By Rosanne Marmor, LCSW

Resident Services is a powerful component of the affordable housing provided in Oregon. Resident Services responds in a variety of ways depending on the needs of residents, the resources that are available and the funding provided, along with many other factors. Staff in these departments help residents with housing stability, community connectedness, health and safety, asset building and crisis.

The Resident Services Working Group began in 2001 with five people and later became supported by (what is now) Housing Oregon. The Resident Services Working Group (RSWG) held a planning meeting in February and is excited to regain momentum. 57 people joined a second meeting on March 15 to discuss strategies for vaccinating residents against COVID working with local public health departments.

The planning group began by recognizing that the needs of residents has grown exponentially over the past four years and has only increased with the pandemic. The lack of resources throughout the state only makes referring out that much more difficult. The RSWG sees staff working hard but unable to provide the precise needs that residents have currently.

Community resources are overwhelmed, and residents needs deeper and longer services and not the typical services provided by these staffs. The consensus was that residents need universal health care, universal income and free childcare as a start. Residents need long term counseling, help living indoors (if from PSH) in community, and assistance over the long term with housekeeping or hoarding.

The Resident Services Working Group will meet 2nd Mondays monthly at 9:30 AM on Zoom in order to ensure that staff from the whole state can participate. For more information about the RSWG and to get on the contact list you can email Rosanne Marmor, LCSW at and Brian Hoop at or 503-475-6056.