As co-chair of the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services, Sen. Lee Beyer understands the value of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) in our community, and he played a crucial role securing funding for them. In 2019 legislators took a step forward, making a $30 million investment in Oregon’s DSPs to bring the profession closer to needed funding.
There is still a long road ahead to ensure livable wages. DSPs provide support to more than 30,000 Oregonians who live with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) — many here in our own community.
Oregon Supported Living Program and Pearl Buck Center employ nearly 300 DSPs. These employees are dedicated and loyal professionals currently overtaxed from low wages and a shortage of workers. They diligently work to ensure people with IDD are respected and empowered.
Being a DSP requires a person with a special heart and extensive training that is costly. DSPs are worth the investment! These professionals are required to demonstrate patience, compassion and high levels of attention to detail, providing services and support to achieve the highest quality of life. They deserve to feel valued for the incredible work they do.
Thanks to the support of Sen. Beyer and the Lane County delegation, there is hope for the future.
The Lane County delegation listened when we advocated and agreed the time to invest was now. Thank you for supporting HB 5026 and giving Oregon’s DSPs an overdue wage increase.
We look forward to your continued support in the upcoming legislative session.
Gretchen Dubie, executive director
Oregon Supported Living Program
Margaret Theisen, executive director
Pearl Buck Center