CommunityMedia & Press

Grand Opening of Residential Treatment Facilities in Portland This Spring

By March 15, 2024March 21st, 2024No Comments
Exterior of Jade House, a 2-story residence with seafoam green paint and a ramp up to the front door

Exterior of Jade House | Credit: Shehyphy Photography

New Narrative welcomed a new residential treatment facility (RTF) in Northeast Portland, named the Jade House, into its residential network this week! New Narrative also anticipates adding a second RTF this spring to its existing portfolio of 11 properties featuring 74 beds. Each site features 11 beds and will provide staffing 24 hours a day, seven days a week for its residents. These facilities will accept referrals from the Oregon State Hospital and other acute care settings. They will provide a space for adults under civil commitment to focus on mental health recovery through medication management, therapy, and life-skills classes (for example, how to manage money, cooking, hygiene, living in a community setting, and developing or pursuing hobbies and interests).

The funding from these sites was made possible through the groundbreaking $130 million 2021 behavioral health package passed by the Oregon Legislature. The sites were realized through a partnership with the Oregon Health Authority. Both residential treatment facility sites were purchased in June of 2022 for renovations, which were undertaken by GSI Builders, Inc. and RESOLVE Architecture.

Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting

Community members and local and state officials gathered alongside New Narrative staff on Tuesday afternoon at the Jade House location to celebrate the new facility which will begin receiving its first residents as early as next week. Gathered in the community room, CEO Julie Ibrahim welcomed the group. “During my tenure, I have witnessed this agency grow and innovate as we have expanded our service offerings in mental health and property management,” she said. “Our participants are invited to be proactive in setting their own goals for mental health recovery, and we walk alongside them offering housing, peer support, and clinical treatment options. This will be a place of healing and hope.”

Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson commemorated the moment. “We know the need is so great. This is the place where individuals are going to be able to find that care.”

Chair Vega Pederson speaks from the podium, looking at CEO Julie Ibrahim

Chair Vega Pederson speaks while CEO Julie Ibrahim looks on | Credit: Shehyphy Photograhy

She continued, “This model that New Narrative has and believes in is also one that I also really believe in. This is more than just a home though…it’s about bringing medication, it’s about bringing case management, it’s bringing individual and group therapy and more personalized treatment plans. And through these resources, New Narrative expands on what’s possible as it walks alongside people towards mental health and stability.” Chair Vega Pederson noted the importance of the work, and how it ties in with Multnomah County’s March 11 announcement of the Homelessness Response Action Plan. “When we talk about the importance of this individual place and individual work that’s going to happen here, we also have to think about where this fits into the system and what kind of system we need to support not just the people who are going to be moving through these doors but the people that we need to serve throughout our county.”

Commissioner Meieran, Chair Vega Pederson, CEO Julie Ibrahim, and OHA Behavioral Health Director Clarke prepare to cut the ribbon in the community room

Commissioner Meieran, Chair Vega Pederson, New Narrative CEO Julie Ibrahim, and OHA Behavioral Health Director Ebony Clarke cut the ribbon | Credit: Shehyphy Photography

Why are residential treatment facilities important for addressing mental health and houselessness?

Facilities like Jade House provide a space for adults living with severe mental illness to navigate their lives and transition back into society. Staff create a safe, supportive, trauma-informed atmosphere where residents can navigate their needs and learn how to manage their mental health challenges with the goal of being able to live independently or in the situation that best meets their needs longer-term. Without these facilities, adults exiting the Oregon State Hospital and other care often have nowhere to go and have difficulty finding housing. The likelihood of becoming houseless and experiencing a return of severe mental health challenges without supports like residential treatment facilities is high.

Wrap-Around Services at New Narrative

The New Narrative residential treatment model includes a full time staff of residential staff, clinical staff (QMHP) and peer support services, all located in the facility. By creating integrated care teams from a variety of disciplines, the team is able to address unique challenges and identify strengths with a multidisciplinary lens. For more than 40 years, New Narrative has provided services to individuals facing complex mental health challenges with a proven ability to meet residents where they are and create a service plan and interventions to move toward their goals. This also includes commitment to transforming the culture of the agency’s programming away from the medical model that pathologizes people, toward resident-centered, strengths’ based services. The difference shows, both in the care and passion of our staff, and in the effort to make our facilities feel like home in as many ways as possible.

Even while we celebrate these facilities as a wonderful accomplishment this spring for New Narrative and for Portland, the state is still short at least 3,000 residential treatment beds to meet the mental health and substance abuse treatment needs of Oregonians. Please consider supporting New Narrative with a donation to continue the momentum and ensure more mental health resources are available to adults who need them most.

Read and download our press release for the grand opening here.

Photos from the Jade House Grand Opening