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Homelessness -- Oregon -- Portland, Homelessness -- Social aspects -- Case Studies


Portland Street Response (PSR) is a new branch of the first response system in Portland, OR that assists people experiencing mental health and behavioral health crises. Operating within Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R), PSR launched on February 16, 2021 in the Lents neighborhood and expanded to cover the entirety of the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct on November 4, 2021. The founding team consisted of a firefighter paramedic, a licensed mental health crisis responder, and two community health workers, with a second team added in November consisting of a firefighter EMT, amental health crisis responder, and two peer support specialists. PSR is dispatched from the Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC) when a caller reports one or more of the following and the individual has no known access to weapons and is not displaying physically combative or threatening behavior:

  1. A person who is possibly experiencing a mental health crisis, intoxicated, and/or drug affected. This person is either outside or inside of a publicly accessible space such as a business, store, or public lobby.
  2. A person who is outside and down, not checked
  3. A person who is outside and yelling
  4. A person who needs a referral for services but does not have access to a phone


© 2022 Portland State University Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative

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