City wide issues

Homeless helpers recognized

Partnership between government and non-profit working to address issues of homelessness and public safety receives statewide recognition

Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare and Multnomah County Drainage District Partnership Recognized with Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO) Award

February 6, 2020 – Portland, Ore. – Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare and the Multnomah County Drainage District (MCDD) were recognized with an Outstanding Special District Program award by the Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO) for the organizations’ joint efforts to address safety and infrastructure issues through a Houseless Outreach & Coordination Pilot Project. The SDAO’s Awards Program recognizes innovative accomplishments by organizations that improve safety, public information and involvement in their communities.

The combination of increased housing costs, health care, and other factors have led to an increase in homelessness in metropolitan areas across the United States. With limited places to live, communities in the Portland-metropolitan area have resorted to camping along the Lower Columbia River and in areas protected by a series of federally authorized levee and water conveyance systems extending from North Portland to Troutdale. This increased activity has made it difficult for field employees to perform regular maintenance work, and in some instances, has caused unintentional damage to the levee system – posing greater flood risks for unhoused communities, thousands of residents, businesses, and some of the region’s most vital resources including the Columbia South Shore Well Field, a source of drinking water serving nearly a million Oregonians, and the Portland International Airport. In order to address these issues, MCDD and Cascadia formed a collaborative partnership and launched the Houseless Outreach & Coordination Pilot Project in 2019.

Through targeted outreach, education, and engagement, the project addressed safety concerns and minimized damage to flood risk-reduction systems with the added benefit of providing education and support services to individuals experiencing homelessness, as well as serving as a line of communication to vulnerable communities in low-lying areas during high water events. “The ability for our field crews to work closely with trained social service professionals on the ground allowed us to perform our core job functions while also gaining greater awareness of the conditions of people who are unhoused in our community,” said Randy Lyons, Operations Manager for MCDD. In addition to working with social services, the project also incorporated ongoing collaboration with other regional service organizations, law enforcement, government agencies, property owners, and the general public.

The project met its goal of improved safety and operations for MCDD and its systems, and expanded education and access to healthcare and housing services for individuals experiencing homelessness. With a total of 250 hours of outreach, MCDD and Cascadia made 148 contacts, provided education and information to 88 individuals, and enrolled nearly 20% of the individuals contacted in services over a period of six months. Additionally, in partnership with District staff, the program ensured the safety of approximately 50 individuals by prompting an evacuation from a low-lying peninsula during a high-water event in April 2019.

“When doing outreach in the community, our main goal is to connect with individuals who are struggling and help them get the support and resources they need,” said Kim James, Program Manager of Homeless Services at Cascadia. “We were thrilled to partner with MCDD on this unique program and offer our expertise in reaching individuals who are experiencing homelessness. Collaboration is a critical component to finding solutions to the issues we face in our community.”

The Houseless Outreach & Coordination Pilot Project represents the benefits of a partnership among public and non-profit sectors. The collaboration between MCDD and Cascadia prioritized compassion and human connection, and allowed a service-first approach in order to avoid traumatic experiences that often occur with the presence of law enforcement and regulatory entities. Looking forward, MCDD and Cascadia will continue to work together to develop strategies and plans that improve efficiency and safety in field operations, as well as health and housing outcomes for those experiencing homelessness.

The Special Districts Association of Oregon will host its annual awards program on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at the Seaside Convention Center in Seaside, Oregon. To learn more about the Houseless Outreach & Coordination Pilot Project, visit
Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare is a private, not-for-profit whose mission is to provide whole healthcare for people living with mental health and addiction challenges. For information on Cascadia’s comprehensive range of innovative, integrated clinical and housing support programs, visit:

Cascadia Contact:
Jennifer Moffatt
Senior Director of Communications
The Multnomah County Drainage District (MCDD) helps protect lives and property from flooding by operating and maintaining flood management systems for nearly 13,000 acres of land along the Columbia Slough and the lower Columbia River. These systems include: 27 miles of levee, 12 pump stations, and 45 miles of sloughs, streams, and culverts. To learn more about MCDD’s flood risk-reduction services visit

MCDD Contact:
Karen Lorena Carrillo
Public Affairs & Community Relations Manager 
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City wide issues

Bybee Lakes Hope Center

The New Wapato is The Bybee Lakes Hope Center

Please attend and bring everyone that wants to see The Bybee Lakes Hope Center succeed with the homeless plan created by Helping Hands!

see schedule below for this Saturday 1/25 From 11am to 2:00 pm !

Real Progress Report: “ We have $2.5m committed or donated in total — Joe Weston generously matched Jordan’s $1m which can be announced now. We’re still working toward our $4million goal!

But Jordan is very pleased with our progress and agrees with us that if we keep up momentum, we’ll hit our goal in time to let the demolition permit expire on March 3rd.

We will have a card swiper available on Saturday for donations Large and Small.

City wide issues

Mayor Wheeler addresses homelessness


Your voice is critical when it comes to shaping policies on how Portland can best alleviate the hardships of our neighbors experiencing homelessness in a compassionate way.

That’s why in February and March, I welcome you to join us for several Community Conversations that my office is organizing throughout Portland.

These conversations are a great opportunity for us to share how the City is addressing homelessness, and to listen to your priorities and ideas for improving our continued efforts as we make budget decisions to meet the magnitude of the problem.

Dates and Locations

Southeast Portland
Saturday, Feb. 1, 9:00am – 12:00pm
PCC Southeast Community Hall
2305 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97216-1413
Central Northeast Portland
Thursday, Feb. 13, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Beaumont Middle School Cafeteria
4043 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97212
North Portland
Tuesday, Mar. 3, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
University of Portland Bauccio Commons
5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland, Oregon 97203
Southwest Portland
Saturday, Mar. 7, 9:00am – 12:00pm
Multnomah Arts Center Gymnasium
7688 SW Capitol Hwy., Portland, OR  97219

You can RSVP (optional) or submit discussion topic ideas at this page on our website. I look forward to seeing you there.

Ted Wheeler

Copyright © 2019 City of Portland, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
1221 SW 4th Ave. Portland, OR 97204
City wide issues

The plan to upgrade our levees

The US Army Corps of Engineers has released their draft plan to make our local levee system more reliable and resilient and they would like to hear your thoughts, ideas, and concerns. 
Download the full report
We also encourage you to attend one of the upcoming community meetings to hear from, and speak with, members of the Corps’ team: 

Thursday, January 16, 2020           

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.                           
City of Fairview Council Chambers       
1300 NE Village Street                         
Fairview, OR 97024                              

Thursday, January 23, 2020
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Expo Center
2060 N Marine Drive
Portland, OR 97217

If you can’t make it to one of these meetings, LRC staff will be available to answer questions and collect feedback on the study on:
Northeast Portland Drop-In                             
Saturday, January 25, 2020           
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.                     

Café Eleven                                       
435 NE Rosa Parks Way               
Portland, OR 97211                           

East Multnomah County Drop-In
Saturday, February 1, 2020
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 

Stomping Ground Coffee
21825 NE Halsey Street
Fairview, OR 97024

The Corps’ public comment period will run until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, February 14, 2020.

Written comments can be submitted directly to the Corps via email at or by mailing them to:
US Army Corps of Engineers, CENWP-PM
ATTN: Laura Hicks
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, OR 97208-2946

All of this information is available on our website and we will continue to post relevant materials and information over the course of the public comment period and study process. As always, please let us know if you have any questions or if we can be of assistance in any way. 

This feasibility study is an important opportunity for our community. Thank you in advance for your interest and input!