Homeless program fail: 250 of 300 staff left.

By Taxpayers of Association of Oregon Foundation

The Multnomah County auditor has slammed the county for mismanagement of the Joint Office of Homeless Services, including


  • High staff turnover, with about 250 people leaving over the past few years out of 300 hired;
  • Paying providers months late;
  • Asking providers to work before contracts are in place;
  • Adjusting performance measures if providers cannot meet original goals; and
  • Requiring providers to submit “equity plans”—that never got reviewed by the county.


Even worse, the audit complains that the county could not produce simple data on how many people have been housed by the Joint Office. The county’s slow-walking of providing data to its own auditor was so bad that the auditor “decided we would best serve the public interest by not waiting any longer on data requests.”


One provider is quoted as saying, “Observing from the outside, there are great people working there who are lovely to engage with one on one, but the culture seems highly dysfunctional. There’s also a lot of ‘insider’ culture and favoritism.”


The City of Portland should pull out of the Joint Office. Under it’s agreement with Multnomah County, the city can end it’s involvement by refusing to pay it’s next quarterly contribution, pay a $250,000 “break up” fee, and walk away from the disaster.