A need was recognized: the Portland region’s homeless crisis demanded our attention. Lives were – and remain – on the line. What was initially a result of an affordability crisis and personal circumstances has now been grossly expanded as a result of coronavirus and its long terms economic impacts. And yet, what remains the same is the people disproportionately impacted: children and families, people of color, veterans, women escaping domestic violence, people from the LGBTQIA+ community, and people with chronic health conditions.
HereTogether began as a coalition of service providers, business leaders, elected officials, leaders from communities of color and faith, and community advocates who all believe homelessness in the Portland metro area is not an unsolvable problem. We organized a region-wide community who voted to pass a region-wide measure to effectively solve homelessness; a response that targets the roots of the problem, and that, for the first time, matches the scale and scope of the response to the crisis.
Now, we continue to engage our communities to ensure the public will is being appropriately valued during the implementation of this measure. As a region, we came together to enact our values in supporting our neighbors experiencing homelessness. That remains what HereTogether is all about.
Building a Just and Equitable World
The HereTogether coalition helped develop and pass the region-wide Supportive Housing Services measure with a commitment toward centering justice and equity so local governments and elected leaders would be held accountable for reducing racial and identity-based disparities when addressing homelessness. Now, we work to ensure that decision-makers are held accountable to this promise, especially because BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities are disproportionately and significantly impacted by homelessness and housing insecurity.
The crisis on our streets is exacerbated by racism, homophobia and transphobia, sexism, ableism, classism and xenophobia. We work to center equity in all of our work, both within our coalition, our organization and through our advocacy across the region, in order to change systems and ensure a safe and stable home for everyone in our community.
The HereTogether team commits to:
● Put equity at the center of our work
● Acknowledge the disproportionate impact of historical policies and decisions
● Challenge the status quo that created current systemic inequities
● Collaborate with other institutions and communities with humility
● Remember that place matters when discussing housing and homelessness
● Bring diverse voices to this work and create a culture of inclusion
● Support data driven solutions as a force for good
● Operate with urgency and accountability
● Being open to critical feedback and willing to adjust
Our Board Members
Katrina Holland, Advisory Committee Co-Chair, Board Co-Chair
Strategic Engagement Officer & Interim Director of Housing Programs, Urban League of Portland
Mitch Hornecker, Board Co-Chair
Principal, Modoc Consulting, Former President, Portland Business Alliance
Laura Golino de Lovato, Advisory Committee Co-Chair
Executive Director, NW Pilot Project
Michael Parkhurst, Board Treasurer and Secretary
Preservation Program Manager, Oregon Housing and Community Services
Robert Stoll, Chair Emeritus
Retired Attorney, Stoll Berne
Jose Coll, PSU Dean of the School of Social Work
Dr. Marguerita Lightfoot, Associate Dean, Research, OHSU, PSU School of Public Health
Ed Blackburn, Former CEO of Central City Concern
Angela Martin, Co-Director
Cole Merkel, Co-Director
Anna Kemper, Communications Manager
Kandace King, Administrative Specialist
Our community has come together to fund proven solutions to homelessness.