Portland City Council votes to accept Portland Street Response Implementation Plan

Press Release

This Thursday afternoon, Portland City Council voted to accept a report detailing the Portland Street Response project implementation plan presented by Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. Advocates and supporters of the project filled the council chambers to show support for the program.

“Portland Street Response has been, from day one, a collaborative effort,” said Commissioner Hardesty. “I’m thankful for the energy and support from my colleagues, constituents, and partners to get the program to this point and cannot wait to see it take ground next year. I want to add that this effort required leaders and we are so lucky to have strong leadership between our public safety bureaus to get this pilot program off to a strong start.”

“I believe in the Portland Street Response program. I believe in re-envisioning how we care for people in crisis,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said. “We hope this pilot will find new and effective ways to help people experiencing homelessness get the care they need, and relieve our first-responders to care for the other emergencies happening around the city every single day.”

 “Being homeless is not a crime, having a mental illness is not a crime, and addiction is not a crime. If there’s no crime, we don’t need law enforcement.” Said City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. “Portland Street Response is a sea change in how we treat people in crisis—it will provide first responders who are equipped to deal with people experiencing behavioral health crises to deliver trauma-informed care and to connect individuals with desperately needed support and resources. I wholeheartedly endorse this vital program.”

Key highlights within the plan include:

  • House the program within Portland Fire & Rescue
  • Two-person team with mixture of medical and crisis worker skills will service the Lents neighborhood for the pilot year
  • Team dispatch based on criteria that the person has no known access to weapons, is not suicidal, and not violent towards others
  • Pilot implementation planned for 2020
  • Program progress report to Council after first 6 months the team is in the field

The full plan can be found by clicking here