Marion County
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News Releases
Marion County Board of Commissioners Meets with City of Salem to Collaboratively Combat Homelessness - 01/25/22

SALEM, Ore. – Jan. 25, 2022 – Yesterday, the Marion County Board of Commissioners met with Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett and other city officials to discuss ongoing efforts between the city and county to combat the ongoing crisis of homelessness among residents.

Much of the discussion centered on securing a final $1.9 million in funding for a new low-barrier navigation center in the works in the City of Salem. The Board of Commissioners expressed interest in providing up to $3 million in federal funds to assist with the project and is continuing to work with the city on exploring additional avenues for funding. City officials are hopeful to have the navigation center operational in the summer of 2022.

“Many of the individuals experiencing homelessness in Marion County struggle with one or more issues that may prevent them from being able to qualify for stable housing,” said Commissioner Danielle Bethell. “Low-barrier housing that provides adequate resources and support to help these individuals rise above their circumstances are a fundamental piece of addressing the overall homelessness crisis facing our community.”

“The Commissioners and the Salem Mayor and officials came away with some really great goals and follow-up items. I am looking forward to our ongoing collaboration.”

For more information, contact the Board of Commissioners Office at (503) 588-5212 or email

Gates City Council Approves Variance for Tiny Home Village to Support Wildfire Victims - 01/21/22

SALEM, Ore. – Jan. 21, 2022 – On Thursday night, January 20, the Gates City Council approved a variance in the city’s code, allowing for temporary housing to support residents of the Santiam Canyon who were displaced as a result of the Labor Day 2020 Wildfires.

As part of recovery efforts, Marion County was presented the opportunity to use the former Oak Park Motel property in Gates for temporary housing use. With the variance approval, Marion County Housing Authority will now be able to manage 16 Tiny Homes occupied by wildfire survivors for a period of 3-5 years, beginning summer of 2022.

Survivors that live in these units will have the ability to work with a variety of service organizations that will assist them in finding permanent housing in a rental or ownership capacity. 

Commissioner Danielle Bethell, chair, said, “The work being done to recover the Santiam Canyon has been a tremendous and emotional lift for all. The support from the City of Gates for this temporary housing site goes to show the flexibility and desire to recover as quickly as possible and bring survivors back to their communities, where they can begin to heal together. I am grateful to Mayor Carmickle and Mr. and Mrs. Evans for bringing this concept to fruition last spring.”

Marion County is finalizing construction documents for the planned development. The variance now allows the county to acquire building permits and a water pollution control facility permit from DEQ the development’s new septic system, both of which must be acquired before construction begins. 

For more information, contact the Board of Commissioners Office at (503) 588-5212 or email">