The Behavioral Health Resource Center will be a dedicated place in downtown Portland for people with behavioral health challenges who may also experience houselessness. The project is being developed in partnership with community organization and guided by people with lived experience, to ensure it is peer-driven, culturally responsive, trauma-informed and accessible to all.
The Behavioral Health Resource Center will prioritize meeting people’s most basic needs in the short-term, while working with additional provider partners to secure stability in the long-term. The Center will open in phases, beginning with the Day Center in fall 2022. Temporary shelter and transitional housing spaces will open in 2023.
Starting in 2019, participants in peer stakeholder meetings have provided input on which services should be offered, how those services should be delivered and how the facility itself could be more trauma-informed in its design.
The operations and design of the Behavioral Health Resource Center are directly based on the values identified in those meetings, including:
- Create a welcoming and safer space by being trauma-informed and culturally responsive.
- Provide services that are easily accessible, reduce requirements for participation and documentation, which can create unnecessary barriers.
- Facilitate connections by bridging gaps in the broader behavioral health system.
- Integrate broader community and health services, and help secure more permanent housing.
- Remain flexible to accommodate changing needs.
The Day Center will be staffed exclusively by peers seven days per week, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. It will serve an estimated 75 to 150 participants daily. It is intended to be a warm space where participants can meet basic needs for restrooms, showers and laundry.
The Day Center will provide calm spaces — both in our indoor living room space and in our outdoor garden space — where participants can relax, connect with others and plug into services. In collaboration with community providers, staff will facilitate referrals to other services, including but not limited to housing, employment, physical health, behavioral health and social services.