Too many Oregonians today are forced to choose between paying rent or buying groceries or medicine. Too many of us are busy looking for work, holding down two or three jobs, hunting for an apartment or affordable day care, or trying to hold off a foreclosure. Many others of us are trying hard to sleep through the night while worrying, or while sharing shelter space with dozens of other people.
In February, the Oregon Legislature will convene for a short, one-month session. This makes us anxious for yet another reason, holding our breath nervously in anticipation of what might occur in February. It is almost certain that we’ll hear more grim news about the budget, and we’re worried that the Legislature will act to do even more damage to our community’s system of support for people facing hard times. During the last legislative session, there were cuts to emergency housing assistance and other housing programs, severe cuts to child care and work support programs, and more. There’s nowhere left to cut, and many of these cuts have already gone too far. Continue reading