Senators: Big federal spending bill, signed by president, includes money for Oregon City project

U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced Monday, March 25, that the last-minute funding package that cleared both chambers of Congress last week and was signed into law by President Biden includes funds for several Oregon projects, including Oregon City’s Parrott Creek Regional Center of Excellence for Youth Residential Treatment.

A total of $2 million will go toward construction of a 26,000 square foot building at Parrott Creek, designed for living, education, treatment, recreation and administrative space. The facility serves some of Oregon’s most vulnerable youth; this investment will enable Parrott Creek to double their capacity, according to a joint press release from the senators.

The so-called “FY24 minibus” funding package includes investments for Oregon to expand access to health care and mental health resources, boost manufacturing, and enhance emergency response coordination — including nearly $36 million in funding for 28 critical community-initiated projects across the state.

The package passed the House and Senate just in time to stave off a partial federal government shutdown.

The 19 community-initiated projects touted by Merkley and Wyden include:

  • $3 million to Oregon Health Authority for 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Statewide Public Awareness Campaign. The project aims to increase awareness of crisis services across the state and to expand availability of services, with a particular emphasis on increasing awareness across underserved communities, including veterans and communities of color.
  • $2 million to Oregon Health & Science University’s Oregon Nurse Education, Practice Integration and Retention Demonstration Project, a pilot demonstration project to provide opportunities for nurse education and improve nurse retention to work toward addressing Oregon’s nurse shortage.
  • $1.675 million for Portland Community College to launch its mental health and community wellness initiative to increase the availability of a skilled mental health workforce. “With Oregon currently ranked at the bottom in the nation for access to substance-use disorder treatment, this initiative will help address this gap by focusing on recruitment in the fields of addiction treatment and human services, and by creating class offerings for current professionals looking to expand their knowledge and credentials in the field,” the release reads.
  • • $1.97 million for renovation costs to keep the Rockwood Health Center facility in East Multnomah County operational. The facility provides care to 7,200 clients annually, with nearly 67% reporting as Black, Indigenous or people of color. “Multnomah County is significantly investing in this health center to maintain and expand care for some of the county’s most vulnerable populations,” the senators wrote in a press release.

Other packets of money will support Washington County’s Center for Addictions Triage and Treatment ($2.5 million); new construction at Oregon City’s Parrott Creek Regional Center of Excellence for Youth Residential Treatment ($2 million).

More projects are spread throughout the rest of Oregon, with a focus on rural health, nursing, reproductive health care, maternal and child heath, mental and behavioral health, medical research, community health centers, child care and early education, migrant and seasonal farmworker education and more.


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