The City of Salem is proud to announce the official roll-out of its latest effort in working to address issues related to homelessness. The Salem Outreach and Livability Services (SOS) team is actively working in the community with people experiencing homelessness and surrounding neighbors.
Funding for the team was included in the City’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget, thanks to a $10.5 million State Sheltering Grant, of which $1.098 million was allocated to the General Fund for use in creating this team.
The seven-person SOS team consists of:
- Team Lead who coordinates team activities, supervises all aspects of work, and coordinates with other agencies/resources.
- Two dedicated Salem Police Officers who work with persons who are unsheltered by providing referral assistance, respond to criminal complaints, provide safety to staff, and post notices when required.
- One Public Works coordinator.
- Three sanitation staff members to collect and remove waste.
Within the first week of operation, the SOS team collected seven tons of garbage and waste while providing outreach and connecting with individuals with needed services. Sanitation and hygiene efforts in public areas are vital to ensure health and livability of our outdoor spaces.
Salem encourages anyone experiencing housing issues to contact social service providers to help identify any available resources and housing solutions in our community.
For more information about the new SOS team, contact Gretchen Bennett, Unsheltered Residents and Houselessness Liaison at 503-540-2371.