Local non-profit Street Roots address houselessness and poverty in the Portland area with their Rose City Resource Guide (RCRG), a 4’x 4′, 104 page guide that is the most comprehensive, updated list of services for people experiencing homelessness and poverty in Multnomah and Washington counties. More than 160,000 guides are published annually by Street Roots and distributed to more than 400 organizations and and entities working with people experiencing homelessness and poverty in the Portland region. In the past, the guide has only been available in paper form (no digital version), and had no spatial (mapped) component.
Street Roots and the Mapping Action Collective formed a partnership to create an interactive web mapping tool for houseless folks and service providers who assist them to have better access to resources in the Portland Metro area. The Mapping Action Collective helped Street Roots staff to create a new workflow that will streamline updates and also provide data to feed into a web map that contains hundreds of community resources from the guide. The idea is to help service providers and clients navigate multiple resources (identify what bus lines go to what shelters, for example) quickly and easily, and to provide maps and travel information for those who need it.
The data about the community assets in the RCRG (such as location, hours, and service provided) will also upload to the Northwest Open Data Exchange, a PSU-managed open data site. The digital format of the Rose City Resource will be more accessible by social service providers, community members, and planning departments. This will increase the visibility and continuity of service provision for Portland’s most vulnerable community members.