Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $549,988)
The City of Portland’s Community Safety Division is requesting funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to develop and launch the Community Network for Coordinated Transportation (CNECT) project to demonstrate the need for a trauma-informed transportation capability with peer support services that will deflect individuals experiencing acute SUD intoxication and mental health crisis from our jails and emergency departments.
Over the past four years, Portland, Oregon has been deeply impacted by a behavioral health crisis. This crisis is the result of several factors including changing trends in substance abuse, policy changes by the state, and loss of essential capabilities to address the growing and evolving needs our community’s public health. Significant progress has been made towards launching a 24/7, 365 crisis stabilization and sobering facility to support Portland’s first responders and community members in need of behavioral health triage, crisis stabilization, and wrap-around support.
The CNECT demonstration project will convene a diverse project workgroup that includes law enforcement, criminal justice, emergency medical response, mobile street outreach, and peer provider stakeholders to design and implement the critical transportation capability needed to get justice involved and other individuals experiencing SUD and mental health crisis to the stabilization center. The project will also focus on a design that supports overrepresented populations in our criminal justice system, such as Black adults who make up 5% of Portland, but 29% of Portland’s jailed population.
If funded CNECT will provide a key resource for law enforcement and other first responders who currently transport approximately 9,800 individuals per year that would meet the criteria for intake at the stabilization center.
In addition, to the Community Safety Division key supporters of the CNECT demonstration project include the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, Multnomah County Circuit Courts, Portland Police Bureau, American Medical Response, Portland Street Response and Project Respond.