A RESOLUTION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF OREGON
WHEREAS, rural Oregon presents unique hardships for youth with insecure housing including: limited health infrastructure spread over a vast geography, few emergency shelters, a high level of food insecurity, and high levels of adult/child poverty (20-23% compared to 13-16% in urban areas); these problems exacerbate family tensions and contribute to unstable family life; and
WHEREAS, up to 30,000 houseless children and youth reside in Oregon including approximately 22,000 students who are enrolled in Oregon’s public schools; and
WHEREAS, Oregon ranks highest in the nation with 59% of houseless families living with unsheltered children, and furthermore, approximately 57% of Oregon’s houseless are living in rural areas; and
WHEREAS, the 2019 Oregon legislature allocated funding through Oregon Housing and Community Services to address the needs of rural Oregon, especially in 26 counties participating in the Federal Housing and Urban Development Department Continuums of Care Program, this funding remains inadequate to address rural needs; and
WHEREAS, there is a need for public information programs to address neighborhood homeowner concerns and zoning limitations over the expansion of shelter capacity and provision of alternative housing options in residential neighborhoods:
THEREFORE, WE, THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF OREGON, HEREBY RESOLVE THAT:
Section 1. We urge the Governor of Oregon to officially recognize the humanitarian crisis of houselessness faced by Oregon’s youth, especially in rural areas, and to develop an Emergency Response Program based on active engagement and self empowerment for those experiencing this crisis.
Section 2. We urge the Oregon Legislature to establish a Special Fund to End Child and Youth houselessness and appropriate adequate resources with special provisions and allocations applicable to the unique situations faced by rural youth.
Section 3. We urge the Oregon Legislature to begin a public information campaign to address neighborhood and homeowner concerns.
Section 4. We will forward this resolution to all members of the Oregon House and Senate and to the Office of the Governor with the request that it be forwarded to the Director of the Oregon Youth Authority.
Resolution submitted by Peter Nordbye, SCC Delegate, Clackamas County.
ADOPTED by the Democratic Party of Oregon on March 27th, 2022.