Department of Housing Services Director Komi Kalevor has appointed Jes Larson to be assistant director of Washington County Housing Services (Homeless programs).
Larson will move into her new role as of April 29, after serving as the Homeless Services Program Manager in the Department of Housing Services for the last two years. Larson has been working to make the experience of homelessness rare and brief for the past twenty years in the Portland metro area. During her time at Washington County, Larson led the growth of the Homeless Services division from a staff of four to a team of 24, and the expansion of programs from a $5 million annual budget to nearly $85 million annually.
Before joining Washington County, she was the founding director of the Welcome Home Coalition, building the capacity and community needed to advance several policy and funding campaigns for affordable housing, including the passage of the first affordable housing bond in Oregon. Later, she worked at Metro as the Regional Affairs Manager and the Housing Policy Program Manager leading efforts to advance housing solutions for the region. Perhaps most importantly, was the decade Larson spent working as a case manager alongside people with severe and persistent mental illnesses at Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare, and seniors experiencing homelessness at Northwest Pilot Project.
“I’ve seen firsthand the need for leadership in our housing and homelessness work,” Komi Kalevor, director of the Department of Housing Services, said. “After seeing Jes in action over the last two years during a time of tremendous growth for our department, particularly in our homeless services, I can personally attest to her ability to lead this team and work towards effective and innovative solutions to this regional housing crisis.”
“I am humbled and thrilled to accept this new role helping to lead our great work in housing. For the past two years, I have loved my time working in Washington County to build out our homeless services with the voter approved Supportive Housing Services measure,” says Jes Larson. “I’m looking forward to strengthening and expanding this work, in partnership with my county and city colleagues. We have the opportunity and the responsibility to create equitable and abundant housing options for our neighbors.”
ABOUT DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING SERVICES:
The Supportive Housing Services program is funded by the voter-approved 2020 Supportive Housing Services measure to address the needs of people experiencing and at risk of homelessness in our region. Supportive Housing is a demonstrated approach to ending homelessness with wrap around supports tailored to meet the needs of people with complex disabilities who have experienced prolonged homelessness.