January 3, 2024
Juliana Lukasik, Sr. Director of Communications & Public Affairs at Central City Concern
Elisabeth Shepard, Press Secretary to Governor Kotek
Governor Kotek, Chair Vega Pederson, Mayor Wheeler, Central City Concern Secure New Treatment Center In Portland Central City
The state, Central City Concern, city, county, spearhead effort to purchase building in the central city with over 70 beds for behavioral health treatment
Salem, OR — Today, Governor Tina Kotek, Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Central City Concern (CCC) announced that through a joint effort, Central City Concern has finalized the contract to purchase a building in Portland’s central city to provide treatment and temporary housing for people experiencing substance use disorders. The contract was finalized in less than two weeks and will add over 70 treatment beds.
“This is an incredible opportunity to fill a direct gap in needed treatment options in the central city,” Governor Kotek said. “The urgency and collaboration that made this purchase possible is precisely the kind of leadership this moment demands. I want to thank my colleagues at the County and City, as well as Central City Concern and CareOregon for rising to the occasion. See a problem, see a viable solution, run toward it.”
The announcement comes just weeks after Governor Kotek’s Portland Central City Task Force — of which the Chair, Mayor and CCC CEO Andy Mendenhall served as members — announced its official recommendations and report, including a charge to expand residential substance use disorder treatment services.
“Central City Concern applauds the leadership and partnership of Governor Kotek, Chair Vega Pederson and Mayor Wheeler for decisively acting on recommendations that came directly from the Portland Central City Task Force,” said Andy Mendenhall MD, CEO of Central City Concern. “This program will provide temporary housing and treatment for people experiencing substance use disorders who will benefit from a more structured level of service. Medicaid data informed us we needed more of these services, and aligned leadership empowered rapid success with this project. This is a real win for our region.”
Two days after the building was put up for auction, CCC submitted a bid with financial commitments including $6 million from the Oregon Health Authority, $6.25 million from Multnomah County, $2 million from the City of Portland, and $3 million of their own funds. CareOregon agreed to provide temporary bridge-loan funding to support the transaction through closing. The location of the building is confidential per a non-disclosure agreement until the sale is final.
The seller accepted the proposal, and Central City Concern finalized a purchase and sale agreement within 10 days of the building first being put up for auction. The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to take an official vote allocating funds tomorrow. The Portland City Council is also planning a vote this month.
“Our mandate is to make sure resources are available when people urgently need them,” Chair Vega Pederson said. “This facility, which we are fast-tracking to provide high-acuity beds for treatment, dramatically increases our response to this crisis. It is what we need from our partners and providers to serve the immediate needs of people across our continuum of care. Bravo Central City Concern.”
“I’m grateful for Central City Concern’s leadership in launching this project and quickly coordinating funding support with regional partners for a facility that will help expand direly needed treatment resources here in the City of Portland,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said.
Renovations and hiring will be fast tracked with a goal to open in the fall. The building is expected to add over 70 beds to support a Residential Treatment Program for substance use disorders (SUD) and behavioral health. With 24-hour staffing, the new program is anticipated to provide 40 residential treatment beds serving individuals for a duration of 1-4 months followed by step-down services on-site with 30-35 transitional housing beds plus outpatient SUD services.