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Commission approves increased funding for homeless crisis in new annual budget.

PMG FILE PHOTO - A homeless tent in downtown Portland.The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners passed a historic 2023 budget Thursday, June 16, with one of the major ticket items being spending for homeless services.

Multnomah County is allocating $130 million for shelters — $53 million of that is going to buy motel buildings for shelter and permanent housing. The county also plans to spend $106 million on housing, which includes placement, rent assistance and case management services.

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury said the top priority for this budget is to get people off the streets and into permanent housing.

"We know that different people have different needs. They're coming from different places. So the services that we offer are really geared toward each individual. Whether they need behavioral health services, whether they just need keys to an apartment, whether they need job training. This budget includes all of that," she said.

Other big-budget line items will spend millions on behavioral health services and outreach, which will help open a behavioral health resource center downtown this fall. The total budget for the Joint Office of Homeless Services for 2023 is $255 million.

With this budget, Kafoury said their goal is to get 2,700 people off the streets and into permanent housing.

KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.

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