Employment Dept Updates and More!

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Hello Friends,

Snowy Day but still working away at Legislative meetings. Child Care and Early Learning, Education Budget, Transportation System work, and a briefing on a Conservation project: Oregon is Alive!  Finishing with NewsLetter and briefing in Summer Learning in with our schools and students!  Excellent areas of life in the Oregon landscape on many levels! Next Tuesday we will be back for Floor Session, and remote Committee meetings! 

Photos of snow on trees

2021 Session Committee Assignments 

Joint Committee On Ways and Means

Joint Committee On Transportation - Co-Chair

House Committee On Agriculture and Natural Resources

Joint Committee On the Interstate 5 Bridge - Co-Chair

Joint Committee On Ways and Means Subcommittee On Education - Co-Chair

2019-2020 Joint Emergency Board

Watch all Oregon State Legislature Live-Streams and Meetings HERE


Track all 2021 Session Bills HERE

Legislative Agenda: Languages Added

ANNOUNCEMENT: The House Democrats 2021 Legislative Agenda is now available in multiple languages, specifically: Simplified Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, and Spanish.

These translations were provided by IRCO’s Language Bank, and are available on the Oregon House Democrats legislative website here

2021 Session: Top Bills

HB 2169

This bill directs the Racial Justice Council to study potential changes to criminal justice system and to provide results of study to Legislative Assembly no later than December 31, 2021.

- It aims to address institutional racism within law enforcement agencies and examines the following issues:

    • Mandatory sentencing reform
    • Restorative Justice (a program that would help fund non-profits in different counties and work with DAs to create better legal routes)
    • Police Oversight Measures

HB 3067

This bill directs Housing and Community Services Department to study issues relating to foreclosure mitigation and report to appropriate committee or interim committee of Legislative Assembly on or before September 15, 2022.

- House Democrats are trying to reinstate the moratorium. Rep. Paul Holvey, D-Eugene, plans to introduce a bill this week that would give homeowners and small landlords protection from foreclosures until Sept. 1.

Rep McLain in mask and her laptop with zoom open


Please join us at our Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, February 25th at 6pm to hear about some Session updates and upcoming legislation! The floor will be open to any questions and concerns. 

Click the following link to register for our zoom town hall: REGISTER HERE

Town Hall Flyer with floral border and rep mclain in a mask in her office

Special Shoutout!

Big congratulations to the Western Washington County Taskforce for receiving a large grant and continuing to support our community's homeless population. We appreciate the admirable work that you do.

Vaccine Updates

Photo of a large Safeway building with the sun blaring

Select Oregon pharmacies to begin scheduling coronavirus vaccine appointments this week

By Jamie Goldberg

*This article is from The Oregonian. Click on the link above to read more

  • Select Oregon pharmacies will begin receiving COVID-19 vaccines through a new federal distribution program this week, with the state’s doses going to Costco, Health Mart, Safeway and Albertsons during the program’s initial phase.
    • White House officials announced last week that approximately 1 million vaccine doses would be shipped directly to 6,500 pharmacies across the country this week in the first phase of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, with the possibility that vaccinations could begin as soon as Thursday.
    • Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen said that 133 pharmacies across the state would receive a combined 12,000 doses this week, with an average of 90 doses going to each participating pharmacy.
  • During this early stage of the vaccine rollout, Oregon is limiting vaccines to health care workers, people living in nursing homes and other congregate care settings, teachers and -- beginning this week -- people ages 80 and over. Oregonians over 75 will become eligible to receive vaccines on Feb. 15.
  • The vast majority of the vaccine doses that Oregon is receiving through the program this week will go to Safeway and Albertsons pharmacies across the state. The two grocery chains share common ownership and operate in tandem.
    • Eligible Oregonians will be able to sign up for appointments online through Albertsons and Safeway sometime later this week by visiting www.albertsons.com/COVID-19 and www.safeway.com/COVID-19. McGinnis did not yet know when appointment slots would open. She said that Oregonians who don’t have access to the internet can call their pharmacies directly to try to schedule appointments.
    • Costco has an online portal for vaccine appointments at https://www.costco.com/covid-vaccine.html. Appointments were not available Tuesday and it was not clear whether Costco had already filled all its vaccine appointment slots. A Costco spokesman would not answer questions about the company’s participation in the vaccine program.
    • Only Oregonians currently eligible to receive vaccines under state guidelines will be able to sign up for appointments through the participating pharmacies.
    • Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that vaccines be provided to broader groups of people if doses are in danger of being wasted, but that is unlikely to happen given the limited supply arriving at Oregon pharmacies this week.

