By News-Register staff • 

YCAP adds shelter beds for winter; motel program extended

The Yamhill Community Action Partnership will continue its COVID-19 motel shelter project through the winter as well as strengthen other components of its county-wide winter sheltering plan for people experiencing homelessness.

YCAP and various partners have increased the number of shelter beds available this winter from 326 to 400. A count in January found 243 people were living in shelters and 277 were living on the streets.

The motel shelter project began last winter and re-adjusted in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to provide unhoused people who are medically fragile with safe, non-congregate shelter.

People enrolled in the motel program also work with YCAP, the local housing authority and other organizations to create exit plans and enter into long-term housing outside of the program. The program has had a 68% success rate transitioning people, many of whom have experienced chronic homelessness, into permanent housing, according to a YCAP press release.

On Monday, the state Legislature approved $35 million to purchase and retrofit hotels as emergency homeless shelters statewide. The money will allow YCAP to extend its motel shelter program through March 2021.

YCAP also received additional funding through the Oregon Health Authority for winter motel shelter beds specifically for Black, Indigenous and people of color who are unhoused and at greater risk of contracting COVID-19.

Additionally, through sub-granting of State Homeless Assistance Program funds, YCAP is helping two partner shelters increase their number of beds available during inclement weather.

YCAP will also continue its police partnership program in the winter, which allows police to give immediate motel vouchers for one to three nights to people who are at risk of cold exposure or other harm. Officers also follow up with YCAP for coordinated entry screening.

YCAP employees also visit meal sites, drop-in centers and other places where unhoused people gather to conduct assessments and shelter placements.

Individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Yamhill County can connect through YCAP’s coordinated entry system at www.anydooryamhill.org, or by phone at (503) 687-1494 for information or referral to a shelter.

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