Faith Leaders Call on Legislature to Act to Prevent and End Homelessness

PRESS RELEASE
November 20, 2013
For Immediate Release
Contact: Alison McIntosh (503) 816-2882

Across Oregon, faith leaders and congregations join together to serve our communities. They act to address and meet immediate needs, including shelter and food, for families across Oregon.

On November 22, the Day of Homelessness Awareness, faith leaders will come together to act on behalf of Oregon families experiencing homelessness who are forced to sleep in their cars or on the street. The New City Initiative and other Congregations will travel to the State Capitol this Friday, to draw attention to the needs of Oregon’s homeless families.

Representatives from the delegation will be meeting with members of the Legislature to request the restoration of state funding to pre-2007 levels to assist people to move into housing.

Oregon has two programs – the Emergency Housing Account (EHA) and the State Homeless Assistance Program (SHAP) that help prevent or end homelessness and provide emergency shelter. EHA and SHAP are proven, effective and efficient pathways to help prevent and end homelessness for thousands of Oregonians. We are asking for the Legislature to add an additional $3 million to EHA and $1 million to SHAP per biennium to help solve the crisis of homelessness. We know that we can prevent or end homelessness for thousands of Oregonians.

Following morning events in Portland, a delegation of religious leaders will travel to Salem. They expect to deliver over 1,000 letters from individuals across the state expressing concern for our fellow Oregonians who are experiencing homelessness, and requesting action by the Legislature. In attendance will be:

Rev. Dr. T. Allen Bethel, Maranatha Church, Albina Ministerial Alliance
Matt Cato, Catholic Archdiocese of Portland
Rev. J. Paul Davis, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Clay Street Table
Rev. Kate Lore, First Unitarian Church
Jeremy Marks, St. Andre Besette Catholic Parish
Paul Schroeder, New City Initiative
Rev. David Wheeler, First Baptist Church
Tom Wherley, Oregon Center for Christian Voices
Barbara Willer, Multnomah County Interfaith Coordinator
Rabbi Joseph Wolf, Havurah Shalom
Rev. Kent Harrop, First Baptist Church, McMinnville

The day will begin in Portland with the fourth annual “Walk of Homelessness Awareness”. The walk will begin with breakfast at 7:00 a.m. at Sisters of the Road followed by visits to organizations supporting people experiencing homelessness. At 8:30 a.m. we will gather at Pioneer Square for an interfaith convocation.

More information on the November 22nd walk is available at http://www.newcityinitiative.net/resources/day-of-homelessness-awareness.

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