Portland mayor unveils new city budget, addressing public safety, homeless issues

Published: May. 4, 2022 at 5:14 PM PDT
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Portland, OR (KPTV) - Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler unveiled his city budget proposal for the 2022-2023 fiscal year on Thursday, seeking to address the city’s growing concerns with livability and public safety.

In his draft budget statement, the mayor said he plans to invest a record amount of money, more than $85 million, into homeless services.

“We’re maintaining our investments for the Joint Office of Homeless Services with over $47 million which will fund a variety of programs, including 10 shelter programs, including low barrier, villages, congregate style and severe weather, with a combined total of nearly 600 beds which serve thousands of Portlanders each year,” said Wheeler.

To address public safety concerns, Wheeler proposes expanding the Portland Street Response program to 24-hours-a-day and seven days per week, at a cost of $11.5 million. For the police bureau, the mayor plans to commit to hiring 300 additional staff over three years, including 28 more unarmed Public Safety Support Specialists. Additionally, $13 million would go to the Office of Violence Prevention to address the city’s rampant gun violence.

The mayor also plans investments in trash and graffiti cleanup to address livability concerns, and millions of dollars in grants for small businesses recovering from the pandemic.

The Portland City Council will begin discussions on the mayor’s proposed budget on Thursday.