The holiday season is a time many families gather to celebrate, in their homes with loved ones.
Unfortunately, 1 in 3 families in our region is unable to pay for basic needs, having to make agonizing choices between paying for rent, utilities, childcare or healthcare and the impact of COVID-19 has made these circumstances worse.
In Oregon, 53% of tenants paid their monthly rent during the pandemic by cutting back on food and medications. Half dipped into savings. 34.8% of tenants now owe back rent and 56% of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) tenants owe back rent. These families are at the highest risk of becoming houseless this winter.
You can help our community recover, become more resilient, while building a more inclusive and equitable region where all families have the resources and opportunities to thrive. By making a gift to United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, you can help families like Lisette’s have a safe place to call home.
A FAMILY IN CRISIS
Lisette and her 13 year old son Elijah struggled moving from place to place in temporary shelters and sometimes even having to sleep in her car. But when her car broke down they ran out of options. Being a single parent with no place to live, she was terrified of losing Elijah because she couldn’t provide a safe place for him.
Without a vehicle and being out on the street without a place to stay made it incredibly hard for Lisette to feel like she was able to fulfill her duties as a responsible parent and making sure Elijah had a place to do homework.
“I can’t provide a safe place for my son. That is my worst nightmare, the biggest fear I have.”
A UNITED APPROACH
As we move toward reducing the long-term economic impacts of the pandemic, we are committed to rebuilding and reimagining more equitable and resilient communities. United Way’s Resilient Families Fund will provide supportive housing services, prioritizing families of color with the highest risk of being displaced and divert these families from becoming houseless.
Your gift makes it possible for United Way to provide rent and utilities assistance so vulnerable families can remain stably housed. We do this through our nonprofit partners in each of our four counties-Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington Counties in OR and Clark County in WA.
Thanks to the generosity of Al and Nancy Jubitz your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000.
Keeping families housed, makes it possible for them to take care of other needs like doctors’ appointments, daycare and focus on their kids’ education. All of which increases a child’s ability to prosper later in life. But it starts with being stably housed and it starts with YOU.
A FRESH START
Through support from United Way’s partner, Community Action, Lisette and Elijah were connected with resources like transportation, food and shelter to help them move forward and become self-sufficient. Lisette was able to get on a temporary housing program while she was added on a list to get permanent housing. Two years later, they were finally able to move into their new home.
“I can’t tell you what it’s like to be back in society. I’m no longer homeless with my son and I don’t have to worry about where we’re going to stay or what we’re going to eat."
By making a gift today, you can help ensure families have the resources they need to stay housed.
Double your impact and have your gift matched dollar for dollar up to $100,000 donate at: give.unitedway-pdx.org/ResilientFamilies