By Alison Kastner
Hollywood Library reader services librarian
It’s no secret that Multnomah County is suffering from a lack of affordable housing. This is a problem felt hardest by working people and families searching for a place to call home, and by those without shelter of any kind. But what can the average person do about poverty, homelessness and rising costs? Perhaps we have more power than we think.
We have a chance right now to address these problems together.
Every year, Multnomah County Library presents a community reading project that asks us all to read the same book so we can have meaningful conversations about topics that matter.
This year’s Everybody Reads title is “Evicted” by Matthew Desmond, the story of eight individuals caught up in cycles of eviction, poverty and struggle in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Portland is one of many cities facing these challenges. How do we make Portland a city in which everyone can thrive?
Begin by joining the conversation to find meaningful ways to take action. Pick up a copy of the book from your neighborhood library – then get involved. Join one of the many Pageturners and community discussions about “Evicted” at libraries, colleges and community centers; get one-on-one advice about housing at a renters’ rights workshop; or teach your kids the value of neighborly love by crafting a valentine and making a donation to organizations serving people in need.