist with case management, help participants with intake paperwork, and responding and attending to the needs of program participants including serving meals and pre-made meal drop off, and daily room checks and monitoring meals.
Call 971-238-4438 to discuss the referral process with a GO coordinator.