August 22, 2019 13:10
The Portland Police Bureau has hired its first-ever Homeless Community Liaison. Stephanie Herro, who will represent the Bureau on matters related to the homeless community, was hired August 15, 2019, after an eight-month hiring process. In this new role, she will also be the primary interface between the Police Bureau and the homeless advocacy community, including social service, governmental or law enforcement agencies.
Stephanie has extensive experience working with vulnerable populations, including adults with developmental disabilities, those experiencing mental health challenges, and older adults who are navigating changes associated with the aging process. Stephanie also has experience as a Police Officer in her native state of Wisconsin, in addition to the West Linn Police Department, more recently.
Stephanie relocated to Oregon in 2014 from Chicago, where she earned a Master of Arts in Gerontological Counseling and spent time working in the geriatric psychiatric field. Most recently, she was a manager for the State's Aging and People with Disabilities program in Clackamas County, where she continued cross-systems work addressing loneliness, connection, food security, and housing stability for the county's most vulnerable adults.
"We welcome Stephanie and are excited about moving forward with this critical component in how police respond to those who are homeless in our community," said Chief Danielle Outlaw.
The Liaison will be charged with developing an action plan for police response to the homeless community and will collaborate with the Bureau's Training Division to develop ongoing training for officers regarding contemporary best practices for communicating, policing, and providing services to the unsheltered community.
The Liaison will not be a direct responder to the community regarding the issues around those in the homeless community. The City's One Point of Contact online reporting system provides a single place to report issues surrounding urban campsites. This system provides a wide range of services based on the reports community members file online. The system is designed to provide a rapid response to complaints and concerns, and allows the City to centralize the information collection process. Visit https://www.portlandoregon.gov/toolkit/70039
or call (503) 823-4000.
Individuals looking to find health and human services in the City, should call or text 211, which can connect people with food and rental assistance, parenting resources, maternal and child health services, utility assistance and more.
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