OHSU vaccination clinics closed for weather, others standing by

By Erin Ross

*This article is from OPB News. Click on the link above to read more

  • Thousands of Oregonians will need to reschedule their COVID-19 vaccination appointments as two storm systems head towards the Portland metropolitan area. Other appointments hang in the balance, depending on the weather.
  • The Oregon Health & Science University announced late Wednesday that it would be canceling weekend appointments and shuttering its drive-thru center at the Portland International Airport. The centers at Hillsboro Stadium and their Marquam Hill campus will also be closed.
  • In an email, OHSU said it would be contacting people with canceled appointments to help them reschedule. Those waiting on their second dose will be rescheduled before they exceed the recommended second-dose time frame.
  • Officials said they will be clearing snow and ice sidewalks and pathways around the convention center, and plan to open more doors to make access easier.

211 Info Infographic

National 211 Day 

*This article is from the Oregon Health Authority Click on the link above to read more

  • National 211 Day, celebrated yesterday on Feb. 11 — or 2/11 — every year, recognizes the more than two hundred 211 service centers operating throughout the United States. 211, officially reserved as a dialing code in July 2000 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is a free, confidential information and referral service that connects more than 93% of the U.S. population to essential health and human services every day. In 2021, that critical work carries on. 
    • In January alone, 211info handled over 30,000 different contacts for information and referral services in Oregon. More than 3,000 of those contacts came from Oregonians looking for assistance with health care services.  
    • OHA and 211info are partnering to provide COVID-19 vaccination information. 211info is available to answer general COVID-19 questions, as well as questions about vaccine eligibility and how to find locations to get the COVID-19 vaccine locally. You can, of course, also visit covidvaccine.oregon.gov.
    • With winter storms approaching this weekend, know that 211info also provides information on winter and severe weather shelters. Visit 211info’s Winter & Severe Weather page to get connected to resources.

Vaccine distribution by phases chart

COVID-19 Updates

  • National Numbers: 
    • Confirmed Cases: 27,229,862 
    • Deaths: 473,699
    • These national numbers come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  You can view their national and state by state data here 

united states blue shaded map

  • Oregon Status Report:  Oregon now has 149,000 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19. 
    • Today we have 621 new confirmed and presumptive cases, and 12 new deaths. 
    • A total of 2,067 Oregonians have died from COVID-19 (previous daily case updates from OHA here)
  • Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 20,497 confirmed cases, including 200 deaths.  You can review on-going updates from OHA by clicking on the table below. 
  • The Oregon Health Authority recently provided a Public Health Indicators Dashboard to enable communities across Oregon to monitor COVID-19 in the state.The dashboard, which will be updated weekly on Thursdays, provides a transparent report that presents complex epidemiological data in an interactive, easy-to-understand way on a state and county level. 

Oregon's Epi-curve of COVID-19 Cases

Cartoon of mother and son baking heart shaped cookies

Stay safe this Valentine’s Day

*This article is from the Oregon Health Authority. Click on the link above to read more

  • Valentine’s Day: A holiday revered by some, feared by many, known by all. As with any holiday during the pandemic, it's going to look a bit different this year. Here are some tips to keep in mind. 
  • If you’re going on a date with someone new, keep it outdoors, maintain six feet of distance from one another and wear a mask. This way, you’ll greatly reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to one another. Or, keep it virtual and chat over video.
  • If you’re going on a date with your significant other, keep others safe by wearing your mask and keeping six feet of distance from people outside of your party.  
  • If you’re looking for things to do: 

The CDC also has these suggestions:

  • Make Valentine cards or decorations and drop them off to loved ones.
  • Celebrate with loved ones virtually.
  • Prepare a special meal or dessert.

