Mission Statement of HAPPY

By Simon Mehari

The goal of OES’ Homelessness Action Project by Portland Youth is to form a coalition of high school students dedicated to improving Portland’s homelessness problem.

Each year we will take project proposals from the OES community, and the members of HAPPY will assess and vote on which project we will sponsor. Through the support of the greater OES community, other schools, and organizations, HAPPY will work to put an end to homelessness in Portland.

Who: Homelessness Action Project by Portland Youth — Spring 2016 GPC Class

What: We are a group of students seeking to make a dent in homelessness. Our Statement of intent is: The GPC Spring 2016 class will create an on campus organization to make a dent in homelessness.

When: Hopefully it will last years after we graduate, but as of right now we want to make annual goals to help make a dent in the homelessness crisis in Portland.

Where: Oregon Episcopal School reaching out to the greater Portland Community.Why: We want to use our power for good to help make a dent in the major homelessness crisis our city faces.

In Portland, roughly 4,000 people, adults, young people, families, children, sleep on the streets or in a temporary homeless shelter every night, rain or shine. Homelessness can occur for a variety of reasons: being laid-off, gentrification, or an increase in housing costs. It is of the utmost importance to recognize each of these factors that can lead to homelessness in order to properly address the issue. Despite efforts from our local government, the homeless issue continues to worsen in Portland, making it one of the most densely populated cities for homeless in the United States. Our purpose, as the spring 2016 class of Government, Politics, and Citizenship, is to create an on-campus organization to make a dent in homelessness annually.

HAPPY’s (Homelessness Action Project by Portland Youth) goal is to lead a charge in the community to combat the homeless epidemic in the Portland metropolitan area by using our power for good. Each year the most valuable contribution must be assessed. While our class looks to lead this initiative, it is imperative to our process that we have support from the OES community. Potential projects could include building tiny houses, renovating or improving tiny houses, fundraising, providing basic human resources (food, water, clothing), advocating for homeless rights, and more! Active members of this organization will be responsible for understanding the true needs of homeless each year by being in contact with partner organizations. We hope that you will join us in our effort to be engaged citizens through positively influencing homelessness.