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Hello, Friends of Kerr!

As we approach Memorial Day weekend, I want to thank our military personnel and veterans for their service and wish everyone a happy start to summer.

I am fresh off the heels of our annual Board of Directors retreat. Over two busy days, we engaged around best practices in service provision, strategic planning, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training. Additionally, we took the opportunity to honor and acknowledge our board members who have reached the end of their term—David Connell, Craig Payne, Karen Rasmussen, Heidi Steeves, and Dennis Warneke. We are truly grateful for their dedication and invaluable contributions to Kerr. Stay tuned as we welcome new Board members to be announced after our June Board meeting.

I am thrilled to announce that our advocacy efforts in this session have been nothing short of AMAZING. As a result, our cause has gained significant recognition from legislators, positioning us as one of the top priorities in this legislative session.

I’m also pleased to share that the Economic and Revenue Outlook Report, released last week, brings excellent projections and additional funding for investment from the legislature. We must seize this opportunity to prioritize fair wages for our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs).

As we now await budget decisions, we must remain at the forefront of their minds. Your continued support is crucial in ensuring our voices are heard. Therefore, I invite you to join our latest Voter Voice campaign, targeting all the legislative decision-makers involved in the budget process. Furthermore, please feel free to forward the message to your networks, amplifying our voices in the legislators’ inboxes!

May is also National Mental Health Awareness Month. To kick off our efforts, Dr. Naomi Fishman joined me on KGW’s Hello! Rose City to discuss children’s mental health, offer valuable tips, and highlight our ongoing advocacy outreach. Watch it here.

Sadly, Oregon ranks among the worst states in the U.S. regarding mental illness prevalence and access to care. Yet, this is precisely why our Children’s Crisis Psychiatric Mental Health Services and youth group home outpatient therapy program play a vital role in our community.

On a positive note, we extend our immense gratitude to the incredible students at Mountainside High School for supporting Kerr’s Children’s Crisis Psychiatric Mental Health Services through the Community 101 grant program. Their inspiring contribution of $2,000 is greatly appreciated.

If you’re searching for something fun over the holiday weekend, visit Kerr Bikes & Boats on Portland’s waterfront. Various bike rentals, adaptive cycles, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards are available. Proceeds directly benefit Kerr’s programs and services. Check out these snapshots of some of our group home clients enjoying rentals from Kerr Bikes.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to Albertina Kerr and our mission. Together, we can positively impact those who need us most.

Allison Stark
CEO, Albertina Kerr