10 counties improve from extreme risk; changes take effect Feb. 12

*This article is from the Oregon Health Authority. Click on the link above to read more

  • Governor Kate Brown on Tuesday announced that 12 counties improved in risk level, with 10 improving from Extreme Risk for the first time since November, starting today, Feb.12.
  • Effective Feb. 12 through Feb. 25, 14 counties will be in the Extreme Risk level, 11 at High Risk, three at Moderate Risk and eight at Lower Risk. A complete list of counties and their associated risk levels is available here.
  • Safety measures like continuing to wear masks, keeping physical distance and avoiding indoor gatherings are helping to keep case rates low.
  • Updates to warning week data and county risk levels are posted to coronavirus.oregon.gov

Sharing stories of your loved ones

*This article is from the Oregon Health Authority. Click on the link above to read more

  • As we near the end of February, we are coming up on the anniversary of the first case of COVID-19 in Oregon. We plan to put out a special edition of Oregon Coronavirus Update on that anniversary, Sunday, Feb. 28. 
  • We want to take some time to acknowledge how this pandemic has touched all our lives, including those of us who have lost loved ones. 
    • If you’ve experienced loss during the pandemic, please know that we never forget what real pain and grief are experienced by so many people in Oregon. Our hearts go out to you.   
    • If you would like to share a story about a loved one you have lost to COVID-19, you are invited to do so here. We will publish some of them in Coronavirus Update on Feb. 28.  

Updates from Salem

Silhouettes of football players playing as the sun is almost completely set

Governor Kate Brown Announces Updates to Outdoor Sports Guidance, College Exemption

*This is from a press release from Governor Kate Brown’s Office. Click on the link above to read more

  • Governor Kate Brown announced on Wednesday that the Oregon Health Authority will be revising its guidance for outdoor sports, as well as the exemption for college athletics.
  • Beginning this week, outdoor contact sports will be permitted to resume with health and safety protocols in place based on county risk level
    • In Lower Risk and Moderate Risk counties, practices and games for outdoor contact sports, including high school football, can resume following health and safety guidance to be issued by the Oregon Health Authority.
    • In High Risk and Extreme Risk counties, where COVID-19 remains more widespread, schools and other sports organizations can opt-in to resuming outdoor contact sports with additional protocols in place. In such counties, sports organizations must offer on-site responsive testing for symptomatic individuals and close contacts, contact information for contact tracing, and a waiver identifying health and safety risks and a commitment to isolation and quarantine if exposed to COVID-19.
    • Schools in Extreme and High Risk counties wishing to opt in for outdoor contact sports must meet the requirements for sports organizations above, and must also have at least limited in-person instruction occurring, with the goal of achieving hybrid or full in-person instruction for students this school year. Schools must also be in compliance with state guidance for COVID-19 testing. All Oregon counties currently meet the COVID-19 case count advisory metrics for limited in-person instruction. As of February 12, 11 Oregon counties in High Risk, including Portland metro-area counties, will also meet the advisory metrics threshold, under 200 cases per 100,000, to return to at least hybrid in-person instruction.

Cahoots truck

Oregon Legislature considers bill to create local crisis intervention teams

By Erik Neumann

*This article is from OPB News. Click on the link above to read more

  • A group in the Rogue Valley is working to expand mobile mental health crisis units in Jackson County and around Oregon. They’re advocating for legislation modeled on a successful community-based program in Eugene called CAHOOTS 

  • The new bill, awaiting a hearing in the Oregon Legislature, would give cities and counties around Oregon assistance creating their own mobile crisis intervention teams. Those teams would help address mental health crises, suicide threats and do conflict resolution.

