access to social services ensures that all Portlanders
have the opportunity to succeed.
Portlanders express appreciation for the quality, variety
and number of social services available. While they
applaud the abundant services offered to meet basic
needs like food and clothing, people are concerned that
gaps exist in housing services, such as transitional
housing, affordable housing options and shelters
for people experiencing homelessness or domestic violence
(especially for women).
Generally, respondents believe social services should
receive stable funding, often citing the role of government
and big businesses in providing these resources. Portlanders
also want unnecessary duplication of services eliminated
and better coordination between agencies that serve
similar populations. They urge equal access to social
services by removing the barriers that different groups
face to receiving the services they need.
express gratitude for agencies that offer a variety
want to see a change in, and expansion of, social
- Social services should
lead to greater opportunities for service recipients.
- There should be more stable
funding for social services.
express gratitude for agencies that offer
a variety of services.
- Many people value existing services
that provide for the basic needs of people
struggling with homelessness (see Social
- Those who receive services attest to the
number of available service options and
express their appreciation for kind service
- Some respondents mention valuing services
and centers for the Latino community as well
as for other immigrants and refugees.
- Recovery services are essential resources
for people who wish to overcome addiction.
- Resources for basic needs like food and
clothing are abundant, but there are not enough
value all the great services for homeless
people downtown…There’s also some really
nice places to live and they’re some really
caring people working at those places.
It makes me feel valued.”
would like to see] continued attention
and focus on provision of social services
and affordable housing for those in need.
We can only set a good example by doing
better than we are in these areas. If
we are a truly compassionate city, let’s
walk the talk!”
want to see a change in, and expansion of,
- There should be more creative, comprehensive
approaches to social services.
- Clients should be consulted and actively
participate in the creation of these
- The community should place less emphasis
on incarceration and more emphasis on prevention
- Social services should be better coordinated
to avoid unnecessary bureaucracy for people
trying to access them.
- Everyone deserves equal treatment and care,
ensuring dignity and respect for all people
- People would like to see social services
greatly expanded. Specific groups needing
more support and attention include:
- Immigrants and refugees;
- People living with HIV/AIDS;
- People experiencing homelessness (particularly
- The aging population;
- People experiencing mental health issues;
- Young people (specifically prevention
services for minority youth);
- People that live in East Portland;
- Families; and
- People with substance abuse problems.
- Respondents also single out certain types
of social services and programs that need
to be expanded. These include:
- Job placement services;
- Community mental health and treatment
- Family counseling;
- Drug and alcohol recovery services;
- Respite care (not just foster); and
- Tattoo removal for former gang-affiliated
are not given enough support. They come
here and after 8 months they are left
alone. Some of them don’t know how to
use a stove and they have spent years
in the refugee camps. There is no support
for them. Why bring refugees here if you
are not going to help them?”
we need – a youth center, a place for
kids to go to do something productive.
I feel strong about this – kids need a
place to where they can play basketball,
eat a sandwich, swim, and more. Kids could
go to a youth center as they would not
want to go to a church.”
- Build community centers that also
- Offer comprehensive, early intervention
for youth that couples services like crime
prevention with mental health services.
services should lead to greater opportunities
for service recipients.
- Services should be more client-centered,
where people can create their own change.
- Services should concentrate on alleviating
and preventing poverty.
- More affordable housing will help reduce
feel services for those deemed less desirable
are trying to solve an unsolvable reality
and will only support our national identity
of separating the classes. these agencies
are lacking in transparency, meaning the
managers are the few participating in
dialogue and they interact very minimally,
if at all, with the people receiving services
the agencies that provide these services
don't really encourage dialogue about
race, class, privilege, diversity, access
to resources and the many roots of poverty.
It's a community issue.”
- Portland needs government supported
early intervention and strengths-based programs
for at-risk youth.
- "Do something about the homeless - not just
kick them out of where I want to be but find
a long-term solution to helping them help
should be more stable and equitable funding
for social services.
- Local government and businesses should support
social services more.
- Funders should support service agencies
that are following best practices and finding
long-term solutions to social issues.
would like to see more equitable funding
for programs that serve Portland's most
vulnerable populations, and more communication
between the many diverse communities that
the future] services are provided in an
equitable manner all over the city - things
happen not because people in a certain
area speak louder, but because needs are
- Businesses should partner with
social services to provide more job opportunities
to service recipients.