Lived Experience Advisory Committee

A core value of the Joint Office of Homeless Services is to engage community voices – in particular those with lived experience of homelessness from Black, Indigenous and other Peoples of Color (BIPOC) communities –  in identifying and implementing strategies that work to address homelessness in our community.

In order to help us live up to this value, in 2023, the Joint Office organized a Lived Experience Advisory Committee. This Committee is a standing committee made up of people who have current or past experience with being homeless/houseless.  The committee helps provide insight and recommendations to the Joint Office of Homeless Services that can help improve the services and programs we support.


The Lived Experience Advisory Committee meetings take place for two hours, one time per month or other schedule as determined by Committee members. Committee meetings are held in a hybrid meeting environment.

If you have questions, please email or call 971-284-0359.

Lived Experience Advisory Committee Membership

The Lived Experience Advisory Committee includes a minimum of seven (7) and a maximum of fifteen (15) individuals.  Committee members are people with a lived experience of homelessness.

Lived experience of homelessness includes current or past literal homelessness, imminent risk of homelessness, individuals who are “couch surfing” or individuals doubled up with family or friends and lack housing permanence, a secure place to stay the next night, or legal recourse if asked to leave, and individuals fleeing/attempting to flee domestic violence.

The Committee consists of members who, in addition to identifying as having lived experience of homelessness, also identify with one or more of the following categories:

  • Individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latinx and/or People of Color
  • Individuals representing the Youth System i.e. currently between the ages of 18-24 or between the ages of 18-24 when they experienced homelessness
  • Individuals who represent the Family System
  • Individuals who represent the Veteran’s System
  • Individuals who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and/or sex trafficking
  • Individuals who identify as having a disability
  • Individuals who identify as a member of the LGBTQIA2S+ community
  • Individuals who represent the senior population (55+)
  • Individuals who identify as immigrants and/or refugees
  • Individuals with jail/prison/reentry experience

What does the Lived Experience Advisory Committee do?

The Lived Experience Advisory Committee is not a decision-making body but acts in an advisory capacity to the Joint Office leadership, including the JOHS Director and Deputy Director. The Joint Office provides regular updates about how the Lived Experience Advisory Committee’s recommendations were used and the outcomes of those recommendations.

The Lived Experience Advisory Committee may conduct the following:

  • Provide input and recommendations on new and continuing Joint Office programming, funding, and policy
  • Share information and identify emerging issues and trends within the homeless, recently housed, and at-risk of homelessness communities
  • Ensure that the Joint Office is advancing goals, steering policy, and making decisions identified by first-voice people
  • Participate in and/or facilitate community engagement activities and events
  • Provide a solutions-driven forum for those with lived experience of homelessness to listen to and support each other
  • Build community and advocacy capacity of those with lived experience of homelessness
  • Participate in specific funding application processes where Lived Experience participation is expected or required