PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Multnomah County will be expanding its housing program and shelter bed capacity offered at the Behavioral Health Resource Center in downtown Portland by partnering with Do Good Multnomah.
According to a release on Wednesday, together, the programs will have 52 shelter beds available to Portlanders experiencing homelessness and behavioral health issues. Individuals seeking services from either the shelter or bridge housing programs will have to first obtain a referral or reservation.
The behavioral health shelter program will provide 33 24-hour beds and behavioral health support for those looking for transitional or permanent housing within 30 days.
Meanwhile, the bridge housing program will have 19 beds and will work with individuals looking for permanent housing within 90 days. Life skills training and assistance, peer and recovery support, and treatment services will also be available.
“This is the first time we have offered a low-barrier resource center, housing, shelter and coordinated services all under one roof,” said Christa Jones, who manages the County’s Community Mental Health Program. “Thanks to our partnership with Do Good Multnomah, we are one step closer to providing a path of hope and long-term stability for our most vulnerable community members.”
The Behavioral Health Resource Center differs from a typical shelter because it is a space for people who are homeless with mental illness, who often get kicked out of or are unsuccessful at other shelters that don’t have the resources to treat them.
Since opening its peer-focused day-use resource center in December, the Behavioral Health Resource Center says it’s recorded more than 12,000 visits which accounts for first-time visitors and returning visitors. Hundreds of the visitors have been referred to other services, with more than 720 individuals sent to overnight shelters and more than 200 people connected to mental health and substance use services.
Both the behavioral health shelter and bridge housing programs are expected to open sometime in spring 2023.