No one has ever sought to eliminate these programs. What many people don’t realize is that these programs were in jeopardy long before the City Manager’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget was proposed.
It was for this reason—to ensure the continuation of all of these services—that the City Manager proposed transitioning the management of these city services to a new entity, namely the Portland Community Health Center (PCHC).
While many people have expressed a preference for maintaining the status quo—keeping all of India Street’s programs exactly as they are, at their current location, under the city’s management—that is not a sustainable model. Therefore, the idea that keeping things exactly as they are would “save” India Street is misleading.
Indeed, the only way to save India Street’s excellent programs in the long-term is for the city to carefully, thoughtfully, and deliberately place these programs under the purview of PCHC, the federally qualified healthcare center (FQHC) that was established in partnership with the city several years ago for precisely this purpose.
It is unfortunate that the City Manager, in taking this proactive step to ensure the long-term sustainability of these programs, has been characterized as cold and uncaring. In fact, the opposite is true. It would be irresponsible for the city to continue to kick this can down the road. Doing so could result in a repetition of what occurred with the city’s homeless healthcare program, which had to close under less than ideal circumstances due to a loss of funding.
For more information about the closing of the city’s homeless healthcare program, please see About Portland Community Health Center.
For more about why it is both wise and necessary to transition these programs to an FQHC, please see What's Going On With India Street?