Janie Gullickson speaks out in support of Downtown Portland Mental Health Resource Center

Excerpt from article posted on 1/17/2019 by Multnomah County.
Original article available
here.

The Bushong Building at 333 SW Park Ave.

The Bushong Building at 333 SW Park Ave.

Background

Multnomah County is considering purchasing the Bushong & Co. Building, at 333 SW Park Ave.(link is external) in Portland, as part of a long-term strategy to provide improved behavioral health resources downtown.

The Board of Commissioners on Thursday unanimously approved a purchase and sale agreement to begin formal negotiations to buy the four-story building. The agreement gives the County 30 days to conduct due diligence evaluations and an additional 30 days to close on the estimated $4.34 million sale.

The County’s Mental Health and Addiction Services Division has long sought an appropriate location for a resource center in the central city. Mental Health advocates, public safety officials, downtown businesses, hotels and other stakeholders have all expressed the need for a better response to the people they encounter daily who are experiencing homelessness and mental health issues.

“There’s a longstanding, critical gap in our system for centrally located, low-barrier mental health recovery services, peer respite services, and a resource center,” said Commissioner Sharon Meieran, who led a review of the County’s mental health system last year. “All of those needs are clear in our community, and they are urgent.”

She said the agreement to explore the Bushong building offers “real potential to respond in a meaningful way to some of those pressing needs in our community.”

Janie Gullickson On the Issue

Janie Gullickson of the Mental Health and Addiction Association of Oregon said a centrally located, low-barrier facility with multiple resources has been missing and is sorely needed. She said the group supports the location and project so far.

“We know downtown is the very public face of homelessness, addiction, mental health crisis and other experiences that folks who have nowhere else to go are facing,” she said. “This gives a great place for those folks to be, and to provide for those folks. I look forward to what’s next for this.”

Media CoverageKaity McCraw