December 2022                                                View as Webpage

Homelessness resources and housing navigation center project designated as preferred project for bond

The Benton County Board of Commissioners voted to include funding for a homelessness services facility in the County’s planned bond measure, to be put before voters in May 2023.

The Justice System Improvement Program (JSIP) is the County’s most comprehensive approach yet to determine how best to improve Benton County’s justice system and mental health services to be equitable, effective, and safe. A top priority has been listening to and receiving feedback from community members including a series of community forums, small group presentations, and surveys this fall. Following an October 18, 2022 report on the results of a second survey, the Board directed County staff to research and present options for the inclusion of funding to directly address homelessness in the bond measure.

Program Manager Nick Kurth presented the Board with those options at a special Board meeting last month. A set of criteria for inclusion in the bond measure was presented as well as five possible funding scenarios. Criteria included alignment with previously accepted facilities recommendations from the Homelessness, Opportunity, Planning and Equity Advisory Board (HOPE) and a project that has already started to engage community stakeholders. Funding from the bond would serve as a financial catalyst rather than a full project investment and would involve outside stakeholders, supporting partnerships and collaboration with the County.

After considering several options, the Board voted unanimously in support of including funding for homelessness services facilities with a preferred partner option of the Corvallis Daytime Drop-in Center’s (CDDC) homelessness resources and housing navigation center project. Staff and guests at CDDC have been working on a plan to scale up the current Daytime Drop-in Center as well as add a respite/emergency shelter component to the facility. Working alongside community partners, CDDC is poised to seek state funds like those provided through House Bill 2006, aimed at “funding a low-barrier emergency shelter that connects individuals and families with health services, permanent housing, and public benefits.” The center would also “house diverse agencies that provide services to shelter guests as well as the greater community.”

This month, the Benton County Board of Commissioners will begin discussions about finalizing a bond measure of up to $100 million to be placed on the May 2023 ballot.

Learn more about current justice facilities or sign up to receive updates and announcements related to JSIP.

Benton County partners with community in prioritizing housing solutions, ROCKit grant program maps the way

Benton County, the City of Corvallis, Community Services Consortium, and key health and social service providers are partnering with the Community ROCKit (Resource Organizer for Communities Kit) program in the development of a coordinated entry system that connects community members to housing and services.

The collaboration comes during a critical time when COVID-19 and economic factors have only deepened an already existing housing crisis. The number of individuals experiencing homelessness in Benton County has increased dramatically (more than 95%) since 2015.

Benton County’s collaboration with ROCKit will build off the efforts of the Home, Opportunity, Planning, and Equity (HOPE) Board, a joint effort to facilitate a comprehensive, coordinated response to homelessness. The HOPE Board included coordinated entry in its recommendations to the City and County for addressing homelessness. 

Learn more about Community ROCKit partnership.

Congressman Peter DeFazio visits Corvallis and Benton County

U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio visited Corvallis on Nov. 2. The Benton County Commissioners and City of Corvallis thanked DeFazio for representing Corvallis, Benton County, and the 4th District of Oregon since 1987. The visit also gave the Commissioners and partners an opportunity to update the Congressman about the Benton County Crisis Center project. 

Learn more about DeFazio's visit.

Pictured left to right: Corvallis City Manager Mark Shepard, U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio, Benton County Commissioner Nancy Wyse

First cases of hMPXV reported in Benton County

The first cases of hMPXV (commonly known as monkeypox) were reported in Benton County last month. The Benton County Health Department does not disclose protected health information, which includes any information that could identify a specific patient. The individuals with cases are following recommendations from public health officials and medical providers.

When someone tests positive for hMPXV, the Health Department works to alert all close contacts of the individual, and provides options for testing, treatment and vaccination. While anyone can get hMPXV, risk is higher for individuals who have engaged in prolonged skin-to-skin contact with people who are infected. If you have been notified you are a close contact or are aware of someone in your social circles who has or has had hMPXV, or if you are otherwise at high risk of exposure, you should seek vaccination.

Learn more about hMPXV.

