New hire for Portland Street Response Announced
Portland Street Response (PSR), the innovative non-police first responder system being built to aid houseless people in mental health crises, has made a significant move forward with the hiring of its first Program Manager, Robyn Burek. The hiring process for a PSR Community Health Worker and Mental Health Crisis Clinician is underway and expected to be completed by early December. Portland Fire & Rescue medic, Tremaine Clayton, is a founding member of the team and is already in place on the team.
PSR, which is housed at Portland Fire & Rescue, is being built from the ground up and is a collaborative project that brings together multiple City bureaus and community partners to create a system that routes specific calls to medics and crisis workers instead of police officers. The program will launch as a two-part pilot program in early 2021, with the first pilot operating in the Lents neighborhood. Portland Street Response resides in Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty’s portfolio.
New Program Manager Robyn Burek brings her experience from both the mental health industry and local government to the role of Portland Street Response Program Manager. She has over a decade of experience as a Licensed Therapist and Clinical Supervisor and holds licenses to practice in two states. Burek’s experience as a therapist is diverse and includes work in the areas of domestic violence, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, poverty, LGBTQ+, and family counseling.
In addition to her mental health career, Burek’s professional experience includes serving two Tulsa Mayors in the Office of Performance Strategy and Innovation. While employed with the City of Tulsa, Burek was also asked to serve as the Mayor’s designee on Tulsa’s Human Right’s Compassion Committee and the City/County Jail Sales Tax Oversight Committee.
Burek moved from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Portland, Oregon in 2017 and has been employed with Portland Fire & Rescue for nearly three years. Burek has been a key participant in the design and launch of the Portland Street Response program and is deeply committed to its mission.
Burek holds a bachelor’s in psychology, a master’s in counseling, a master’s in business administration, and a post-graduate diploma in organizational leadership. She started her new role on Nov. 12, 2020.