Director’s Message – June 2017

By Janet Byrd

June is here! It’s starting to feel like summer in Oregon, the Legislature is beginning to wind up their long session, and the NP offices are buzzing as always with activity and excitement.

We’ve had opportunity to reflect on the year as we wrap up this fiscal year June 30th and look ahead to next year. The coming year promises to be a challenging one on many fronts. Federal budget cuts – those we already know about and those that may come with the new budget now under consideration – pose huge challenges for our communities. The state budget is as of now out of balance, and cuts are threatened. Our housing markets across the state are leaving too many thousands of families and individuals living without permanent shelter or in precarious conditions.

We’re also watching with alarm as our community is divided by hate and violence. Many of our community based partners are struggling to offer stability and hope in the face of changes in immigration enforcement and community climate. Housing developers face neighbors who forget that we don’t get to choose who lives in our neighborhood.

So where do we find our sources of hope? We are fortunate to work with so many of you, who are committed to making life better here in Oregon. Some of you work one person at a time, offering a new idea, coaching, and support as people find their way back from a crisis. Others work on big policy changes, or to bring voices together to advocate. Your work inspires us and keeps us going.

We also find hope in the stories of the people who benefit from your work, like the story on our blog this month. Shannon talked to Amy Stuczynski of the NP team about the changes she made in her approach to life with the support and coaching of the staff at Proud Ground. Not only did Shannon manage to buy a home, she took the lessons she learned working with the Proud Ground coaches and turned them on other parts of her life. Those life lessons plus affordable and stable housing mean Shannon will be a force in her community for decades to come.

Thank you for all that you do, and for your partnership.