While significant progress has been made to improve coordination through the creation of the Joint Office of Homeless Services and the Homelessness and Urban Camping Impact Reduction Program, many first responders and outreach workers still struggle to access shelter bed capacity and coordinate removals with genuine offers of alternative services or places for people to relocate. The Street Services Coordination Center was created under an emergency declaration that Mayor Wheeler issued on March 2, 2022 for the purpose of providing expedited and streamlined services to those living outside.
The Street Services Coordination Center works to connect individuals experiencing houselessness to shelter and other services and supports the coordination of encampment cleanings and removals. As available and based upon eligibility, the program provides access to congregate shelter, safe rest villages, or hotel rooms and immediate transportation to those locations.
The City of Portland's decentralized organizational structure can lead to inefficiencies and duplication of efforts. There are several City bureaus involved in responding to homelessness, as well as County offices and programs. The goal of the Street Services Coordination Center is to better coordinate with all agencies involved in homelessness response to expedite the delivery of services and help those in need as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The Street Services Coordination Center engages in outreach to unsheltered individuals, encampments, and vehicles through a coordinated command structure, operating under the Community Safety Division.
City/County agencies involved in homelessness response before the creation of the Streets Services Coordination Center: