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2020's Toll Wore On CAHOOTS Staff And Resources Too

Brian Bull

This past year has been hard for everyone, including those who work to provide comfort and assurance to those in crisis.

Ebony Morgan is the program coordinator for CAHOOTS, the mobile crisis intervention service.  She says with the pandemic, political turmoil, and social justice upheaval, demand went up in 2020, while their capacity did not.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Ebony Morgan, program coordinator for CAHOOTS.

Morgan says services and hours had to be cut back many times, which was hard for her and the rest of the CAHOOTS crew. She says they worked to help those in distress the best they could, while also trying to preserve their own well-being.

“I found myself early on in the pandemic getting very used to saying, ‘I have no answer for that. But I can see that this is really hard for you. And I’m going to sit with you in the rain, until you recognize that, like, I recognize your humanity,’" Morgan told reporters at a recent news event. 

"And sometimes that’s literally all we can do, but that to me is better than nothing.”

Morgan says CAHOOTS is looking to expand with a number of local and state partners, to keep up with the increased demand.  This July will mark its 32nd year of operation.

Copyright 2021, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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