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The team will respond to low risk 911 calls involving people who are homeless, for example, calls about people who are yelling, intoxicated, or need someone to check on their health or welfare.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Homeless campers along the multi-use trail in Lents.Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty has released a blueprint for Portland Street Response, a pilot program that will dispatch a team from Portland Fire & Rescue to some 911 calls involving people who are homeless.

It's a small program with a lofty goal: reduce unnecessary arrests and emergency room visits for people who are homeless. Mayor Ted Wheeler funded the pilot in his 2019 budget.

Hardesty oversees PF&R and the city's 911 call center. Developing the pilot program, which was also championed by the newspaper StreetRoots, has been one of her top priorities during her first year in office.

"I am personally very hopeful for what Portland Street Response can do to modernize our first responder system," Hardesty said. "We must do better, and I believe getting the right first responder to the right incident at the right time will help us do just that."

Oregon Public Broadcasting is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. You can find their full story here.


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