Portland, OR

Portland Daily Round Up: Portland pledges $38M toward homeless services, $1.5M to counseling for victims of gun violence

Emily Scarvie

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By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Tuesday, Nov. 2 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Portland, Multnomah County pledge $38M towards homeless services

Multnomah County and Portland city officials announced Monday that $38 million will be spent on homeless services, such as outreach workers, community cleanup programs and shelter beds, to meet an immediate need in the city. The funding comes from increased revenues from business taxes collected by Portland and Multnomah County.

“All of us here today see with clear eyes what’s been happening over the course of the 40 years that led us here: a fundamental breakdown in how we care for the most vulnerable people in our country,” Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury said, per KATU. “This represents a rare opportunity for us to come together, pool our resources and inject an immediate infusion into our system to address homelessness in our community.”

Around $30 million of the funding will go towards street-based outreach and increasing shelters and beds, as well as increasing public health services in areas like Portland’s Old Town and Chinatown. Over $7 million will go towards trash and campsite cleanup programs.

Additionally, Multnomah County said it will contribute $52 million from the Metro Supportive Housing Services Measure, which will provide permanent housing for more than 1,000 people and families, expand outreach teams and increase shelter beds.

2. New Multnomah County program will offer counseling services to victims, families impacted by gun violence

Multnomah County is investing $1.5 million from the American Rescue Plan to start a Gun Violence Behavioral Response Team, which will offer counseling services to families affected by gun violence, amid a record number of shootings in Portland this year. The goal is to disrupt the cycles of violence through counseling.

“What we know about people who have experienced trauma, or what I hear all the time is ‘hurt people hurt people.’ Right? So if you’ve experienced pain, you’re more likely to act out in pain, unless we can address that pain,” Julie Dodge, Interim Director of Behavioral Health, told FOX 12.

Director of Clinical Services, Yolanda Gonzalez, said the work on the ground and investment in families after they experience this trauma makes a difference.

“To really partner with these families and welcome them into a healing space, and then it’s walking alongside them,” Gonzalez said, per FOX 12. “Grief and trauma and pain are not linear. And so it’s really just showing up and meeting them where they’re at and seeing what their needs are around it all.”

The team will include three clinicians that will offer counseling services to families. The county is also investing in its Community and Adolescent Health Team, which focuses on outreach in priority neighborhoods and offers mental health services for children and families.

3. Lloyd Center mall facing foreclosure, redevelopment

KKR Real Estate Finance Trust, a New York-based lending company, said Monday that it plans to foreclose on the Lloyd Center mall before the end of the year and redevelop the site. According to KKR, payments on its $110 million debt have been overdue since October of last year. The company loaned $177 million towards the mall’s 2015 renovation.

Lloyd Center opened in 1960 as an open-air mall and had 100 stores. In the 1980s it was covered with a glass ceiling and was then renovated extensively into a more traditional mall in the 1990s. Despite a major renovation in 2014, the mall has struggled to stay afloat, especially as major retailers like Nordstrom, Macy’s and Sears have left. The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated the mall’s problems.

Todd Minnis, the CEO of Lloyd Center owner EB Arrow, wrote a letter addressing the local community in February, saying the company was dedicated to keeping the mall around for the long term.

“Throughout its 60-year history, Lloyd Center has a legacy of adapting to meet the needs of a changing community,” Minnis wrote, per The Oregonian. “Rest assured, it will remain an important pillar of this community.”

EB Arrow has not commented on the planned foreclosure.

4. MusicPortland calls on city, state leaders to help industry bounce back

Advocates for Portland’s music industry are calling on city leaders to make changes that will help live music bounce back amid the COVID-19 pandemic. MusicPortland held a meeting Monday for community members to discuss their needs and concerns.

“If we don’t act now, 10 years from now, five years from now we won’t have a music industry,” a MusicPortland board member told KOIN. “It will be death by a thousand paper cuts.”

MusicPortland created a seven-point policy agenda for local officials to help music and performing return post-pandemic. They say current laws are hindering them from making a comeback.

“If the City of Portland and State of Oregon don’t act strategically, then music will not naturally come back," board member Jamie Dunphy told KOIN. "The stages of Portland will stay empty long after COVID passes and the audiences are returning."

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