Portland Street Response Frequently Asked Questions

Information
Portland Street Response team member offering aid in a homeless encampment.
A list of common questions and answers about Portland Street Reponse.

When and where is Portland Street Response operating?

On March 28, 2022, Portland Street Response expanded citywide.

Requests for service have far exceeded our expectations. We are currently hiring and training new responders to help us meet the demand and we hope to have those new team members taking calls by mid-August.

Until we have additional responders in place, our weekend hours end at 6 pm instead of 10 pm. Our current hours are: 8 am to 10 pm Monday through Thursday and 8 am to 6 pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. NOTE: IF WE HAVE CALLS IN OUR QUEUE, WE MAY STOP TAKING ADDITIONAL CALLS BEFORE OUR FINISH TIME SO WE CAN GET TO THOSE WHO ARE WAITING. We will update this FAQ when the hours change.

History

The pilot first started in the Lents area. Lents was designated as the first pilot location because it is not supported with many existing resources and services; additionally, the volume of calls in Lents is outpacing the growth of calls across the rest of the city.

On April 1, 2021, the pilot expanded its boundaries to the greater Lents area to better align with Portland Police Districts.

On November 1, 2021, the boundary expanded once more and covered the entire Portland Police Bureau East Precinct.

What days and times does Portland Street Response work?

Starting March 28, 2022 Portland Street Response began responding citywide. Until we have additional responders in place, our weekend hours end at 6 pm instead of 10 pm as originally planned. Our current hours are: 8 am to 10 pm Monday through Thursday and 8 am to 6 pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We will update this FAQ when the hours change. PSR's full budget for the next fiscal year was approved and we are working toward making the service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week later this fall.

Can I call 911 and request Portland Street Response?

Yes. Our 911 dispatchers will have a list of questions they will ask to determine which responder is most appropriate to send: Police, Fire, Portland Street Response, or AMR ambulance service. If the call fits the criteria for Portland Street Response, dispatchers will alert the team and send them to the call.

How are calls triaged to PSR?

Currently, PSR will be dispatched when a caller reports:

  • A person who is possibly experiencing a mental health crisis; intoxicated and/or drug affected. This person is either outside or inside of a publicly accessible space such as a business, store, public lobby, etc.
  • A person who is outside and down, not checked.
  • A person who is outside and yelling.
  • A person who needs a referral for services, but does not have access to a phone line.

The call meets the previous criteria - AND

  • There are no weapons seen.
  • The person is not in traffic/not obstructing traffic.
  • The person is not violent towards others (physically combative, threatening violence, assaulting).
  • The person is not suicidal.
  • The person is not inside of a private residence.

Can I see call data for Portland Street Response?

We have a data dashboard.

Will Portland Street Response address the homeless crisis?

The goal of Portland Street Response is to update our first responder system by providing an additional compassionate first response option when 911 is called on someone experiencing low-acuity behavioral health issues, not to solve homelessness.

How will the City determine whether this program is a success?

Portland Street Response has partnered with Portland State University's Homelessness Research and Action Collaborative to provide external program evaluation. Frequent updates on program outcomes are posted on the Portland Street Response webpage and will be presented to Council during and after the pilot. Portland State has released both a six-month and one-year evaluation of Portland Street Response and you can access it here.

Why is Portland Street Response coordinated by Portland Fire &Rescue?

Portland Street Response is coordinated by Portland Fire & Rescue for several reasons: 1) the program needs infrastructure that is connected to the current 911 system; 2) Portland Fire & Rescue’s new Community Health Division focuses on preventive healthcare intervention and PSR's focus is aligned with that mission; and 3) it follows the directive to keep this program separate from police.

Can I volunteer or help out in some way?

We are excited by the number of requests we are receiving from community members who want to help. At this time, we don't have a formal structure in place for volunteers to assist us, but we are evaluating how we might sponsor a volunteer program. We will update this site to let you know how you might be able to help. Please follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook to be updated on the latest opportunities.

Can I donate money/products to the project?

We are currently not set up to take financial or product donations at this time. We are looking at ways to accept these generous offers. Please follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook to be updated on the latest opportunities.

How do I get a job with Portland Street Response?

As the program expands, we will hire new employees. Please follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook to be updated on the latest opportunities. Additionally, you can get alerted to new City of Portland job opportunities.

I have a compliment or a complaint about a PSR call, how should I file it?

Please submit time, date, and location of the call and the nature of your complaint to PSRInfo@portlandoregon.gov: we will research the call and communicate with you regarding your issue.

You can also file anonymous feedback with the auditor's office.

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