Now is the Time for Oregon to Use Our Rainy-Day Funds

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Last week, we heard from Oregon state economists.

They predict the sharpness in the decline of state revenue is unprecedented. This has sweeping implications for every Oregonian.

As our elected leaders create an economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever they champion policies that provide support and relief to individuals and communities across Oregon who are hardest hit by COVID-19: low-wage earners, people experiencing homelessness, women, immigrants, and Black, indigenous and people of color.

Many of these communities are served by state agencies providing critical affordable housing, human services, healthcare and employment services. We must protect and invest more resources in the critical public services our communities have increasingly come to rely upon. We:

1. Ask Governor Brown to call a special session of the legislature now so that they pass a revised state budget aimed at addressing this new revenue shortfall; and

2. Request our legislators maintain funding at current levels for the critical human services provided and invest more in services that help people achieve health and economic stability. We encourage lawmakers to focus on bringing additional federal relief dollars to our state and to tap into the $2.4 billion our state has in reserve funds.

Central City Concern is still here for our most vulnerable populations, now more than ever. 

We have a long history of providing support for people experiencing homelessness with complex health care needs, focusing on client-centered, wraparound, highly flexible services and economic opportunity. We know these services work to end homelessness.

We’ve stepped up our response during the COVID-19 pandemic by:

  • Implementing a COVID triage phone number for urgent health care needs for all CCC residents.
  • Providing access to phones to simplify the enrollment process for patients with barriers to accessing technology. However, much more is needed than we can currently provide. And, we know not all communities are able to take advantage of tele health options. We need spaces that can provide in-door bathrooms, food, clean water and respite, if traditional "drop-in" spaces continue to unavailable as the state opens back up.
  • Implementing excellent infection prevention standards.
  • Offering wraparound supports (food boxes, transport, enhanced janitorial services, etc.) in our residential buildings in case any of our residents need to quarantine or isolate.
  • Strengthening our community partnerships with other health care providers to provide deeper levels of service to our most vulnerable citizens. 
  • Increasing our fundraising and PPE (personal protective equipment) goals to respond to the increased need in our community.

Now is the time for our elected leaders to do their jobs.

There are two things you can do today:

1. Support our message on social media: Oregon needs a COVID response that puts people first and protects the vital services our communities depend on. #ORleg

2. Donate to CCC and support our COVID-19 response efforts today.