Thousands of domestic violence survivors in Portland will continue to receive services at the Gateway Center for Domestic Violence, thanks to an agreement between the City of Portland and Multnomah County.
During a Dec. 13, 2018 board meeting, City and County leaders outlined specifics of the agreement that will better align the services with the County’s role as a safety net provider. Under the agreement, the County will operate and maintain the facility and employ all staff, while the City will continue to support the funding.
Nationally, an estimated one in four women and one in seven men will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetime. Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical, sexual, psychological, emotional and financial abuse between partners. Domestic violence can result in psychological trauma, injury, and even death.
The Gateway Center serves survivors of domestic violence and their families. Programs include counseling for domestic violence survivors, legal services and temporary financial support to help families and survivors whose safety may be at risk. On-site childcare is also available for participants.
“In one place, survivors can access culturally-responsive services, obtain a restraining order, receive mental health services, engage in safety planning services, and more,” Chair Deborah Kafoury said. “As the region’s safety net, Multnomah County has ample expertise in the provision of social services.”
In the last decade, Gateway Center—located at 10305 E Burnside—served more than 25,000 survivors. More than half of the restraining orders in Multnomah County are issued at the Gateway Center. And this year, the program is expected to serve 4,000 people.
The City of Portland and Multnomah County have jointly supported the center's operations since it first opened its doors in 2009. To streamline the program’s operations, both parties decided in Sept. 2018 to centralize it under the County. Multnomah County already has a number of programs in place serving survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
“The partnership between the County and City has been strong,” said Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who was instrumental in the center’s founding. “I think it’s going to be an even stronger partnership going forward.”
On Jan. 1, the Center will become a part of the Department of County Human Services. The four City of Portland staff who currently deliver services at the center will become County employees. The Center will continue to operate Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and drop-in visitors are welcome.
Even though the Center is changing hands, County leaders say the transition will be smooth and seamless, and all survivors will continue to receive the same high level of services, uninterrupted.
“This is a perfect place for us to take over the stewardship of this center and really it matches so well with the important work we do here at Multnomah County,” Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson said. “(The Center) is an amazing place and an amazing resource.”
Are you or someone you know experiencing domestic violence? Contact Call to Safety, a 24/7 Crisis Line for survivors of domestic violence. Help is free and confidential: 503-235-5333.