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Emergency Ordinance

*Authorize grant agreement with Legacy Health for FY 2022-23 to renovate the Unity Center for Behavioral Health Psychiatric Emergency Service space to expand capacity for crisis triage and add nine sobering beds/recliners not to exceed $335,000

Amended by Council

The City of Portland ordains:

Section 1.  The Council finds:

  1. Recent closures of community-based sobering services have left a significant unmet need in the community. With the rising need for substance use disorder-related services in Multnomah County and the Portland Metro region and the increased acuity due to the availability of more potent substances, Unity Center for Behavioral Health plans to provide sobering services for individuals experiencing behavioral dyscontrol due to acute substance use.
  2. Unity Center’s sobering services model will consist of eight sobering beds staffed by a nurse, social worker, and peer 24/7. A medical provider will be available 24/7. This will ensure that all assessments, interviews, referrals, and treatment/detox services offered to patients are grounded in evidence-based best practice for persons experiencing substance use disorder.
  3. Implementation of this new sobering services model requires Unity Center for Behavioral Health to undergo significant capital renovations. This includes the creation of 9 additional treatment beds in the space formerly referred to as the “living room,” which originally was envisioned for overflow patients and family consults that is not practical. Renovations will also create appropriate ingress and egress, more nurse station space, psychiatric-safe patient bathrooms, and adjust the clinic flow from the lobby to the PES and sobering services area.
  4. On April 19, 2023, City Council approved the fiscal year 2022-2023 spring supplemental budget which includes a one-time allocation of $335,000 to support the construction of the PES remodel.

NOW, THEREFORE, the Council directs:

  1. The Community Safety Transition Director is authorized to execute a grant agreement in total amount not to exceed $335,000 with Legacy Health in a form substantially similar to the agreement shown in Exhibit A.
  2. The Mayor and City Auditor are hereby authorized to draw and deliver payment chargeable to Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget.
  3. The Community Safety Division is authorized to perform all administrative matters in relation to the grant application, grant agreement or amendments, requests for reimbursement from the grantor, and to submit required grant documents on the Director’s behalf.
  4. The Community Safety Transition Director is authorized to execute amendments to the agreement, provided such modifications do not increase the City’s financial obligations or risk. Any modifications that increase the City’s financial obligation or risk must be authorized by the City Council.
  5. The City Council waives the competitive application process required in FIN 2.04.

Section 2. The Council declares an emergency exists because delay would jeopardize the grantee’s ability to perform the activities supported by the City’s grant funds; therefore, this Ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage by the Council.

An ordinance when passed by the Council shall be signed by the Auditor. It shall be carefully filed and preserved in the custody of the Auditor (City Charter Chapter 2 Article 1 Section 2-122)

Passed as amended by Council

Auditor of the City of Portland
Simone Rede

Impact Statement

Purpose of Proposed Legislation and Background Information

Authorize a grant agreement with Legacy Health for costs associated with capital improvements and the creation of 9 sobering beds at the Unity Center for Behavioral Health.

Renovations will create appropriate ingress and egress, more nurse station space, psychiatric-safe patient bathrooms, and adjust the clinic flow from the lobby to the Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES) and sobering services area.

Financial and Budgetary Impacts

The FY 2022-23 Spring budget monitoring process includes $335,000 in General Fund one-time resources in Policy set-aside for this purpose.

Community Impacts and Community Involvement

Unity Center for Behavioral Health, a collaboration between Legacy Health, Oregon Health & Science University, Kaiser Permanente, and Adventist Health, is owned and operated by Legacy Health to provide high-quality emergency and inpatient psychiatric care to individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis. The team at Unity Center for Behavioral Health (Unity Center) strives to provide care as welcoming, non-judgmental, trauma-informed, and culturally and linguistically responsive as possible to ensure each patient’s care is relevant to their needs and lived experiences. Unity Center also cares for all patients regardless of their ability to pay and strives to eliminate barriers to care based on the acuity of patients upon arrival and the availability of referral and outpatient placement resources in the community.

100% Renewable Goal

Not applicable.

Agenda Items

406 Consent Agenda in May 24, 2023 Council Agenda

Passed As Amended

Agenda item 406 was pulled from the Consent Agenda to consider a proposed amendment. 
Motion to amend the Ordinance to update the number of sobering beds to nine: Moved by Wheeler and seconded by Ryan. (Y-5)
  • Commissioner Dan Ryan Yea
  • Commissioner Rene Gonzalez Yea
  • Commissioner Mingus Mapps Yea
  • Commissioner Carmen Rubio Yea
  • Mayor Ted Wheeler Yea

Introduced by


Skyler Brocker-Knapp

Senior Policy Advisor

Sara Morrissey

Mayor's Deputy Chief of Staff

Requested Agenda Type


Date and Time Information

Requested Council Date