The Interfaith Summit on Homeless Children, Youth and Families was held in Salem, Oregon on June 24, 2010 at First United Methodist Church. Well over 200 people from various faith traditions, non-profit agencies, and government at the state and local level participated.
Our morning began with a welcome from Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO), the primary sponsor of the day, and interfaith worship. The two videos below show the start of the summit.
- A welcome from David Leslie, executive director of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon.
- An introduction from The Rev. Rev. Lynne Smouse Lopez, president of EMO and pastor of Ainsworth United Church of Christ
- Opening prayer from Father Paul Schroeder, faith-based service coordinator with JOIN.
- Emily Gottfried, executive director of the Oregon Area Jewish Committee offers music and reads Scripture.
- The Rev. Lynne Smouse Lopez, president of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and pastor of Ainsworth United Church of Christ, reads Scripture.
- The Rev. Chuck Currie, a minister in the United Church of Christ, offers a homily.
- The Rev. Gail McDougle, senior pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Salem, offers a closing prayer.
Some photos from the day are below:
Barbara Duffield, policy director for the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, gave a keynote presentation that gave participants a clear view of the growing crisis of homelessness among children and how schools are on the front lines providing important services.
A lot of the day was spent talking about how Oregon's state Department of Education will have $1 million less to spend on the education of homeless children and youth this year because of the loss of federal stimulus dollars. To keep current on ways you can advocate for increased funding for these critical programs please visit http://www.naehcy.org/.
The Salem Statesmen-Journal was there for a mid-afternoon rally that was part of the summit and had this report.
EMO will be working with faith communities to follow-up on conversations had at the summit and will be working on a federal level with the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth to advocate for additional funds at the same time we work with state advocates, like Neighborhood Partnerships, on an agenda for the Oregon Legislature to consider in 2011.