One-woman roadshow tries to convince Linn, Benton cities to join homeless effort

From the Albany Democrat-Herald and the Corvallis Gazette-Times:

Pegge McGuire (CSC Executive Director) is a woman on a mission. 

She’s the face of an effort to have three counties — Linn, Benton and Lincoln — break away from a bunch of rural counties currently grouped together, all vying for whatever is leftover in homeless dollars that are mostly targeted for more urban areas, such as Portland.

She contends that if the three counties bond together to form their own entity, more money would flow to the homeless service providers in their areas who need them most.

It’s a theory that’s worked out in real life for nearby Marion and Polk counties, which broke free from the “Rural Oregon Continuum of Care,” or ROCC, pronounced “rock,” in 2019.

Part of the “glide path” the counties to the north provided include getting resolutions of support from all the city councils and county commissions, to show HUD everyone’s on board.  

That has McGuire on a three-county tour. She’s got a slide presentation and talking points, and about a dozen more governing bodies to visit before year’s end.

Overwhelmingly, most elected officials have received her warmly and responded with resolutions of support. Even skeptical city officials, like those from Monroe, could be convinced, she said.

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