  • The proposal would allocate $10 million from the state general fund for local grants to fund two-person mobile crisis teams such as an EMT and licensed mental health provider, social worker or nurse practitioner.

  • The legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Ashland, represents a parallel effort to the Real Solutions Coalition. Funding from the state would provide matching grants of up to 50% for local municipalities that want to start their own mobile crisis intervention teams, as well as complementary services like sobering facilities and shelters.


*This announcement is from Senator Merkley’s Press Release. Click on the link above to read more

  • Oregon’s Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden this past Tuesday announced that the City of Detroit, Oregon is receiving a $1 million grant to support the rebuilding of the city’s water system, which was destroyed by the Lionshead Fire in September 2020, during the state’s unprecedented wildfire season.
  • The grant is being administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development program.
  • In October 2020, Senators Merkley and Wyden brought Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Peter Gaynor to Oregon to tour wildfire damage, including a tour of Detroit to assess the damage and better understand the recovery needs of the city.
  • Last year alone, fires in the west burned over 5.8 million acres, claimed over 30 lives, and forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes. 

Merkley and Wyden have kept a steady drumbeat on the need to support affected Americans and assist in communities’ efforts to rebuild, including by pressing their colleagues in Congress to include funding for wildfire recovery in upcoming coronavirus relief legislation, and to deliver critical housing assistance to those struggling to find reliable shelter in the wake of the fires.

Around the Region


Homeless Resources: Day Centers, Shelters and more

*This comes from the Washington County, Oregon website. Please click on the link above to read more

Community Connect

  • Seeking prevention or homeless assistance? 
    • Contact the Community Connect homeless response system. More information is available online at click here or call: Community Connect 503-640-3263
  • Due to the COVID pandemic, the Winter Shelter operations in Washington County, Oregon changed to an enrolled program providing a daily bed. The shelters will no longer accept "walk-in's" and will require prior registration in the Winter Shelter program. Winter Shelters will serve adults age 18 and older. Families with minor children are encouraged to contact the Family Shelter Network at 503-640-3263.


Winter Shelters [November 15 through March 15]

To register (sign-up) for Winter Shelter beds

The shelter capacity is 165 beds located at six shelter sites, with new referrals from the Shelter Registration Wait List provide as persons exit the shelter system for other shelter and housing options.  Washington County will notify persons of bed availability based on date/time of registration for Winter Shelter Beds (see link above).

For Shelter Resources located in the Metro-region and throughout the State of Oregon contact 211 Info by dialing 2-1-1 from any landline phone or (503) 222-5555 from a cell phone, or visit 211 Info online.


Day Centers and Other Homeless Resources

Just Compassion of East Washington County

Just Compassion is open 10 am to 2 pm, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Showers and laundry are offered on the first Sunday of the month from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.  Contact Just Compassion for further information.

HomePlate Youth Services - (503) 320-8965

HomePlate is open offers drop-in services and street outreach for young people age 24 years and younger experiencing homelessness.

Open Door Counseling Center (ODCC) - (503) 640-6689

ODCC is open 9 am to 3 pm, Monday through Friday, and offers drop-in daytime services for homeless persons including hot meals, showers, laundry, phone and mailbox use.  Emergency food boxes and other services are also available. 

Project Homeless Connect (PHC)

PHC offers outreach services and drop-in daytime services for homeless persons Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The Center is located at 183 SE 6 Avenue, Hillsboro (near the 8th Street Max Stop).

Washington County Family Shelter Network administered by Community Action - (503) 640-3263

Community Action offers a variety of assistance for homeless families and persons at risk of homelessness.

Safe Place for Youth - (503) 542-2389

Safe Place serves youth age 12 to 20 years experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless because of instability in their own homes. Safe Place also serves youth who need to spend a period of time away from their home and family to address behavioral issues with the help of our specialized staff.

