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Supporting our Latinx Communities with Measure 110

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

In November 2020 Oregon made history by voting overwhelmingly in favor of Measure 110, the Drug Addiction Treatment & Recovery Act.  

The landmark law draws from global best practices and is a unique tool no other state in the country currently has available, giving Oregon the ability to treat the overdose crisis like the national public health emergency it is.  Measure 110 removes unfairly harsh punishments for minor, nonviolent drug offenses and expands access to life-saving services.  

Today, it still has strong support from Oregon voters.  

As a result of Measure 110, Oregonians have invested $302 million in just its first two years in overdose prevention, housing, peer support, harm reduction and addiction recovery programs. At the heart of the measure is an emphasis on supporting culturally specific services. Much of Measure 110 funding has been dedicated for Behavioral Health Resource Networks, or BHRNs. A BHRN is a network of entities (or a single entity) that provides unified services related to the healthy management of substance use concerns. Each BHRN must provide trauma-informed, culturally specific and linguistically responsive services. 

Community. Trust. Safety. 

CCC has long provided services for Latinx communities with Puentes, as well as Black and African American communities, where we know success is anchored in helping our clients feel safer when treated by those who have shared backgrounds, cultural experiences, and who have both overcome and continue to navigate similar challenges of simply being members of our society. Now, thanks to Measure 110 funding, Puentes has collaborated with Northwest Instituto Latino and Juntos NW to found a BHRN specifically for our Latinx communities, and is welcoming a wide variety of partners into the BHRN in order to offer a range of culturally specific services, all designed to provide a wider, more in-depth range of appropriate programs. 

Culturally-specific services are particularly important for Latinx communities because of language barriers and the limited access to services experienced by those who are undocumented—but those aren’t the only reasons. 

“I don’t think anyone knows us like we do,” says Jose Luis Garcia, founder of Juntos. “Working with my community, I have connections because I’ve had the same lived experience. We know what those difficulties are. I’m a first generation Mexican…we’ve walked in the same shoes as our clients. We’ve been discriminated against. Nobody knows the pain that we suffer like we do. And that’s why it’s important to have culturally specific services.” 


Founding BHRN Partners 


Rooted in community, Puentes offers culturally specific outpatient substance use disorder services, as well as mental health treatment for clients also experiencing mental health disorders. Puentes also offers medication supported recovery consultation services. All services are provided in Spanish by bilingual and bicultural professionals. Measure 110 funding supports Puentes serving an, additional 20 clients per month. 

Northwest Instituto Latino (NWIL) 

Since 2001, NWIL has increased recovery services for Latinos through training culturally and linguistically specific addictions counselors. In February 2020, NWIL opened the first Latinx recovery support organization in Oregon. To date, they have served more than 120 clients with peer services and have had at least 7,000 people find their recovery at their center. Measure 110 funding supports NWIL serving an additional 40  clients per month. 

Juntos NW 

Juntos NW is a community-based organization focused on improving health disparities for Latino/a/x/indigenous communities in Multnomah County. The organization focuses on outreach and engagement to create awareness and eliminate stigmas that prevent their community from accessing services.  

With Measure 110 funding, Juntos NW is creating an online resource guide with all of the BHRN providers. Additionally, they’re creating culturally specific outreach messaging, hosting community events, distributing naloxone and providing direct rent and transportation assistance. 

As of February 2023, nine additional partners have joined the BHRN. Some organizations are experienced in offering culturally specific services for Latinx communities, and some organizations are offering them for the first time thanks to Measure 110 funding. 

Additional BHRN Partners 

Crucially, the BHRN will increase collaboration between organizations, creating a more seamless experience for those in need of services. As Jose Luis says, “when you build trust with the Latino community, they can come to you for one thing, but once you build that trust, they’re going to ask you for everything.”  

Fernando Peña, executive director of Northwest Instituto Latino, says “Often, people need a variety of services that none of us are in a position to supply on our own. People need the continuum of care…recovery is a lifelong process that requires a lot of support. And that network of support just doesn’t exist in our community. But it’s starting to.” 

CCC is grateful to the voters of Oregon who overwhelmingly passed and continue to support Measure 110. Together, we can provide Oregonians of all backgrounds with compassionate and community-centered paths to recovery.  

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