After operating mostly in the greater Lents area, Portland Street Response (PSR) will start taking calls citywide on March 28, 2022. Portland Street Response, a program that’s part of Portland Fire & Rescue’s Community Health Division, offers an unarmed response to non-life-threatening behavioral and mental health crisis calls.
From March 28 forward, Portlanders will not have to look at maps to see if they are in Portland Street Response’s service area: all of Portland is in PSR's service area!
In this next phase of PSR's evolution, teams will be responding to calls via 911 every day of the week, from 8 am to 10 pm, in every corner of the city.
When PSR started taking calls on Feb 16, 2021, they only covered 5 square miles and responded over a regular 40-hour work week, Monday through Friday. Incrementally, the program expanded its boundaries as well as the time frame the team responded in.
Portland Street Response Fast Facts
PSR started responding Feb 16, 2021 with a staff of six.
Full staffing starting March 28, 2022 to cover the City of Portland: 20
Portland Street Response Expansion by square miles:
Feb 16, 2021: 3.75 square miles
April 21, 2021: 13 square miles
Nov. 4, 2021: 36 square miles
March 28, 2022: 145 square miles
- 48% of our first response calls involved clients with suspected mental health needs
- 56% of our first response calls involved clients with unmet basic needs
- 44% of our first response calls involved clients with suspected substance use needs
- 65% of our first response calls involved houseless clients
- Our community health program helped 10 clients secure two weeks or more of temporary shelter
- Our community health program helped 9 clients secure permanent housing
- Our community health program helped 2 clients retain their housing
- Total supplies donated program-wide including first response, client follow-up visits and activities is 1,323
- Total referrals during first response and client follow-up visits is 399
- We hosted a total of 57 community outreach & engagement events where we’ve made 2,597 community contacts
Job titles and duties of the response team:
Mental Health Crisis Responders: These responders provide crisis intervention, face-to-face mental health assessments, information and referrals, and offers brief supportive counseling to clients in the field, who are in emotional distress and/or seeking information on available mental health services.
Community Health Medical Personnel: These medical professionals offer on-scene assessment and treatment for non-life-threatening health issues facing those in mental and/or behavioral health crises.
Community Health Workers: Community Health Workers facilitate access to social services and agencies through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy.
Peer Support Specialists: The professionals with lived experience facilitate access to social services and agencies through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support, and advocacy.