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The pilot program is underway in Lents, and members of the Portland City Council are split on what to do next.

PMG FILE PHOTO - A debate is underway at Portland City Hall over expanding the Portland Street Response program now, or studying it first. In 2019, the Portland City Council created a new branch of first responders called Portland Street Response. Instead of sending armed police officers to 911 calls involving a houseless person experiencing a mental health crisis in a public space, the city sends out a team of mental health specialists who will try to connect the person in crisis to the services they need.

Below are links to both sides of the issue, written by Commissioners Jo Ann Hardesty, Mingus Mapps and Dan Ryan and Mayor Ted Wheeler.

With the negotiations for the 2021-22 city budget underway, Hardesty wants to expand the pilot program beyond the Lents neighborhood.

But Ted Wheeler, Mapps and Ryan want the pilot to play out, and for researchers at Portland State University to study how well or poorly it worked, before expanding the pilot elsewhere.

Want to weigh in?

Ted Wheeler

503-823-4120

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Jo Ann Hardesty

503-823-4151

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Mingus Mapps

503-823-4682

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Dan Ryan

503-823-3589

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