211 Info - 2-1-1 or (503) 222-5555

211 Info is an Information and Referral services that connects people in Oregon and Southwest Washington with community resources.

Campsite and Solid Waste Resources

Metro provides resources in partnership with local governments and law enforcement agencies to cleanup and investigate dumped garbage on public properties across the Metro region. These programs include the Regional Illegal Dumping (RID) program and a new Trash Bag Collection pilot project working with homeless campers.  To report an illegal dump site call 503-234-3000

Young student smiling at book with teacher

Employment Department Updates

Oregon employment dept logo

  • Acting Director Gerstenfeld briefed the media yesterday. The audio and video links are now available online.
  • This week, we’ve continued our work to ensure people have their benefits as quickly as possible—particularly those awaiting new benefits under the Continued Assistance Act.
  • In the spirit of our continued transparency with you: in yesterday’s media call, a reporter asked for the specific numbers of those awaiting CAA benefits.
    • Specifically: “How many people are now receiving PUA payments and how many are waiting for PUA benefits?”

 We shared this information in a follow-up email to reporters:

  • Since January 1, 2021, we have paid PUA benefits to more than 98,500 people.
  • By this Saturday, we anticipate issuing PUA and FPUC benefit payments to about 24,000 people who had exhausted or expired PUA claims.


  • We anticipate that these numbers will be shared in a story soon, and wanted you to hear this information from us, rather than from a media outlet. We know how important these resources are to Oregonians and we will continue to dedicate staff-power to getting those claims out the door and in to the hands of Oregon workers as fast as we can.

If you’d like to learn more on your own, our website is kept up-to-date with information about existing and new programs, including FAQs for just about everything.


Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

  • While we have been paying most PUA benefits already, some claims are more difficult and have not yet been paid. Specifically: the claims from folks who had used up their benefits under the CARES Act, or those whose claims had been effective for more than a year. We are making programming adjustments this week so we can pay current and retroactive benefits to those in both categories.
  • Our current best estimate is that PUA claimants who have not yet received benefits under the PUA extension in the Continued Assistance Act (CAA) will see payments in the Online Claim System by this Saturday. These claimants will also receive payments for the additional $300 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payments for eligible weeks.
  • In last week’s briefing, we shared new guidance from the Department of Labor that everyone in the PUA program is entitled to an additional 11 weeks of benefits. This was an exciting update because earlier guidance capped PUA benefits at 50 weeks.
  • It’s important to note that some people may still receive only 50 weeks of benefits. The number of weeks available to individual claimants depends on how many weeks they had remaining on their claim when the federal government instructed us to turn off High Extended Benefits (HEB) on December 12th.
  • We now have a page on our website dedicated to helping claimants determine how many weeks of PUA benefits they have available. Visit unemployment.oregon.gov/pua-extension for more information.


Fraud Prevention

  • Fraud prevention has been at the top of everyone’s minds throughout the pandemic. Oregon’s system already meets the new fraud prevention requirements in the Continued Assistance Act, but we continue to evolve beyond those basic requirements to prevent theft from the UI Trust Fund. It’s essential that we protect the money employers have paid into the UI Trust Fund and ensure that Oregon’s unemployed workers are receiving the money they’re owed.
  • In the coming weeks, claimants will see a new identity verification process. The system will be immediately available in both English and Spanish—people who speak other languages will receive instructions on how to complete the process.
  • As with all of our fraud prevention efforts, we aren’t going to give too much information on the process because we don’t want to help those who want to steal from our Trust Fund, but we did want to make sure that both you and your constituents are aware of this additional step.
  • Finally, if someone who has never filed for benefits has received any physical or digital mail indicating that they have (such as a 1099 form), please let us know immediately. Such a situation is a sign of identity theft. You can report this through the contact form on our website.


