Over the past several weeks in this message I have worked to give you as much information as I can about the effect of the state's budget crisis on DHS clients, employees and service providers. I will continue to do so in the weeks to come.
Today, however, as we prepare for the three-day weekend for Independence Day, I want to take a moment and reflect on the word, "independent." In the DHS mission statement, it's clearly stated that we work to help people stay independent and safe. I know those words take on a new poignancy as we are facing service reductions that will affect the ability of seniors and people living with disabilities or mental illness to enjoy that independence.
I know that the months ahead are going to be difficult for people who lose services, providers or caregivers who lose jobs, and for our employees who are dealing with the reduction in our workforce.
But here is something that's also true about both our state and our country. Time and time again we have met the tests before us, even when the path forward isn't immediately clear. Oregon is not alone in struggling with the global recession -- many states in the country are in a similar situation and frankly, in many states it is even worse. While there are no easy answers, I have to believe that these setbacks are temporary and Oregon and the United States will call on our long history of innovation and find new and better ways to help our most vulnerable citizens.
So this weekend, I encourage you to take a much needed break. Do your best to recharge and relax, because we all need to take good care of ourselves, each other and our families. We will all return on Tuesday and face the challenges before us. And as we celebrate our nation's founding, I know you also join me in remembering the loved ones of DHS employees and other Oregonians who are serving our country far from home.