The conversation shared below was part of the YIMBYtown 2022 conference, cohosted by Sightline Institute and Portland: Neighbors Welcome.*

While YIMBYs are often advocating for changes that take years to implement, some housing advocates are working on changes for individuals on the streets tonight. How can advocates for abundant housing leverage their organization’s power and resources to ensure that everyone has a warm and dry place to sleep at night? How does undersupply of housing impact a region’s homeless population? 

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  • This panel explores the successes and challenges of how these conversations have played out in Portland, the lessons learned from efforts to pass Portland’s Shelter to Housing Continuum, and the moral and political reasons to build stronger ties between these overlapping initiatives. Writer and political consultant Hanna Brooks Olsen moderated the discussion with panel members Kaia Sand, Executive Director of Street Roots, and Trisha Patterson, board member of Portland: Neighbors Welcome and a public policy graduate student at Oregon State University. 

    *YIMBYtown 2022 occurred April 11–13 in Portland, Oregon, the fourth annual gathering (after some COVID delays) of “Yes in My Back Yard” (YIMBY) community leaders, organizers, planners, policymakers, educators, and housing providers eager to share resources and strategies for building more affordable, sustainable, and equitable communities.