Volunteers are needed on Saturday, July 30 to help the nationally recognized innovative urban greening organization, Depave, transform the parking lot of the Human Solutions Family Center (HSFC) into a multi-use greenspace. The HSFC opened in February at 16015 SE Stark St., the former home of Woodshed Restaurant and, more recently, the Black Cauldron strip club.
The HSFC is a service-oriented facility that accommodates up to 130 people in families experiencing homelessness. It is Multnomah County’s only emergency shelter for families open year-round, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Home-like amenties at the HSFC include laundry facilities, a full kitchen, and family-style ADA-accessible showers. The facility has limited open space inside but has a vast parking lot, which prompted Human Solutions to team up with Depave and another long-time partner, Dennis’ 7 Dees Lanscaping & Garden Centers, to turn portions of the lot into a children’s play area, raised garden beds, and a rain garden.
The project is being completed in phases. Under the direction of Dennis’ 7 Dees, volunteers from Human Solutions and the community completed Phase I of the HSFC beautification on July 18, planting drought-tolerant native vegetation in newly laid soil and in large galvanized bins.
Depave will lead Phase II of the renovation project, using a contingent of volunteers to remove 6,000 square feet of pavement at the HSFC from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 30. The organization works with community groups and willing landowners to tear out unnecessary pavement and revitalize urban spaces. Depaving is typically done by hand using pry bars and sweat equity; the group admits the work is hard but says the crowd is usually smiling the entire time. Depave’s unique events are intended to build community through hands-on teamwork, and increase personal investment and stewardship for the converted spaces by neighborhood residents.
Volunteer of all ages are welcome! Details and a video of what the work will be like are online at: www.depave.org/event/humansolutions.
Bronaugh Historic Apartments Grand Re-opening
Date: July 15, 2016
Time: 10 - 11:30am
Location: 1434 SW Morrison St., Portland, OR 97205
We are celebrating the completion of the Bronaugh Apartments, a historic three-story apartment building located in downtown Portland. Home to elderly and disabled citizens living on fixed incomes, the Bronaugh is the last building of the at-risk Section 8 Housing and Urban Development (HUD) properties identified in the 11X13 Campaign. REACH has finished a complete building renovation including a seismic upgrade with the support the Portland Housing Bureau. Join us!
Grand Opening of Orchards at Orenco II
Date: August 10, 2016
Location: 6598 NE Cherry Dr., Hillsboro, OR 97124
Leasing has started and residents are gearing up to move in, so save the date - August 10th, for the grand opening of our latest development in Hillsboro. With the experience of the first phase of this development under our belt, we built the second phase to Passive House standards for $1 million dollars less than Phase I. This is saving residents even more $$. Come see how we did it!
Northwest Coastal Housing (NWCH) is one of the recipients of the SPCH SNLH Social Accountability Grant. This is the second year the agency has received funding for literacy Programming for families and youth of The Ridge Apartments. Resident Services is such a critical component to affordable housing, and Lincoln County has only a handful of Resident Services served sites. The goal is to decrease barriers to housing and provide opportunities for success. One identified areas of need for the residents was literacy.
Over the past two years, NWCH has been engaging in funding for literacy and technology. Through the funds received, tutors were hired to assist youth with reading and math skills during afterschool and summer programs. Now the program is offered 4 days a week. The Ridge expanded it's budget to incorporate WiFi that is accessible in the community room where these programs and services are offered. This opened the door of opportunity to purchase iPads for the youth to coincide with the tutoring program that is taught through a scientifically based program called the Wilson Reading System. The youth are pre and post tested to gage success and gaged with attendance. The program has shown an improvement in at least 98% of the youth. Those youth with 50% attendance rate or more are counted in the grant and have shown improvement in multiple reading areas.
Due to the new curriculum and tutoring protocols based on the grant received from the State Youth Development Council, the Collective Impact Grant targeted age groups between 1st to 5th grades. Due to this phenomenon discovered the first year, the Tween Math Club was incorporated the following year. This is for the older age youth between 5th grade and 15 years of age. They must pass reading grade level to join, but they are also not discouraged. This year has been the first year of funding for that program. It is available one to two days a week.
