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Gresham Behavioral Health Unit (BHU). The city will use grant funds to contract for two full-time Peer Support Specialist positions for Mental Health related calls for service.

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $550,000)

Project Abstract:

The City of Gresham has an established partnership with Cascadia Health that currently operates the co-produced Gresham Police Department Behavioral Health Unit (BHU). BHU is a team consisting of police officers and mental health clinicians from Cascadia Health’s Project Respond program.  Project Respond provides county-wide mobile crisis outreach services to individuals and families experiencing mental health crises, including risk assessments, crisis stabilization, and connection to community resources within Multnomah County, Oregon.

The Gresham Police Department (GPD) is seeking priority consideration under the specific priority area: Demonstrate and ensure that funds are used for public health and public safety. GPD is applying for funds to further collaborate with Cascadia Health by providing two full-time Peer Support Specialist (PSS) positions. These new positions will greatly support and enhance the services police officers can offer when responding to calls with a mental health nexus. The PSSs will become part of the BHU, providing a shared understanding through personal experience, respect and mutual empowerment, helping people to stay engaged in the recovery process while reducing recidivism. The PSSs will provide follow-up services for MHD and MHSUD individuals and help coordinate services that are available to them.

GPD is the primary applicant with both Cascadia Health and Portland State University’s Regional Research Institute being subrecipients of this award. The BHU is requesting federal funding of $550,000 with a target goal to serve 400 individuals through peer support.

BHU intends to provide these services in the City of Gresham, the fourth largest city in Oregon that has an estimated population of 115,938.  Gresham’s gender makeup includes approximately 50% identifying as female. Its racial makeup is approximately 75% White, 4.3% African American, 0.9% Native American, 4.9% Asian, 1.2% Pacific Islander, 9.8% from other races, and 10.4% from two or more races.  Hispanic and/or Latino identification within any race category is approximately 20.7% of the population.

The Gresham Police Department is a previous recipient of JMHCP grant funds under award numbers 2017-MO-BX-0011 and 2020-MO-BX-0031.

Date Created: September 26, 2023