Dear p:ear Friends and Community,
Thank you for showing up for and with us during a year that continues to
challenge all of our fortitude, ingenuity and perseverance in dynamic ways.
This year has served as a hard-hearted reminder that homelessness is not a
choice, but the result of years of systemic, combative corruption of social
systems. When stressors compounded in 2020, countless Portland families faced
unemployment, eviction, and other financial strains that exacerbated our already
growing homelessness crisis. We saw firsthand the injustices that occur when
immense poverty meets pandemic, and the relief and unity provided by
community mutual aid efforts. We can and must learn from these dreadful,
isolated days that injustice is lethal, solidarity is more powerful than working
alone and human connection sustains us.
Our collective future depends on our resistance to settling for going back to
normal in 2021. We have a chance to reshape our beliefs and reimagine our
approach to addressing suffering and homelessness in our community. Together,
we can inspire change.
p:ear fiercely believes in the lives and futures of each young person we meet.
Every day we see kids with huge hearts, bright minds, and a kind of strength,
tenacity and resiliency some of us could only dream of attaining. We bear
witness to herculean acts of courage. Beauty and hope reveal themselves inside
p:ear as young people make intentional choices; learn to advocate for
themselves; and rebuild the bridges between themselves and a supportive, broad
community. Your investment and faith in them create stability and provide an
enduring sense of love, joy and community.
Every great movement was fueled by radical love, extreme will, and a
tremendous belief in the right to thrive for all humans. As 2021 promises change
and renewal, let us remain hopeful, courageous and connected.
Wishing you and your loved ones an abundant, healthy and joyous New Year.