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American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Helping Oregonians help themselves and investing in local communities to put Oregon back to work

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Over the next two years, the Department of Human Services estimates that American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding will save, maintain or create a total of 6,900 jobs in Oregon communities. Those jobs will be the result of the department’s use of ARRA funds to provide services to Oregonians in need and distributes funds for public and private projects.


DHS distribution of ARRA funds has so far created the equivalent of 488 full time positions in programs ranging from childcare centers to vocational rehabilitation services to programs that serve meals to seniors. Also, more than 350 state jobs will be created to help DHS meet the needs of Oregonians hit hard by the recession. (See more in The Oregonian)

Multi-generational family

But the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is more than jobs - it is about better lives for Oregonians. More than 80% of the DHS budget is spent on services for Oregonians in need. That money does not stay in state coffers but instead creates jobs as it is distributed to community based non-profits and private businesses across the state.

Boy drinking from water houseApproximately 1,000 jobs will be created as communities in 11 counties use $28.5 million in ARRA funds to pay for water improvement projects. The 20 projects will affect the health and lives of almost 800,000 Oregonians.



And thousands of Oregonians will benefit directly from ARRA funds distributed through medical, nutrition or child care assistance.



Demand for DHS assistance is at a historic high while state revenue has fallen. ARRA funds provide a much needed injection of federal dollars into the state's economy because the services and goods purchased with those dollars bring direct and indirect economic benefits to local economies. In a given year, every $1 million invested in Oregon's long-term care services means the state can access an additional $1.6 million in federal funds and create another $2.7 million in economic activity as dollars move through the community.


County-by-county analysis of DHS ARRA economic impact


Here are some highlights of the services ARRA funds have provided since February 2009:



Caregiver providing assistance to elderly woman  

Medicaid: Most of the ARRA funding supports services to the 420,000 Oregonians who depend on Medicaid for health care, including 27,000 who receive long term care. Medicaid dollars pay for doctors, nurses and home health care workers, jobs for care providers in privately run facilities, medications, supplies and other care related costs. Learn more about ARRA and Medicaid


Food stamps / SNAP: $247 million in ARRA funding went to the SNAP/ food stamp program allowing the department to keep up with the more than 30% increase in demand over last year. Every dollar in food stamp benefits translates into ($7) in local economic activity for the grocers, cashiers, suppliers and other customers who count on those local businesses.

Child care assistance: $19.5 million was distributed to provide child care assistance to more than 12,000 families each month, allowing working parents to stay in their jobs or accept new job opportunities when they come along. DHS has used $19.5 million to provide child care assistance to more than 12,000 families each month.

Protection of services

Without ARRA funds Oregonians would be facing severe reductions in many direct services, including:

  • Oregon Health Plan offerings that cover long-term care, dental, breast, cervical cancer and other optional programs serving more than 130,000 clients;
  • Food Stamps (SNAP) serving more than 325,000 households each month;
  • Self-sufficiency programs serving at least 25,000 households each month including programs in and related to TANF;
  • Childcare programs; and
  • Vocational rehabilitation programs.

Father, son and grandson

Because many of the programs directly funded by ARRA are mandatory government programs (SNAP, TANF) direct ARRA funding for those programs indirectly prevents the reduction or elimination of many other programs. Critical programs that help provide child care for low income families and long term care services for the elderly were significantly threatened by increased need and falling state revenue. Programs indirectly maintained because of the availability of ARRA funding:

  • The Family Sex Abuse Treatment program, serving 400 clients each month
  • The Crisis Case Management Program providing emergency shelter for youth
  • The Cooperative Incentive Payment, helping 24,000 clients each month move toward self-sufficiency
  • Foster Family Group Homes serving specialized populations of foster children
  • The Family Support Team program, serving families facing substance abuse issues

See more about indirectly funded programs


The Oregon Way

Review other economic recovery efforts in Oregon.