COVID-19 Homeless Services

 A person helps put out temporary dozens of cots in a warehouse-like room
The County/City Joint Office of Homeless Services provides shelter, street outreach services, and survival support to providers to help unsheltered people stay safe during the pandemic. This program is funded by the American Rescue Plan, which is investing in Portland’s recovery – and our future.


In March 2020, the County/City Joint Office of Homeless Services implemented a COVID-19 response strategy to help people experiencing homelessness in our community stay safe from the pandemic. The strategy included physically-distanced shelter and isolation options and expanded shelter capacity, using motels, outdoor spaces, and government buildings such as community centers and the Oregon Convention Center. The strategy also included immediate support for meal providers, and enhanced street outreach to distribute personal protective equipment, health and wellness information, basic safety supplies, food and water, and sanitizing supplies. And it offered additional support for a network of community service partners to help them adapt to pandemic conditions as they continued their regular contracted work to provide services and help, including shelter, outreach, housing assistance and behavioral health supports, to thousands of neighbors experiencing homelessness.

Who does this program serve?

This investment brings basic safety supplies and services to unhoused Portlanders and the provider organizations who work directly with them.


March 2020: Program launch

Summer 2021: Council approves investment

January - June 2022: City investment supports work during this time period

How do I apply for this program?  

If you are seeking services for yourself or someone you know, please call 2-1-1.

How is this program funded?

The City of Portland has committed $4.5 million to this program. This money comes from the U.S. government’s 2021 American Rescue Plan local recovery funds. Portland will receive a total of $208 million from the American Rescue Plan and has until Dec. 31, 2026, to spend it. The City of Portland is spending money in three priority categories:

  • Houselessness Response and Household Stabilization
  • Small Business and Commercial District Stabilization
  • Community Health and Safety

Read more about these investments in this article: American Rescue Plan: Investing in Portland

Who manages this program?

This program is managed by the Joint Office of Homeless Services, in partnership with many contracted provider organizations.


We want to be transparent and accountable with how the City of Portland is spending American Rescue Plan money. Explore the different projects at our Rescue Plan Open Data website.