Last year, NWCH received the SPCH SNLH Social Accountability Grant to purchase 11 iPads that enhanced the learning. The Tween Math Club utilizes Khan Academy, iXL Math, and another online math system that tracks incremental learning and provides pre and post testing. All of which can be monitored by the Grant Coordinator who is also a retired educator. In addition, the program received additional funding from Umpqua Bank for Chrome Books and headsets so youth can prepare for iClassroom with access to WiFi and the ability to complete their homework in the Community Room during after-school hours.
The Ridge serves 48% Hispanic and Latino population. The youth have shown struggles in scholastics due to the language barriers. This begins with the parents in the home. Based on this issue, NWCH partnered with the Oceanna Literacy Center who provides English, Spanish, and Other Language Classes. To enhance the partnership with literacy, Oceanna now meets at the Ridge, providing ESOL Classes to anyone willing to take classes, even to those outside the Ridge population. The parents can learn English and have the pride in the ability to be more self sufficient, more proficient and better suited and skilled with the tools to help their children learn. In this fashion, during Head Start, the Hispanic and Latino youth population do not have to be so far behind from the onset of their schooling education.
To fund this program twice a year, to enhance the tutoring programs by providing more hours in the summer, and cover STEM programming, NWCH received a second grant from SPCH SNLH Social Accountability Grant. Family Nights occur quarterly providing bi-lingual materials and food from the OSU Extension Office, a Little Free Library was installed outside the Community Room which celebrates the spirit of reading and the Public Library provides programming every other week with a bi-lingual instructor. Since September 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, the afterschool program and summer program has served 58 youth and the Family Nights have served 71 individuals.
Beyond housing, Northwest Coastal Housing believes in providing opportunity, for education and excellence. We cannot thank our partners enough for working with us, believing in us, and funding us so we can continue to do what we do best.
The Columbian | Patty Hastings
Twenty years ago, Kori York says she was homeless, helpless, hopeless and drunk. She was far removed from the life she’s now carved out for herself — a life that includes sobriety and homeownership.
“I would’ve never believed in a million years that I could buy a house,” said York, 56. She cried when she learned she was mortgage-ready.
Her achievement is magnified considering the competitive housing market and the fact that her annual salary as a peer support specialist at Lifeline Connections is $24,000, which is considered low-income. Most households earning that kind of money are renters, and with Clark County median home sale prices climbing toward $300,000, they’ll likely stay renters.
York rented a two-bedroom apartment in Hazel Dell before securing a grant through the Portland-based nonprofit (and Oregon ON Voting Member) Proud Ground, which bought down the purchase price of her new home in Washougal. While the home was listed for $214,400, with the program’s large grant she bought the three-bedroom, ranch-style house for $156,900.
Click here to read the entire article
Join Facilitators Kathy Kniep and Paula Manley this fall to renew and sustain your leadership journey with a 2-day working retreat in the Columbia River Gorge Oct. 3-4, 2016. Get away from day-to-day pressures to reflect, recharge, and share tools with fellow executive directors at the Menucha Retreat and Conference Center in Corbett, Oregon
Who Should Attend: Executive Director's of public benefit nonprofit organizations in Oregon and SW Washington.
Click here to find out all the details!
Living Cully, St. Charles Catholic Church, the Northeast Interfaith Alliance, the Leaven Community, and Oregon ON's Voting Member CASA of Oregon rallied together to stave off closure of mobile home park Oak Leaf in the Northeast neighborhood of Cully.
Oak Leaf isn't the only mobile park community to be threatened with eviction. Read the rest of the article here.
Spread the word!
From St. Anthony's Church in Washington County, to East Multnomah County's Wood Village City Hall, to Portland Underground Graduate School and Multnomah County Libraries, the Portland Metro region has been booming with opportunities to learn from Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT) about Renters' Rights and Responsibilities!
Learn about CAT resources for Oregon renters, all about Tenant-Landlord Law and and hear about CAT's organizing and advocacy and the current Renters' State of Emergency. Our workshop series have been in hot demand and we are currently scheduling new workshops into August!