Pastega Christmas light show runs through New Year's

It's time! Bring your friends and family to enjoy the Pastega Christmas light display at the Benton County Event Center & Fairgrounds!

The light show is open from 5:00 - 10:00 p.m. through New Year's day; all day on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Although the display is FREE and non-commercial, canned food donations are encouraged for those in need in our local communities.

Learn more about the Pastega Christmas light display.

Benton County Shop with a Cop event

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office along with the City of Corvallis Police Department and Oregon State University Public Safety will be participating in the 28th annual Shop with a Cop event. 

This event brings law enforcement and social workers together creating an opportunity for children to have a positive interaction with law enforcement. Elementary-aged children are invited through local agencies including Benton County Parole and Probation and Self Sufficiency, and Child Welfare offices of the Department of Human Services. 

Last year law enforcement had the honor of taking 49 Benton County kids shopping for gifts. 

This year the goal is to raise $3,750, enough to shop with at least 75 kids. Each participant will receive a gift card to use for shopping. This program is supported entirely by donations from law enforcement and community members. 

Learn more about the event and how to donate.

Pictured left to right: Deputies Glass and Bressler

Upcoming Solid Waste Process Workgroup meetings

The next Solid Waste Process Workgroup meeting is Thursday, December 15. All meetings are held in person at the Kalapuya Bldg. located at 4500 SW Research Way, first floor board chambers or online through Zoom.

The County will continue to provide updates about the workgroup through mid-Dec. 2022. The goal of the County and the workgroup is to be transparent while working with community members, key stakeholders, and other local, state, and federal partners.

Learn more about the Solid Waste Process Workgroup

Benton County Natural Areas & Parks Director honored at Dec. 6 Board of Commissioners Meeting

Benton Natural Areas, Parks & Events (NAPE) Director Lynne McKee is retiring from Benton County on Dec. 16 after serving in her role with County since 2016. McKee brought a background in museum management and special events production to help accomplish many things during her time with the County including reinvigorating the Benton County Fair.

McKee was recognized with a Benton County Service Award at the Dec. 6 Board of Commissioners meeting. The Benton County Commissioners praised McKee's fresh ideas and skills, professionalism, work ethic, and management skills.

"We will miss Lynne's endless positivity and can-do attitude," said Benton County Administrator Joe Kerby.

Benton County Natural Areas Parks and Events focuses on nature, recreation, events, and history at areas maintained, conserved, and restored in Benton County.

Pictured left to right: Joe Kerby, Pat Malone, Lynee McKee, Nancy Wyse, and Xan Augerot.

Don’t be surprised by winter respiratory illnesses

The last few winter flu seasons have been relatively mild thanks to the precautions we took against COVID-19. This year, as we have been able to relax some of those precautions, we are seeing an increase in flu and other respiratory illnesses. In particular the respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, which poses a risk to younger children and older adults.

The good news is we already know the best ways to prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu, COVID-19, or RSV:

  • Get vaccinated for the flu and COVID-19 at the same visit.
  • Wear a high filtration mask, like an N95, when in crowded, public spaces.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough.
  • Practice frequent hand washing, and disinfect high contact surfaces often.
  • Stay home if you get sick.

Older individuals and people with compromised immune systems are at higher risk from influenza, COVID-19, and RSV. Contact your medical provider or your local pharmacy today to get up to date on your flu and COVID-19 vaccinations.

View upcoming COVID-19 community vaccination events.

Benton County is hiring!

Our featured job this month is: Primary Care Practitioner (Physician, DO, FNP, or PA)

Our Primary Care Practitioners provide high quality, comprehensive medical care and treatment to a diverse safety-net patient population in a patient-centered, team-based model with an emphasis on the prevention of disease, promotion of health, and management of chronic disease. The clinical team includes certified medical assistants, RN care coordinators, clinical pharmacists, health navigators, and behavioral health consultants.

View our current openings

Benton County is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission or access to our programs, services, activities, hiring and employment practices. 


Benton County Public Information Office

541-766-6800 |

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