Homelessness Initiatives

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Hands hold a sign that states, "I need a home"

Throughout the world, homelessness is a complex societal issue that is about much more than living without a home — it's also about the causes and barriers of getting back into safe and affordable housing.  

While local governments like the City of Hillsboro and Washington County are involved in addressing the issue, it requires federal, state, and nonprofit partnerships to meaningfully address homelessness.

Homelessness is not a new issue, but as it has become more visible in our region, the City of Hillsboro has dedicated additional resources. We recognize the importance of maintaining Hillsboro's livability for everyone. 

The City is taking steps to address homelessness in our community.

Current Initiatives

Homeless Work Group


  • Gain a thorough understanding of the complexity of homelessness and how it is affecting the community.
  • Research and make recommendations on initiatives that could help individuals move forward in obtaining safe, affordable, and stable housing.
  • Put forth initiatives that help to reduce the suffering of our community members afflicted with crises resulting from mental illness, addiction, and socio-economic hardships, reduce the demand placed upon emergency services, and sustain our community livability.

Trash Bag Pilot Project

People experiencing homelessness now have a way to dispose of trash, thanks to Hillsboro's collaboration in Metro's trash bag pilot program.

The City of Hillsboro is teaming up with Metro and other government agencies to distribute empty garbage bags to those with limited access to trash disposal and collect them when full. 

Garbage bag on the sidewalk for collection

How the program works

  • The Hillsboro Police Department’s Homeless Liaison Officers distribute empty garbage bags.
  • Once filled, bags can be left in the public right-of-way, including parks, sidewalks, and any other publicly-owned property.
  • Any community member can report bags for collection through Metro's website, or by calling the number on the side of the bag: 503-234-3000.
  • Metro asks that community members do not dispose of bags themselves to ensure accurate collection data.

Metro staff will pick up all reported bags within three business days. City of Hillsboro Public Works Department staff will pick up any bags they encounter during their daily work travels.

Point-in-Time Count 2019

The Point-in-Time-Count is an annual count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons conducted by communities throughout the United States on one of last 10 days in January.

Hillsboro conducted its count on January 23, 2019. City staff and volunteers canvassed neighborhoods and invited homeless persons to participate in a short interview to share their experiences living in homelessness. We also  distributed warm hats and food.

The Point in Time Count presents a unique opportunity to raise public awareness about homelessness in our community and connect homeless individuals with vital resources. 

Information from the count is used to: 

  • Inform housing policy decisions
  • Inform funding commitments for housing and homelessness programs
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of current programs aimed at ending homelessness
  • Increase public awareness

Implemented Initiatives

  • Entered into a contract with HomePlate Youth Services to bring dedicated outreach services to Hillsboro focusing primarily on youth ages 12 to 24. 
  • The Hillsboro Police Department Crisis Intervention team, including the hiring of a new full-time Homeless Liaison Officer, will provide an organized and dedicated response for issues surrounding homeless, mentally ill and other at-risk populations. This team will collaborate with law enforcement, government service providers, non-government organizations, other individuals and groups, and our business community.
  • Participated in the 2018 Point in Time Count (PIT) and will be leading the efforts for Hillsboro in 2019. This count helps to determine the need and number of individuals living in homelessness in Hillsboro.

Funding Programs

  • Community Services GrantsA woman smiles near her front door holding keys to her new home
  • Impact Grant – focused on homelessness and housing stability
  • Affordable Housing Initiatives
  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

Local Homeless Shelters and Resources

Contact our Community Services Manager

For questions, comments, or partnership opportunities, email our Community Services Manager or call 503-681-6219.