REMARKS AS PREPARED
Governor Kate Brown
December 6, 2019
Good morning everyone, and thank you so much for being here today.
Thank you to Stacy Borke for the kind introduction, and for your dedication and determination year-round tackling the critical issue of housing instability. And
● Senator Taylor
● Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson
● Chair Kafourey
● Jeston Black from Multnomah County
● Denis Theriault from Joint Office of Homeless Services
● Shaynna Hobson, Director of Shelter Services
● Angel Roman, Laurelwood Center Manager
● George Devendorf, Executive Director of Laurelwood
Housing and housing instability is an issue near and dear to my heart.
My goal as your governor is to make sure that every Oregonian has the opportunity to thrive. That means having a warm, safe, dry, and affordable place to call home.
We know that many hardworking Oregonians are struggling. Particularly with increasing housing costs.
Since I became governor we have procured over half a billion dollars in affordable housing. At a time when we have been in a housing crisis, the feds left us holding the bag.
But our state’s leadership agreed that housing is a top priority. We see that commitment reflected in the bills that I signed this summer: a whopping $340 million to invest in affordable housing.
And in our statewide housing plan, we have earmarked $1.7 million to increase shelter capacity.
And I am here today inspired by the way that communities like Laurelwood have been engaged with transition projects like the one we’re standing in right now.
Because an engaged community can make all the difference.
Like a certain high school principal who, after engaging with the feedback process, has become a vocal advocate for increased meals at the shelter and more volunteer shifts for students to prepare and serve meals.
And a local business owner who has begun to regularly donate items and has been a vocal supporter of community-based housing projects.
A thriving Oregon can be measured by the opportunities and freedoms available to those who call this state home. Equally as important is how we as a community coalesce to address critical issues that impact all Oregonians.
I think we would all agree: housing is essential.
We can do more to address housing instability if we all lend a hand to help a neighbor in need.
I want to thank the Laurelwood community for their work.
Because change comes from the ground up. It starts with each and every one of you doing what you can to give back, especially as the weather turns cold.
After all, it is the season of giving. So whether it’s your gently used coats or some nonperishable food items or a box of hygiene products -- give what you can.
It may not seem like much to you, but it’s the little things that make the difference for another Oregonian seeking a warm, safe, and dry place to call home.