Describe how the city needs to develop a Portland Street Response, a new system of first responders. Here are some possible areas to emphasize: – The plan proposes six teams of medics and peer support specialists with training in de-escalation who can respond with compassion to 911 calls about people struggling with homelessness and behavioral health crises. -Not every crisis is a crime. We need to match the right first responder to the crisis. -The Portland Street Response is based on the 30-year-old CAHOOTS model in Eugene. -Based on discussions with Bureau of Emergency Communications, Street Roots estimates that six 24-hour-teams-of-two (a medic and a peer support specialist crisis worker) could meet our demand. -Portland Street Response needs to be a big effort. It’s only if people all across the city can recognize it can it be seen as an actual alternative. -We need to make this easy for residents of the city to feel the impact. -The teams must be highly trained in crisis response, and CAHOOTS can help with this training.
Do you have a personal story that matters to this issue?
Ask that the Bureau of Emergency Communications pilot for designing the Portland Street Response be funded in this budget.
Ask, too, that the city commit to realizing a fully developed Portland Street Response. Street Roots suggests that this happen in 18 months, and that we begin to develop the teams and trainings while we are also revamping the 911 system to triage calls.