Sunnyside Neighborhood Portland

Homelessness Issues Workgroup

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At the November Board meeting, members voted to form a workgroup on houselessness (used interchangeably here with homelessness) issues.

As a contributor to the workgroup, I personally have no preconceived expectations about the role that SNA might have in homelessness issues. I have no expertise in sociology, economics, public policy, or any other field that might qualify one to recommend actions in dealing with poverty. But there is obviously still work to be done to alleviate suffering among the houseless members of our community, and all that’s required to join the conversation is a bit of compassion and empathy.

My first task will be researching and educating myself about homelessness and poverty in general– it’s a wide net to cast:

What are the city, county, state, federal policies that affect homeless individuals?

What services are available to our houseless neighbors?

Are any other neighborhood associations doing anything to address homelessness? Also organizations like SE Uplift?

What is the best way to collect ideas and collaborate in this workgroup?

Of particular immediate interest to SNA is the Sunnyside Methodist Church – Community House, which is currently undergoing a transition under the direction of a Discernment Team co-chaired by Pat Schweibert. Pat has directed Wednesday “Hard Times Suppers” for over 30 years, and has expressed interest in making the Community House a resource to provide services in support of homeless neighbors.

Please let me know if you have a positive contribution to make to this workgroup.  Whether you’d just like to share your constructive opinion or your experience… Or maybe you’ve been an advocate of the homeless for years– or maybe you’ve been homeless for years– and want to be integral to SNA efforts. I’m sure that I’m perfectly capable of solving poverty on my own, but I would be happy to have your help.

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