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?
Thank the Mayor and Commissioners for budgeting the pilot, and let them know this needs to be a city priority for full funding.