Bradley Angle–a domestic violence resource center in Portland, OR–is struggling to retain staff due to low-rate contracts set by their primary government funder. Staff retention is critical to providing long-term housing for their participants.
Portland, Oregon Apr 7, 2023 (Issuewire.com) – On 4/5/23, Bradley Angle’s Executive Director, Bri Condon, went public with their frustration regarding the Joint Office of Homeless Services’ continual underspending of tens of millions of dollars it receives from Metro’s supportive housing service measures.
In response to misdirected blame from Multnomah County officials that nonprofits are underspending government allocations, Condon argues the real issue lies with the Joint Office. Condon says the county is not only failing to provide Bradley Angle with long-term contracts necessary to secure stable housing for survivors but also providing a contract rate so low that the nonprofit struggles to retain current staff and hire new employees.
A large portion of Bradley Angle staff identify as survivors of domestic violence. A county-funded Bradley Angle employee–among many who submitted testimonies of their struggles with compensation–described their experience below:
“It is an honor to do this work, but this work requires sacrifice. The stories I hear can be triggering of my own trauma and sometimes stick with me for days after. This is on top of having my own financial concerns weighing on my mind. About half of my monthly [wage] goes toward rent alone, not to mention all the other living expenses…I’m not sure how much longer I can stay in direct service while getting paid the amount we are. But that is exactly the issue with the understaffed human services systems in Portland. People are being underpaid for high burnout jobs. I love the work I do and have no desire to leave this team, but there comes a point where the sacrifice is too much. How are we supposed to support folks in crisis if we can’t support ourselves?”
Low contract rates for nonprofits that offer advocacy services, like Bradley Angle, perpetuate the housing crisis and the prevalence of domestic violence because they push out the people who are prepared to help. During the labor shortage brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, for-profit businesses were able to offer higher wages to attract applicants. For nonprofits, this wasn’t an option due to government contracts and little room to negotiate. With high inflation and rising costs, advocates and direct staff are forced to choose between paying rent, feeding their families, and doing a job they love.
Condon, on behalf of Bradley Angle, encourages the public to apply pressure on local government agencies to elevate the direct service wage limit that these agencies have intentionally built into their contracts. Offering a living wage is a choice and a choice that is currently not being made by entities charged with spending tax revenues to support those in need.
Read the full Willamette Week article published on 4/5/23 here.
About Bradley Angle:
Bradley Angle’s mission is to serve all people affected by domestic violence. We do this by placing people experiencing–or at risk of–domestic violence at the center of our services and by providing them with safety, education, empowerment, healing, and hope. Bradley Angle offers a comprehensive continuum of emergency and supportive services to over 600 survivors and their children every year. Our services include emergency shelter, housing and financial assistance, financial education, culturally-specific advocacy for Black/African American and LGBTQ+ communities, counseling, support groups, and youth programs.
Learn more about Bradley Angle on our website: https://bradleyangle.org/
5432 N. Albina Ave Portland, OR
Source :Willamette Week
This article was originally published by IssueWire. Read the original article here.
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