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Lighthouse Navigation Center in Bend adding behavioral health specialist to support houseless community

(Update: Adding video, comments from Cornin, city of Bend)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Deschutes County commissioners on Wednesday approved the use of a three-year grant totaling $405,000 to fund a behavioral health specialist for the Lighthouse Navigation Center.

It's part of the state funding the city of Bend received to open and run the facility.

Bend's Lighthouse Navigation Center is adding this new role to the range of services it provides.

"I think it's great. It's a great partnership with the city of Bend and Deschutes County," said Kara Cornin, the county's Behavioral Health Program Manager.

"This is a position that's going to really support our houseless community members engage in services," she added.

Cornin said the position has been in the works for over a year. It comes from a state grant the city used to open and run the low-barrier, 24- hour shelter.

City of Bend Houselessness Services Senior Program Manager Amy Fraley shared her thoughts on the position.

"This will be an additional professional support mechanism for them to access just a wider array of behavioral health services within the community," Fraley said.

Cornin explained the role the behavioral health specialist will play at the facility, operated by Shepherd's House Ministries.

"Supporting community members that are staying at the Second Street shelter and participants in the Navigation Center program, to engage in long-term behavioral health services, and supporting them getting basic needs met," she said.

"Case manager positions are often things like applying for Social Security or SNAP benefits, getting IDs -- getting the basic nuts and bolts," Cornin added.

Fraley said, "We are excited to have this available to work within the county and work with Shepherd's House to make it possible."

Article Topic Follows: Government-politics

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Kelsey McGee

Kelsey McGee is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Kelsey here.


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