Department of Labor Guidance

  • The Department of Labor required us to add one new question and edit two questions on the weekly PUA certification form. The result of these mandated changes is that:
  • People who were employees and had their hours reduced can no longer receive PUA unless they also qualify for PUA through one of the other eligibility reasons.
  • People will still be eligible for PUA if they were laid off or lost their job because of a temporary or permanent business closure.
  • This does not impact those whose self-employment qualifies them for PUA.
  • Self-employed people have to answer a new question.
  • They can continue receiving PUA benefits if their business slowed down “significantly” due to COVID-19.
  • Claimants can click the link next to each question to better understand what’s being asked.


 Automated letters

  • Claimants receive communication from us in many different ways, and those communications can sometimes say different things. We try our hardest to share the most accurate, and easy-to-understand information with claimants and we can do this most easily online—whether on our website, social media, or in emails.
  • Many letters sent to claimants’ physical mailboxes are automatically generated and sent out by our computer system. Unfortunately we are sometimes unable to modify those letters. These duplicative and, sometimes, contradictory letters can be confusing. In yesterday’s media briefing, Acting Director Gerstenfeld clarified a handful of those letters.
  • Expired PUA claims:
    • When a claim reaches the one-year mark, a letter is automatically sent that advises a claimant to refile their PUA claim.
    • We do NOT want claimants to refile because it will slow down our ability to help other people with their benefits. Instead, just keep filing weekly PUA certifications.
  • Determination Letters:
    • We are required by the Department of Labor to send determination letters to every person who files a PUA claim.
    • The letters vary depending on the person’s circumstances but it’s important to remember that no one who is eligible is going to lose out on benefits.


  • Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) re-payments:
    • LWA is a FEMA program.
    • Some people who were not eligible received LWA benefits (also known as “overpayments”). Some were overpaid because we made errors on our end, others because they gave us inaccurate information.
    • FEMA requires us to take steps to collect LWA benefit overpayments. In the coming weeks, folks who received overpayments will receive a notice in the mail with information on how to request a repayment waiver.
    • The CAA gives FEMA the flexibility to allow states to waive overpayments if the overpayment was not the person’s fault. We are waiting on direction from FEMA about when and how Oregon may be allowed to waive those overpayments.
    • We’ll let you know as soon as we receive guidance. More details will be included in mailed notices, but you can also search for more overpayment information at https://unemployment.oregon.gov
    • Again, we know these letters can be confusing, and we know how hard it is to not have answers. We hope this helps reduce confusion. We’ll add sample letters to our website and will include links to these sample letters in our weekly email updates to subscribers. You can sign up for email updates on our website.


Additional Updates

  • The online PUA application is now available in Farsi, bringing us to a total of eight available languages: Spanish, Korean, Russian, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Farsi, and English.
  • Our offices will be closed on Monday February 15th for the President’s Day holiday.
  • The UI and PUA contact centers will not be accepting inbound calls, benefits may be delayed, and claimants may not see their claims online until February 17th
  • We will have a limited number of staff processing claims and making outbound calls during this closure.
  • Congress is debating future benefits and we are watching those discussions closely so we can be ready to implement any changes and extensions—even while we continue to implement program changes and the new Mixed-Earner Unemployment Compensation created by the CAA.

Wildfire Recovery Updates

Wildfire metrics

Continue to Work with FEMA if your application was denied

*This article is from the Oregon Wildfire Recovery site. Click on the link above to read more

  • The recovery process can seem overwhelming. If you applied for FEMA benefits, it is important to stay in touch with FEMA. If you were declined, you may be able to correct the reasons for ineligibility. Applicants could potentially have been ineligible for up to twelve different types of assistance; each type has its own set of requirements for eligibility.
    • Missing or incorrect information could result in denial such as proving home ownership or missing documents.
    • A list of contacts to replace documents is available online. Don't reapply for assistance as duplicate applications may need to be reviewed as possible fraud.
  • Currently, the eligibility rate for the 2020 Oregon wildfires is at 15 percent due to an estimated 8,911 potentially fraudulent registrations. Excluding fraud, the eligibility rate rises to an average 31 percent, which is more in line with other recent fire disasters nationally.
  • Most importantly, stay in touch with FEMA: 
    • Visit DisasterAssistance.gov; download the FEMA app; or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

