PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In a $3.3 billion plan laid out in the latest Executive Budget released Thursday, Multnomah County aims to address rising crime and housing instability.
The county will invest in several pilot projects, along with expanding current programs, targeted to help those experiencing behavioral health issues, homelessness and other economic challenges.
“More than any budget we have worked on before, the 2023 Executive Budget moves us closer to being a community that is stronger, more resilient and more equitable for everyone,” Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury said.
$183.2 million in funding will be allocated toward expanding housing programs along with creating new ones. The Metro Supportive Housing Services Measure will be investing $107.1 million, while another $76.1 million will come from local, state and federal funding.
That money will reportedly fund 2,000 year-round beds across various shelters, along with rental assistance and long-term housing placements.
“We know that two years of job losses and business closures have pushed thousands of people to the brink,’’ Chair Kafoury said. “So we’re directing $22.8 million of American Rescue Plan funds to help people with their rent, and give them access to eviction prevention legal services.”
The county said it will be opening the Behavioral Health Resource Center in downtown Portland this fall. It will be a drop-in day center that offers behavioral health shelter beds, bridge housing and multiple peer-led services.
In response to the rising crime rates across Portland, Multnomah County moves to make funding for limiting community violence ongoing rather than a one-time investment.
The county will also be investing in a new pilot program that will use stipends to help create economic stability to those involved in gun violence.
The final budget will be adopted on June 16.