information
Memorial Day closure

Most City of Portland offices will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day.

Homelessness and Behavioral Health

Information

‘The Humanitarian Crisis of Our Lifetime’

The complexity of the homelessness issue is apparent in its numbers. According to the 2023 Point in Time Count, thousands of people are living unsheltered on our streets. Overall homelessness in Portland increased by 65% from 2015 to 2023 (from 1,887 to 6,297 individuals).  

During that same time period, the City of Portland spent $1.7B on affordable housing development and other services, including the opening of 4,608 affordable housing units. These funds supported prevention measures (e.g. housing subsidies) for 35,550 Portlanders in 2022. Additionally, 13,190 Portlanders received permanent housing assistance in 2022. Despite these efforts, many who seek affordable housing still face years-long waiting lists.

Short-term shelter has increased but not kept up with the need. Between 2015 and 2022, the number of available shelter beds in Multnomah County grew from 800 to 2,000 beds. About 6,000 individuals use shelter beds each year in Portland.

Personal challenges for those living on the streets also complicate our efforts, in particular untreated mental illness and substance abuse. Estimates put the range of substance use among individuals living on the streets between 58 and 88 percent. The low cost and prevalence of fentanyl has made it an increasingly popular drug of choice, and its deadliness is evidenced in record overdoses and the sad reality that fentanyl is now the number one killer of people under the age of 50

The sad truth is that despite years of attention and funding to address the issue of homelessness in our community, it still poses a crisis that calls for more solutions.

Currently there are hundreds of unsanctioned camps spread out across virtually every neighborhood of our city, over a massive 146 square mile area. The City of Portland evaluated an average of 115 locations per day for violations of safety and sanitary conditions. An average of 16 locations per day were cleared and cleaned due to safety and environmental concerns.

Due to the dispersed nature of the homeless population, there’s no way to provide the kind of consistent case management or follow-up required to successfully connect people to the services or shelter they need.   


Are you looking to report an illegal campsite? The City of Portland’s Campsite Reporting System is the mechanism community members can use to report issues of illegal camping or related garbage within Portland. There are two ways to report a campsite using the Campsite Reporting System. Please use just ONE of the following methods:

  1. Click here to report a campsite
  2. Calling 311.     

You can find the weekly Street Services reports here: Reports | Street Services Coordination Center


You can also dial 2-1-1 or email help@211info.org for free, confidential information about health, community and social services near you. Calls answered in over 150 languages.

There are lots of ways to get information: 

211 is everyone's front door to information on more than 7,000 nonprofit, government and faith-based health and social services programs in Oregon and Southwest Washington.


Temporary Alternative Shelter Sites

Portland's Temporary Alternative Shelter Sites provide a compassionate service model that is informed by those with lived experience, including a safe, secure, and hygienic place for residents to meaningfully connect with services to access housing, mental health support, substance use disorder treatment and other critical resources provided by non-profit and county partners. 

The first site - Clinton Triangle - began operations in July 2023. You can find more information about the site and future sites below. 

Temporary Alternative Shelter SItes


River District Navigation Center

Mayor Wheeler has directed the City to step in and directly manage the shelter facility at the River District Navigation Center to 100 people from potentially returning to living unsheltered in Portland. 

River District Navigation Center


Safe Rest Villages

Safe Rest Villages are alternative shelters that serve as improved points of entry for Portlanders on the continuum from living on the streets to finding stability in permanent housing. The program is mostly focused on alternative, outdoor shelters, but is also in charge of Portland's first RV Safe Park.  

Safe Rest Villages 


Street Services Coordination Center

The Street Services Coordination Center, activated in March 2022, is centralized incident command structure to connect local agencies and service providers to a singular point of contact. 

Street Services Coordination Center


Behavioral Health Treatment 

The City of Portland works very closely with Multnomah County and state leadership on homelessness, mental/behavioral health, and addiction. Mayor Wheeler’s office serves on the Behavioral Health Emergency Coordination Network (BHECN) executive committee, which is working to open and expand resources focused on sobering, detox and mental/behavioral health services. The City of Portland is committing $1.9 million in ongoing funding to the BHECN project and invests millions of dollars with Central City Concern (CCC) on programming including behavioral health outreach. Most recently, City Council provided a $335,000 grant to Unity Center’s Psychiatric Hospital to open 9 new sobering beds in partnership with Multnomah County, Care Oregon and Legacy. 

Counties play a lead role in providing behavioral health services in Oregon with support and ongoing partnership from the cites. As additional local resources are needed for behavioral health services, cites across Oregon have been stepping in to create new and complementary services alongside the work of the counties. The City of Portland funds and administers the following behavioral health related programming within city boundaries in Multnomah County. 

CITY OF PORTLAND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH RELATED PROGRAMS  

This work is interconnected and multi-faceted, as each individual has unique challenges and needs. We are also looking to our regional partners, with ample funding and underspent resources, to get more services online as quickly as possible and will do all we can to support and expand those efforts. 


90-day Fentanyl Emergency 

On Friday, May 3 2024, Governor Tina Kotek, Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson, and Mayor Ted Wheeler released the final report on the 90-day state of emergency to help address the public health and public safety crisis driven by fentanyl in Portland. The emergency response was a recommendation by the governor’s Portland Central City Task Force. More information.  


Connect with a shelter

There are two primary avenues for an individual to connect to shelter. The first avenue is to research shelters, their contact information, and entry requirements at the Joint Office of Homeless Services shelter information page. You can also contact an expert by calling 2-1-1 or visiting 211info.org. The experts at 2-1-1 cannot refer you into a shelter but they can help research shelter information with you.

The second avenue is to request contact from a City Street Outreach Worker. This opportunity is for individuals who are currently unsheltered and seeking help. Due to high demand, City Outreach workers cannot guarantee shelter availability, but they are committed to heling you navigate your next step.

To request help from a City Outreach Worker, please complete the below form. It will take about 2-3 minutes to complete.

Request Assistance from a City Street Outreach Worker | Portland.gov.

If you are concerned that someone who is homeless needs an immediate welfare check, please contact 9-1-1 for Portland Street Response.