December 05 2018

More Than Numbers Tell the Story of Our Work

It’s been another great year of accomplishments by the amazing staff and board at the Fair Housing Council of Oregon, but our story goes beyond just the one the numbers can tell. The story of our work to end housing discrimination and ensure equal opportunity to housing throughout Oregon often is presented through indelible snapshots that remind us of the importance of the work we do and the vital work that remains.It’s been another great year of accomplishments by the amazing staff and board at the Fair Housing Council of Oregon, but our story goes beyond just the one the numbers can tell. The story of our work to end housing discrimination and ensure equal opportunity to housing throughout Oregon often is presented through indelible snapshots that remind us of the importance of the work we do and the vital work that remains.

Our bus tours of historical housing discrimination, segregation and displacement rolled through the streets of Portland for the 10th year. Twenty-nine groups--more than 1,200 people--heard and felt the stories of our revered guest presenters.

On the tours, we rode through areas of Portland where groups of people weren’t welcome to live, and past the scenes of continuing involuntary economic displacement in north and northeast Portland
This year we stopped at the site of the 1988 murder of Ethiopian immigrant Mulugeta Seraw and continued to the nearby site of the 2017 murders at the Hollywood MAX station, two horrific incidents separated by 30 years but inextricably linked by their hate-filled motivations.

These stops inform our critical work with the Portland United Against Hate coalition, where our efforts help make sure that hate has no place in housing.

In April, we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act with nearly a dozen events across the state, from Portland to Corvallis to Medford. While those events marked the progress made since the passage of the act in April 1968, our keystone event with author Richard Rothstein and 300-plus members of our community also reminded us that 50 years later, work remains to fulfill the act’s intent to end the once-rampant intentional racial segregation created by errant public policy.

Our housing discrimination hotline received more than 2,200 calls, e-mails, faxes, and in-person intakes from every corner of the state. These calls are driven in part by the tireless statewide efforts of our education and outreach team, who spent time on the road providing training and contacting local organizations in twenty-seven counties throughout Oregon.

Even with the best efforts of our education and outreach and hotline intake staff to reach so many from all parts of Oregon, we know housing discrimination goes vastly underreported, and we know every community is being impacted by our state’s housing crisis.

To provide services to as many Oregonians as possible, this year, we developed a partnership with Klamath-Lake Community Action Services to establish a local presence in southern Oregon and will add a similar partnership in eastern Oregon this coming year. We know how vital it is for local communities to have access to fair housing resources, and the strategic planning we completed this year takes steps to meet those needs throughout Oregon.

Our success goes beyond just a set of numbers, and with your help, we can continue writing the story of equal opportunity to housing for every person in Oregon. Please support our work to end housing discrimination in Oregon by contributing today.

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