The Mid-Willamette Homeless Initiative is a collaborative effort among the cities of Salem and Keizer and Marion and Polk counties. The task force's purpose is to identify and launch proven strategies that will reduce homelessness in the Marion-Polk county region, encompassing the cities of Keizer and Salem. Co-chairs include Salem Mayor Anna Peterson, Keizer Mayor Cathy Clark, Marion County Commissioner Janet Carlson and Polk County Commissioner Jennifer Wheeler. Task force members include business and community leaders with expertise in social services, housing, public safety, and business.
The task force focuses on the homeless problem in cities and counties; lack of affordable housing; best practices for reducing chronic homelessness; current available services; impacts on public safety and business; and potential revenue sources. Contributing factors such as mental illness, addiction, lack of education and the need for transportation, as well as the challenges of unique populations such as youth and veterans will also be addressed.
The task force meetings are open to the public.