© 2024 KLCC

136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

CAHOOTS workers face funding woes amid national attention

Nathan Wilk
Senator Ron Wyden with a CAHOOTS van in Eugene on August 11.

CAHOOTS is struggling to meet demand in Eugene-Springfield, even as its model for community healthcare is adopted nationally.

CAHOOTS provides emergency mental health services and acts as a police intermediary. Its workers met with state and city officials and Senator Ron Wyden on August 11.

Employees said that 20 percent of their full-time staff has left in 2022, seeking higher-paying employment amid inflation. Consequently, their mobile crisis intervention centers are often understaffed.

At the same time, crisis worker Chelsea Swift said community need is higher than ever, due to scaling-back of other social services during the pandemic.

“At the end of every voicemail, when you can't get a hold of someone, where you can’t walk in anymore, it says if you're experiencing a crisis call CAHOOTS.”

Senator Wyden secured funding for mobile crisis centers in the American Rescue Plan. He said state officials are working to distribute these funds.

Nathan Wilk joined the KLCC News Team in 2022. He is a graduate from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Born in Portland, Wilk began working in radio at a young age, serving as a DJ and public affairs host across Oregon.