Following three months of negotiations and four public listening sessions, the City of Portland is proud to release a draft version of the proposed new management contract for the Central Eastside Enhanced Service District – one of three enhanced service districts in Portland, where property owners have decided to fund expanded services such as trash clean up, graffiti removal and houseless outreach.
Established in 2019, the Central Eastside encompasses 340 blocks just east of the Willamette River near downtown Portland, in an area that blends industry, creative businesses and waterfront recreation. There are currently 707 ratepayers in the Central Eastside district.
Through written comment and a series of public listening sessions, the City heard significant support for the Central Eastside and its programs, especially those focused on cleaning, safety and outreach to the houseless residents of the district. By focusing on trauma informed care, helping people access needed services and acting as liaisons between housed and unhoused community members, Central Eastside Together — the district’s nonprofit manager — has created an effective model for collaboration to improve the parts of the city where people live and work.
Programs currently run by Central Eastside Together include:
- Safety Team: Unarmed Safety Ambassadors provide a presence of public safety on the streets and sidewalks within the district, verbally intervening to defuse crisis situations and conflicts, providing referrals to available services and providing chaperone services for individuals with safety concerns going to or from their car or public transportation. They are trained in conflict resolution, de-escalation, first aid, mental health crisis response, trauma informed intervention and social service safety net referrals.
- Care Team: Outreach Ambassadors and Care Coordinators cover the district on weekdays, connecting with people experiencing houselessness, handing out care items and connecting houseless individuals with services. They are trained in conflict resolution, de-escalation, first aid, mental health crisis response, trauma informed intervention and social service safety net referrals.
- Sidewalk Cleaning: Partnering with Central City Concern’s Clean Start Program, which provides work for individuals impacted by houselessness, Central Eastside Together provides sidewalk cleaning services throughout the district, removing trash — but not personal property, unless requested to do so.
- Graffiti Removal: Partnering with Central City Concern’s Clean Start Program, Central Eastside Together provides graffiti removal services to private properties throughout the district.
- Campsite Trash Collection: Partnering with Trash for Peace, Central Eastside Together provides short-term employment for individuals experiencing houselessness to provide trash collection services to campsites throughout the district.
- Bioswale Maintenance: Partnering with Trash for Peace and the Bureau of Environmental Services, Central Eastside Together provides maintenance for the bioswales on the east side of the Morrison Bridge, educating houseless individuals in the area on the function of the bioswales and giving them the opportunity to become stewards of the fragile green area.
In addition to the above programs, Central Eastside regularly holds public meetings to receive input on their activities and also partners with Trash for Peace to survey people experiencing houselessness, ensuring their voices get heard.
The new contract formally documents much of the good work already being done by Central Eastside Together, with only minor changes to establish better City oversight, new avenues of collaboration with existing basic City services and ensuring that services align with the City’s sustainable procurement and fair wage policies. The new contract will also include a commitment by Central Eastside Together to fully participate in the City process to evaluate the City’s Enhanced Service District program and renegotiate contract portions affected by any resulting changes in City Code.
The City will host an online public information and listening session about the proposed contract at 6 p.m. on April 4, 2022.
The district renewal and management contract are expected to go before City Council for a first reading and public testimony on April 20 and then for a vote on April 27.
Learn more about the Central Eastside Enhanced Service District, the proposed contract and more information on the April 4 public meeting and providing written or public testimony on the City's website.
Sign up to receive regular email updates about Enhanced Service Districts.