Coordinated Efforts with FEMA for state recovery

*This article is from the Oregon Wildfire Recovery site. Click on the link above to read more

  • In the wake of one of the most widespread wildfire disasters in state history, local, state and federal agencies are working together to assist in Oregon’s recovery. 
  • This collaboration of efforts, known as Interagency Recovery Coordination, helps to align resources for effective and efficient long-term recovery.
  • The Oregon Disaster Recovery Plan organizes state and federal partners into a single integrated strategic recovery team so that federal assets are aligned with state and local recovery objectives. 
    • This enables local communities to access state and federal programs equally and ensures the government does not waste time or money duplicating efforts. 
  • Recovery operations are organized into seven State Recovery Functions (SRF) to coordinate the functional areas of assistance: 
    • Community Planning and Capacity Building; Economic Recovery; Health Services; Social Services; Housing; Infrastructure Systems; and Natural and Cultural Resources. Each SRF is led by a designated state agency and supported by multiple state and federal partner agencies.
  • Based on the National Disaster Recovery Framework, the Oregon Disaster Recovery Plan was signed by Governor Brown in 2018 and assigns overall coordination of disaster recovery to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

Help with Food and Counseling is available 

*This article is from the Oregon Wildfire Recovery site. Click on the link above to read more

  • If you are an Oregonian experiencing food scarcity and are in need of emergency food, the Oregon Food Bank works with a cooperative, statewide network of partner agencies to distribute food to hungry people.
  • The Oregon Housing & Community Services (OHCS) assists with food programs by supporting a variety of nutritional and educational programs that are operated through Oregon Food Bank's statewide network of 21 regional food banks.
    • For more information, go to Oregon.gov/dhs/assistance/food-benefits/pages/food-resources.aspx.
    • Help is also available for Oregonians in need of counseling assistance. The Safe+Strong Helpline is available for both children and adults who are struggling with stress, anxiety or other disaster-related depression-like symptoms.
    • For help, call 800-923-4357 or visit safestrongoregon.org/mental-emotional-health. This is a free service provided by the Oregon Health Authority and Portland-based nonprofit agency Lines for Life. 
      • Lines of Life, a FEMA-funded outreach program, is designed to connect individuals with compassionate assistance and resources such as housing/shelter support, food assistance, legal assistance, transportation, small business relief, and more. These services are free, confidential, and have no eligibility criteria - anyone who needs support, gets support. 
      • To connect with a member of their team, call 971-420-1028 for English, 971-420-1018 for Spanish, or email at FEMAhelp@linesforlife.org.

Wildfire Recovery Resources

OEM has put together this list of contacts to help speed up the process of replacing these documents:

  • Green cards: Phone (800)-375-5283; Website: www.uscis.gov
  • Medicare cards: Phone: (800)-772-1213; (TTY) (800)-325-0778 Website: www.medicare.gov
  • Military records Phone: 866-272-6272 Website: www.archives.gov/contact/
  • Passport Phone: 877-487-2778; (TTY) 888-874-7793 Website: travel.state.gov
  • Social Security card Phone: 800-772-1213; (TTY) 800-325-0778 Website: www.ssa.gov
  • U.S. Savings Bonds Phone: 844-284-2676 Website: www.treasurydirect.gov
  • U.S. tax returns Phone: 800-829-1040 Website: www.irs.gov
  • Birth, death, marriage, domestic partnership, divorce certificates Phone: 888-896-4988 Website: www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Birthdeathcertificates
  • Driver’s license, auto titles and registration, ID cards Phone: 503-945-5000 Website: www.oregon.gov/odot
  • SNAP (Oregon Trail Card) Website: www.oregon.gov/DHS/Assistance/Food-Benefits
  • State taxes (Oregon Dept. of Revenue) Phone: 503-378-4988 or 800-356-4222 TTY: All relay calls are accepted. Website: www.oregon.gov/dor
  • Real estate and property - Contact your county government.
  • Credit cards - Contact your credit card company directly.
  • Credit reports from Equifax, Experian, TransUnion Phone: 877-322-8228 Website: www.annualcreditreport.com
  • Insurance documents - Check with your insurance agent.
  • Medical records - Call your doctor or your medical insurance company; medical and prescription records are tracked electronically.

