Homelessness Response Action Plan

Jessica Vega Pederson talks at a podium alongside Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Julia Brim-Edwards

A strategic reset of our response to homelessness

Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler on March 11, 2024, unveiled a strategic reset of the community’s response to homelessness — including new metrics and other concrete steps on how the community can work together to house or shelter roughly 2,700 more people living outside over the next two years.  

The Homelessness Response Action Plan is a path to provide more people with safer options off our streets that meet their needs. It will strengthen and refocus existing systems of care to better ensure that when someone leaves their tent or shelter bed for a home, they can remain in that home. The plan emphasizes work to address racial disparities in homelessness. And it commits to providing clear and expanded access to the range of services someone needs to leave homelessness or never have to experience it in the first place.

The plan commits to pursuing detailed goals and metrics; more transparent budgeting, data sharing and financial reporting; and a new governance structure that broadens and unifies the work of addressing homelessness and all of its root causes beyond just one downstream department, the Joint Office of Homeless Services

The draft plan released March 11 includes a roadmap for the next two years. It formalizes collaboration between healthcare partners, the justice system, housing providers, service providers, treatment providers and government partners at all levels.

Read the plan

Draft Homelessness Response Action Plan - March 11, 2024 (1.01 MB)


The plan lays out timelines and a concrete series of short-, medium- and long-term steps. Among the top objectives are:

  • Sheltering or house an additional 2,699 people (the number equivalent to 50% of the unsheltered people on the by-name list) by Dec. 31, 2025, growing the community’s existing work providing shelter and rehousing services for thousands of people a year.

  • Adding 1,000 shelter beds in two years, and provide the housing and health resources people need to move through shelters more quickly, through a new Community Sheltering Strategy developed jointly by Portland, Gresham and Multnomah County leaders and a range of shelter operators.

  • Adding hundreds more behavioral health beds (stabilization, residential, substance use services) and funding a drop-off sobering center.

  • Increasing the number of adults leaving shelter for permanent housing by 15% by Dec. 31, 2025, and ensuring 75% of people housed in permanent supportive housing retain their housing 24 months after placement.
  • Reducing homelessness among specific priority populations (including people of color and people identifying as LGBTQIA2S+).

  • Ending discharges to the street from all behavioral health, health systems or hospitals by the end of 2025, and ending discharges to the street from corrections settings by the end of 2026.
  • Ending homelessness for youth aging out of foster care in Multnomah County by 2027.
  • Increasing the supply of affordable housing through regulatory changes, building conversions and new construction funding sources, among other strategies.

The plan also defines the total scope of responsibilities and contributions needed from the full complement of partners committed to addressing homelessness, including City bureaus and County departments, governments including the State of Oregon and Metro, and healthcare and criminal justice agencies and leaders. It also works to ensure a fully braided system of housing navigation, care coordination and crisis intervention that better taps resources such as Medicaid funding to better match people experiencing homelessness with the services they need. 

Finalized plan will incorporate community and stakeholder feedback

Feedback on the draft plan from homeless and housing service providers, community members and stakeholders collected over a public feedback period is currently being incorporated into a final version of the plan. Community members and service providers were invited to learn about the plan and share feedback at two virtual townhalls in March 2024. A final plan will be released in spring 2024, and the plan will also change over time as we identify new issues, set new goals, adjust expectations and continuously work toward addressing homelessness.