Plans to create a mobile emergency response team to help drunk and drug-addicted people get off Portland’s streets and into treatment will move ahead this summer following approval by the City Council Monday.

City councilors approved $100,000 in federal funding for the project as part of the annual Community Development Block Grant program. The money will allow the program to start in July, while organizers will seek other sources of long-term funding.

The program, called the HOME Team – Homeless Outreach and Mobile Emergency Team – will include two outreach workers equipped with a van and two outreach workers who will be on foot in the downtown area.

Shopkeepers and others now call police to remove publicly intoxicated people who may be fighting or loitering or even passed out, and the people are frequently back on the street after a trip to the hospital or jail. The HOME Team will reduce pressure on police and rescue personnel and eventually bring more of the alcoholics and addicts into long-term treatment, organizers say.

Milestone Foundation Inc., which operates a homeless shelter and detoxification center, is leading the project. Other partners include the city’s Health and Human Services and Police departments, the Portland Downtown District, Preble Street, Mercy Hospital and Youth Alternatives Ingraham.


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