The Encampment Management Program is a multidisciplinary pilot program launched in 2021 in response to an increase in unsheltered homelessness across Washington County. The EMP includes participation from the Sheriff’s Office dedicated HOPE (Homeless Outreach Programs and Engagement) deputy, Housing Services, and Health & Human Services.
As of April 2023, with additional resources in place including 426 shelter units, a coordinated outreach approach including nine outreach providers county-wide, and robust long-term housing programs the EMP is shifting towards supporting people living in encampments to get connected with shelter and long-term housing resources.
The EMP will officially be sunset in August 2023, as key operations are embedded on an ongoing basis in the Sheriff’s Office, Housing Services, Health & Human Services departments, and other County departments as appropriate.
Locally Coordinated Command Centers
The Washington County Locally Coordinator Command Centers (LC3) were formed in response to the Governor’s Executive Order to address the state’s housing and homelessness crisis. The LC3 will report to the Continuum of Care Board and the Multi- Agency Coordination Group (MACG).
The work of the LC3 includes setting up a day-to-day operation hub, designed to connect unsheltered people to shelter and housing, using person-centered strategies. Utilizing place-based, by name lists to focus on individual goals and service needs for people in identified focus areas. LC3 members, will be a network of homeless service providers with expert knowledge of the homeless services system and experience providing support to unsheltered individuals. The LC3 members will have access to Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and follow best practices regarding privacy of participants.
Hwy 47 Encampment
The first LC3 focus area will be an encampment located off Hwy 47, near Forest Grove in unincorporated Washington County. This location was identified due to the concentration of people experiencing homelessness in the area and the high needs of this population. The Multi Agency Coordination Group (MACG) submitted over 20 locations across Washington County with a concentration of unsheltered homelessness; Hwy 47 was the highest scoring location.
Using this model, the LC3 set a goal to provide everyone currently camping at the Hwy 47 encampment with shelter and long-term housing this summer. This will allow the EMP to close the Hwy 47 encampment. As we move towards the goal of closing this encampment and supporting unhoused individuals as they transition into shelter and long-term housing, we will be pausing scored assessments of the encampment. Voluntary cleanups will continue, and campsites deemed to be a health and/or safety risk will be individually posted and cleaned up through contracted services. As folks are connected to resources and leave the property, we would clean-up abandoned sites and discourage campers to return.
Already, we have seen multiple individuals staying at the Hwy 47 encampment move into our shelters or long-term housing solutions. With the intentional focus provided through the LC3 staff are confident that we are able to serve anyone who currently resides at the Hwy 47 encampment with housing resources. After closure of the encampment, individuals will not be allowed to camp on the property.
Additional information and resources
Report an encampment in your area by providing as much information as possible using the online form.
Report potential criminal activity or disturbing behaviors related to an encampment by contacting your local law enforcement agency through non-emergency dispatch at 503-629-0111. For an immediate threat to life or property, dial 9-1-1 for an emergency response.
Help someone in need get access to available services by contacting Washington County’s coordinated entry system, Community Connect at 503-640-3263.
Washington County is creating a new local ordinance intended to comply with state and federal law to regulate camps and camping on public property. This ordinance will regulate camps and camping in unincorporated Washington County on public property. Learn more about the draft ordinance on our Time, Place, Manner webpage.
Get more information about the Encampment Management Program
- Review our Frequently Asked Questions below.
- Email [email protected]