Since March 2020, Multnomah County has been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, working tirelessly to keep our community as safe, healthy and supported as possible. A key tool in our ability to continually meet the needs of our community has been the critical funding provided by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act.
In fiscal year 2022 (July 2021 through June 2022), Multnomah County invested its first $78.8 million allocation of these one-time federal dollars in a broad array of strategies that bolstered our ability to respond to and recover from this public health emergency and its widespread impacts — including on people’s health and stability, community safety, the organization’s own workforce needs and much more.
ARP funds were used to bolster our critical, life-saving efforts to build and maintain a rapid, robust and effective public health response. In order to help community members stabilize and recover, we prioritized wraparound support to individuals and families. We made investments that helped us keep people under the County’s direct care in congregate settings safe, while also making critical investments in County infrastructure that helped our workforce safely and successfully pivot to a shifting paradigm of work. And we used ARP funding to continue or restore critical County services that had been impacted by local, state and federal budget cuts. Our ARP investment decisions have been guided by the set of principles that the County has used throughout the pandemic to ensure that we remain responsive to the disproportionate harms experienced by communities of color and that our choices are grounded in our values.
The County’s fiscal year 2023 (July 2022 through June 2023) ARP investments applied the lessons and insights we gained during the previous year, while also adjusting as necessary to be responsive to the shifting needs and realities of the pandemic, including ramping down some programs and services where we saw a decrease in need or demand. At the same time, several first-year ARP investments were deemed so essential and critical to our work that they were shifted into the County’s general fund. And as our community begins to prepare for the next stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, the County has made intentional, strategic decisions to transition from our crisis response efforts, toward a long-term, transformational, sustainable recovery.