The Governor’s office has put together a Wildfire Resources page that you can access from the Governor’s home page.  It has links to many of the most important updates about the status of fires and resources for evacuees.  This website will be updated regularly.  

Legal Resources: Oregon State Bar’s Lawyer Referral Program, Oregon lawyers, through the Oregon State Bar, are partnering with FEMA and the American Red Cross to provide legal assistance on FEMA claims, contract claims, insurance claims, landlord-tenant matters and more.

The Department of Forestry’s Wildfire Response and Recovery Overview has ongoing updates about firefighting efforts, damage reports, and more.  

FEMA Updates: FEMA has provided several different Fact Sheets and resources for accessing benefits, determining eligibility and avoiding scams.

Other Assistance Updates

Cartoon of grocery bag filled with products

Additional Food Assistance Benefits Available through February

*This is from the Oregon Department of Human Services News Release. Click on the link above to read more. Also available en español

  • SNAP benefits were made available on yesterday, February 11, 2021. The Oregon Department of Human Services will continue to offer increased food benefits in February 2021, to help Oregonians struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
    • This benefit increase applies to current Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients who are receiving less than the maximum allotment.
    • Additionally, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, there is also a temporary increase in SNAP benefits of approximately 15% for all recipients.
    • SNAP recipients do not have to take any action to receive additional benefits as they will be placed directly on their Oregon EBT cards. 
    • Households receiving SNAP benefits will see the additional supplement to their benefits based on a maximum allotment scale. 
  • Additional benefits will be issued on February 11 and February 25. The February 25 benefits are for anyone who began receiving SNAP February 11 or after. Households only receive one allotment.
  • For more information about emergency supplemental allotments or to review frequently asked questions, visit https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/ASSISTANCE/FOOD-BENEFITS/Pages/AboutSNAP.aspx. Oregonians who receive SNAP can contact their local Self-Sufficiency Programs, Aging and People with Disabilities or Area Agency on Aging office for more information. Find a local office at https://www.oregon.gov/DHS/Offices/Pages/index.aspx or call 2-1-1.

DMV Updates

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  •   Oregon’s DMV had more than 31,000 visits last week across the state! Almost 1,000 behind-the-wheel drive tests and nearly 10,000 driver knowledge tests were given.

  • DMV continues to ramp up its staffing to add new customer call center phone agents, customer service representatives, and staff to process title transactions.

  • You can now pay any missing fees online! In the past, if you accidentally sent the wrong amount to DMV, they’d mail you back the form with correction adding time to the overall process. Now you can pay online and receive your title or registration much more quickly.

  • Appointments at DMV still book up fast but DMV does have appointments available. Don’t forget to see if you can get what you need online – you might not even need to go into a DMV office at all! Check out dmv2u.oregon.gov to schedule an appointment, order a replacement ID or Driver License, change your address, and more!

  • If you do need to go into a DMV office, know that DMV is taking cleaning and sanitation very seriously. Social distancing, regular sanitizing between customers, and lobby management are just a few things they’re doing to keep all Oregonians safe while at DMV.


Additional Resources

Employers and Employees

The following list of resources is from Oregon’s Secretary of State’s Office. The fastest way to get in touch with the SOS team is by emailing business.sos@oregon.gov, using the “Need Help?” button found on most state agency websites or visiting www.oregon.gov/smallbusiness.

Education Links

Local Government

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance



Oregon Health Authority


Have a safe and snowy Valentine's Day!

pictures of snow

Yours truly,

Representative Susan McLain

Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: Rep.SusanMcLain@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-376, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/mclain