NEWS RELEASE: Multnomah County secures location for new 24-hour treatment readiness center, part of ongoing work on HB 4002

June 27, 2024

Multnomah County, Ore. (June 27, 2024) Multnomah County today announced that it is secured a location for a 24-hour drop-off treatment readiness center in Portland’s Central Eastside District. The property will provide a location for deflection while a larger continuum of care is built that will include sobering and other services. Beginning September 1, 2024, the Center will offer screenings, basic need services, and connection to treatment and recovery services. It will be open specifically for law enforcement drop off.

Identifying a location marks a crucial step forward as justice system, law enforcement, behavioral health and other expert partners work together to design and establish deflection and treatment readiness services by Sept. 1, 2024, under House Bill 4002.

The facility, at 900 S.E. Sandy Blvd., will function as a space for law enforcement to bring — or deflect — individuals unlawfully possessing drugs for services and treatment referral instead of booking them into jail. The County is currently soliciting bids for providers to staff and support the drop-off center. 

“Treatment remains the most effective pathway to recovery for people struggling with addiction. The readiness center funded by House Bill 4002, where law enforcement will bring individuals for treatment referral, will be an important entry point to create accountability and healing for all of us affected by addiction,” said Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson. “Signing the lease for our location is a big step forward toward more treatment readiness on Sept. 1.”

A team of expert partners continue to develop what will eventually become a final deflection plan. Partners actively driving this shared work include law enforcement agencies such as the Portland Police Bureau, the Gresham Police Department and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office; the City of Portland; the District Attorney’s Office, including DA-elect Nathan Vasquez; Multnomah County Presiding Judge Judith Matarazzo; and public defense and healthcare providers.

Under the still-developing plan, people will connect and engage with a service provider who will conduct a screening and can help them access treatment, recovery support services, housing, case management or other services. 

“Prioritizing law enforcement access to a 24-hour treatment readiness center, provides critical support for the community’s most vulnerable,” said Sheriff Nicole Morrisey O’Donnell. “Access to a safe facility saves lives and offers a point of deflection for first responders.”

“This new 24 hour drop-off center will be a gamechanger for Multnomah County in providing pathways to treatment and services,” said District Attorney Mike Schmidt. “At the same time, law enforcement will have the tools they need for interdicting the unlawful possession of controlled substances and offering an alternative to jail for individuals struggling with addiction. This represents an important step in delivering on the treatment-first approach envisioned by HB 4002."

This new resource will support a much larger continuum of care that includes recovery housing, transitional housing, detox services and withdrawal services. In the coming months and years, treatment services and beds will continuously expand to fit the community's needs. The County will also open a new sobering center next year to be co-located with this treatment readiness drop-off program.

“This treatment-readiness center is the first step toward building infrastructure that works. I fully expect the deflection program to grow and adapt as additional services become available, and appreciate the County’s efforts to secure this drop-off facility as a foundation upon which we can build,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler.  

As preparations continue for the opening of the deflection center this September, Multnomah County remains committed to communication and community engagement. Additional updates regarding staffing, operational protocols, and community outreach initiatives will be shared in the coming weeks. Multnomah County staff have already begun conversations with the local business and neighborhood associations about how we will ensure this facility is a beneficial addition to the local community.

The Local Public Safety Coordinating Council is also hosting ongoing public discussions about our local work to deliver the services required by HB 4002. The public can follow along on HB 4002 implementation here.