"I want all people within our city to have a safe place to rest and call home. The rapid increase of unsheltered homelessness is the humanitarian crisis of our time," - Mayor Wheeler

Mayor Wheeler has always made it his mission to help those in need, and finding permanent solutions to the homelessness crisis in the City of Portland is one of the Mayor’s highest priorities. He firmly believes that everyone deserves access to high-quality, compassionate life-saving and social services, and to have a safe, stable place that they can call home. 

In February and March of 2022, Mayor Wheeler signed three Emergency Declarations. These actions will speed the City’s recovery on a number of important issues. More declarations are expected throughout the spring.

On February 4, 2022 Mayor Wheeler issued an Emergency Declaration to Address Campsites in Dangerous Sites Located High Crash Transportation Corridors within the City of Portland.

The emergency order does three things: 

1. Prohibits camping along high-speed corridors.  

2. Prioritizes the work of the Impact Reduction Team to post and remove camps in these areas.  

3. It enables them to keep these sites free of camping with no right of return. 

On February 24, 2022 Mayor Wheeler granted emergency powers to Commissioner Dan Ryan as his delegate to “consolidate and coordinate the implementation of Safe Rest Villages and alternative shelters.” This declaration will accelerate the process of establishing Safe Rest Villages (SRVs) throughout Portland.

Safe Rest Villages will be managed, temporary, outdoor shelters with onsite case management, peer support, behavioral and mental health services, as well as amenities such as showers, flush toilets, laundry, trash/recycling, and community gathering spaces.

On March 2, 2022 Mayor Wheeler issued an Emergency Declaration to activate a Street Services Coordination Center.

This new centralized incident command structure will connect local agencies and service providers to a singular point of contact. The goal of this Emergency Declaration is to get more houseless Portlanders compassionately placed into safe shelter.

The Street Services Coordination Center will be funded with by a $5.5 million-dollar investment that was already allocated during the 2021 Fall Budget Monitoring Process.  

During the Spring Budget Monitoring Process, a one-time allocation was made for the Street Services Coordination Center to build upon investments allocated within the Fall 2021 BMP to provide staffing and operational support ($110,000). Mayor Wheeler also proposes allocating funds ($500,000) to provide transportation services (bus/taxi service, etc.) to move those experiencing unsheltered homelessness and their belongings from an outdoor camp posted for removal to a shelter, temporary housing, or permanent housing space. 

The Bybee Lakes Hope Center also received a one-time ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) investment ($1M) to support existing programs. These proposed funds will provide operational support to expand the Bybee Lakes facility from 126 beds to 318 beds for men, women, and families.

Under the Mayor’s direction, the City continues working tirelessly through an extensive and coordinated network of outreach, housing and services programs to lessen the impacts of homelessness. But success in addressing the issue cannot be realized working alone. Portland has a massive community of selfless, tireless people in government, neighborhood associations, the non-profit sector and business, who are all working together to make progress on the issue.

Some of our partners the Joint Office of Homeless Services, A Home For Everyone, and the Portland Housing Bureau. You can learn more about Portland's Housing Bond here.