This is Part 4 in a KOIN 6 News series, “Breaking the Cycle, Oregon’s attempt at recovery“
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — At 22, the path wasn’t easy for Jaden McCartney. He didn’t have positive ways to cope. He struggled with alcohol and cannabis. Life became unmanageable. Many nights he wasn’t sure where he’d stay.
“I’ve just been kind of going through a rough patch in my life,” McCartney told KOIN 6 News. “It was really hard trying to juggle life things and stay on track at the same time. It’s a big burden in a way, on my shoulders. But now that I have this place, it’s a lot easier to manage my life.”
“This place” is Bridges To Change. Using money from Measure 110, the organization opened a new men’s stabilization center in West Linn in August.
“Measure 110 was able to fill the gap for stabilization services. It’s a really flexible funding model that allows us to build programs like this,” said Monta Knudson, the executive director for Bridges To Change.
The organization provides addiction and mental health treatment with both supportive housing (with 500 beds) and outpatient services in Washington, Clackamas, Multnomah and Wasco Counties.
With the help of Measure 110, Knudson is working to add nearly 240 more beds, including at 2 brand new housing developments.
One will be a 30-unit permanent supportive housing complex in Portland on SE 83rd and Foster. The other will be a nearly 50-unit multi-family complex in Gresham.
“Measure 110 allowed us to purchase the land for those properties and then we’re using other funding sources like low-income tax credits, and permanent supportive housing dollars to actually build those sites,” Knudson said. “One site’s about $12 million, the other site’s about $25 million. But Measure 110 got our foot in the door to start the housing development.”
Bridges To Change is not the only organization that’s expanding with Measure 110 money.
“There are a lot of new service providers that are just coming online, all thanks to Measure 110,” said Joe Bazeghi, the director of engagement for Recovery Works NW.
Recovery Works NW opened a new withdrawal management facility in September in Southeast Portland.
Previously in Portland, a couple thousand people were turned away from detox centers a year because they didn’t have room. Before Measure 110, there were 90 detox beds in the city. Now there are 106.
“It’s been a significant bottleneck we’ve had,” Bazeghi said.
With those 16 extra beds and an average stay of 3-5 days, Recovery Works NW can do 1,200 detox treatments a year — representing an 18% increase in Portland’s OHP detox capacity.
Measure 110 is also helping Providence Medical Center improve their detox care. The Stabilization and Recovery Area (SARA) at Providence Portland Medical Center is a renovation of their current space. It consists of 8 beds, 2 of which are new. The existing unit has been remodeled to enhance security and update surfaces and furniture to ensure safe care of patients with acute substance abuse diagnosis and the safety of the team members dedicated to serving these patients. The team of care providers will include specially trained counselors, addictionologists, and peer support as well as clinicians. They expect to open the unit later this year.
Providence Portland currently serves patients with acute substance abuse diagnosis in their emergency department. SARA will help ensure all patients and caregivers are as safe as possible. In 2021, Providence Portland served just under 700 patients in the emergency department with an acute need for substance abuse diagnosis medical and trauma-informed care. The creation of SARA will allow Providence to serve an additional 300 each year.
The measure is also helping Bridgeway Recovery build and expand their medical detox facility in downtown Salem from 20 beds to 34 beds. The plan is to complete the build by the end of 2024. Later this calendar year, Bridgeway is opening a stabilization house for women. Then, in the spring, they’re working on opening a stabilization house for men.
“We’ve already opened a fully integrated outpatient clinic out of Newberg. We have another outpatient clinic coming online later this year in Milwaukie,” Bazeghi told KOIN 6 News. “Those are all services that would not have been possible without support from Measure 110.”
Recovery Works NW’s Newberg location will serve 400 people on any given day and fills a great need in Yamhill County.
“So the build has had its hiccups, it had its challenges, but now we have a sustainable means of funding services using cannabis tax revenues that is freely available, evidence-based, low barrier services, supporting the healing and recovery from dangerous addictions,” Bazeghi said. “So we’re going to see a lot more services coming online.”
Oregon Change Clinic already completed the renovation of a hotel in downtown Portland for stable housing and substance use disorder treatment, he said.
Quest Center for Integrative Health increased access and opened a new location in SE Portland. Because of Measure 110, Quest was able to consolidate all of its Multnomah County services under one roof, and increase client capacity by 25 percent — that’s 500 new clients. Measure 110 funding supported the renovation of the building, and is providing Quest with ongoing support to fund the first LGBTQIA2S+ Recovery Home in Oregon.
Measure 110 is also funding Oregon’s first Black/African American LGBTQIA2S+ Recovery House, a Quest project in partnership with The Miracles Club, Bridges to Change, and other Indigeninity BHRN Partners (Behavioral Health Resources Network).
Transcending Hope Recovery Homes is utilizing Measure 110 funds to increase transitional housing in Clackamas and Multnomah County. M110 funds have enabled them to hire additional housing navigators, a new program manager, maintenance personnel for the homes, and live-in staff to serve as house managers at their new recovery homes. Transcending Hope is now able to offer clients a six month stay in supportive housing. Measure 110 also funds their family housing initiatives, so that families can stay together while the parent focuses on establishing their recovery.
4D Recovery provides a variety of recovery support services to teens and young adults between the ages of 14 and 35. With funding from Measure 110, 4D opened their new Clackamas County Recovery Center in June. The new community center is in addition to their existing locations in Hillsboro and Portland.
This map shows more than 240 Measure 110-funded locations offering peer support, drop in services or new detox centers in Oregon.
The Oregon Health Authority said that, so far, Measure 110 has treated more than 15,000 people for substance use disorders statewide.
But what the numbers don’t show yet is how many of those are the same patient.
At this point, most of the M110 money has gone to increasing staffing and building new recovery centers in Oregon, followed by spending on services/supplies, and administration. As time goes on, construction costs will go down.
“This is a new program,” Bazeghi said, “and while it’s had a rocky start, it’s now showing some promising returns to our taxpayers in the state.”
Meanwhile, at Bridges to Change, Knudson said the new stabilization center will be at capacity soon. His focus is to increase access to even more stabilization houses.
“We want to remove those barriers and we want to meet folks where they’re at,” he said.
At this new recovery center, men will usually stay about 3 months and then get connected to more long-term housing. That means people in recovery, like Jaden McCartney, can rest assured.
“This place offers a lot of stability,” McCartney said. “And I know I have somewhere to put my head every night.”
And with this stability, Jaden McCartney now also has sobriety.
“I have a lot of clarity being sober and stuff. It helps me think clear-minded and really sharp and just quick and witty.”
Within a week’s stay, McCartney was back on his feet with a new job.
“They’ve helped impact my life for the better. The mentors here are amazing. They offer a lot of motivation and support, and they go above and beyond for trying to help motivate us and to get our life in gear,” he told KOIN 6 News. “After this, I hope to only go up from here and just good things.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, you’re not alone. Oregon’s Alcohol & Drug Helpline can provide referrals to local resources for peer support and treatment. Call 800-923-4357 anytime, or text Recovery Now to 839863.