Medford City Council to vote on recommendations from ‘Homeless System Action Plan’

MEDFORD, Ore. — “It really is that first step to intentionally engaging our partners to see about developing real solutions,” said Angela Durant, City of Medford.

Affordable housing and crisis intervention programs are some of the many priorities highlighted in Medford’s ‘Homeless System Action Plan.’

City councilors will vote to adopt staff recommendations providing at the previous week’s study session prioritizing identifying surplus properties and the development of affordable, permanent supportive housing.

“The mental health crisis intervention model in our community is organically growing,” said Durant.

Durant says a Eugene-based program called ‘Cahoots’ is being discussed as a potential model for Medford and the county, although Durant says the model will be developed over time.

The 24-7 mobile crisis intervention program stands for ‘Crisis Assistance Helping out on the Streets.’

Eugene Police say the team uses money from the annual police budget to take on social service calls.

“There’s so many different aspects of that model that the city would be working with the county and other cities and partners to look at. What that looks like for this area, we don’t know,” said Durant.

Durant says councilors have also discussed opening a 24-hour crisis stabilization center.

The facility would provide emergency treatment and stabilization for people having a mental health crisis as a short-term solution.

“We really do lack the resources in our community to house individuals that need that mental health service care,” she said.

Durant says the crisis center and more will not be finalized at Thursday night’s meeting.

She says the plan is just the initial step to get the ball rolling and support the county and regional partners as they start looking into developing more crisis intervention programs.

“What we’re talking about tonight is a reflection of how far we’ve come as a region and I feel like it’s a great thing to look back on. And feel proud about,” Durant said.

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