There are two Free and Open to the Public Multnomah County Library Renters' Rights workshops left - Thursday June 9 6:00 pm at Midland Library and Saturday June 18 at 2:00 pm at Central Library, for more info: https://multcolib.org/events/renters-rights-workshop
Register for CAT's Renters' Rights In-depth series Thursday nights in July with Portland Underground Graduate School and get more info here: http://www.pugspdx.com/tenants-rights/
If your organization, school, church or community group is interested in contracting CAT to present a workshop, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and to schedule.
Portland Housing Bureau recently engaged 93 people in 8 cultural/language specific focus groups in Lents to learn about their housing needs, and challenges.
Now the Housing Bureau is hosting two larger community-wide meetings, the first scheduled for next Thursday night, June 9th at 6:00 at Lents Adventist Church. This meeting is to hear from the broader community, what their values are around housing, what their challenges are, and inform them about the recent increase in Tax Increment Financing.
A second meeting mirroring the first will be on Saturday June 18th at 10:00 am at TEAM Event Space at the corner of 92nd and Foster Rd. Stay tuned!
Oregon ON Voting Member, Proud Ground, has been awarded a $15,000 Community Grant from the William G. Gilmore Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation. The grant’s purpose is (from the award letter), “to strengthen programs that make homeownership possible for moderate-income, first-time homebuyers through the community land trust model.” Proud Ground’s homeownership program utilizes the community land trust model of permanent affordability: All homes in Proud Ground’s portfolio of 250+ homes in its four-county service area are forever-affordable, resale after resale, family after family.
“OCF is pleased to support Proud Ground’s ongoing efforts to help working-class families purchase their first home,” says Megan Schumaker, OCF Senior Program Officer. “As housing costs continue to rise in Portland, families are forced to put more and more of their income into housing with little hope of getting ahead. Proud Ground steps in at just the right time, with guidance and resources to help families attain housing stability and begin building their assets. Great work.”
Proud Ground executive director Diane Linn explains Proud Ground’s program, “A key feature of Proud Ground’s program is permanence: Proud Ground homes are permanently affordable, resale after resale. Forever affordable means that families who have been renting finally have the opportunity to build equity and stability, while our region gains a growing supply of permanently affordable homes. This program is one of the most effective anti-displacement tools around.”
Linn goes on to express gratitude for OCF’s support, “OCF’s first-time grant support of permanently affordable homeownership, coming in the midst of a regional housing crisis, sends a strong message about the value of Proud Ground’s programs that help hardworking families stabilize and thrive through access to affordable homebuying opportunities. We are extremely grateful for OCF’s partnership in our work.”
ABOUT PROUD GROUND (www.proudground.org) Proud Ground provides affordable home buying opportunities for low/moderate-income, first-time homebuyers at up to 80% Median Family Income. Proud Ground serves households with steady jobs and stable incomes— households that can qualify for a mortgage, but not one for a market-rate home. Working with community partners, lenders, builders and others, Proud Ground prepares first-time home buyers for homeownership; renovates existing homes; administers down payment grants to make homes affordable; offers homeowners tools to be successful; and manages resale transactions to keep the homes in its portfolio affordable for generations to come. Since 1999 Proud Ground has served more than 300 first-time home buyers, has a portfolio of 250+ permanently affordable homes, and has not lost a single home to foreclosure. Proud Ground serves the entire Portland Metro Region of Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties, Oregon and Clark County, Washington
PORTLAND, OR, June 6, 2016--Following a national search, the Innovative Changes (IC$) Board of Directors has appointed Traci Rossi as Executive Director effective June 1, 2016.
Rossi has spent her career in service to children and families -- partnering with and serving historically underrepresented, low-income and under-served communities -- to reduce barriers and provide key services that foster upward mobility and support personal empowerment. Rossi comes to IC$ from the“I Have a Dream” Foundation-Oregon, where she built out, then led, the first Dreamer School in the country, creating a nimble, high impact delivery model, influencing education reform and inspiring additional Dreamer Schools in the U.S. and elsewhere.
"We are excited that Traci Rossi will lead our next chapter in the life of Innovative Changes.” said Board President Rosanne Marmor, adding, “Traci will create new opportunities for the organization to partner and serve so that all people have access to fair and secure financial services."
As Executive Director, Rossi will lead an amazing team of staff and volunteers to implement Innovative Changes’ mission, vision, values and programs. She will work to grow and continuously improve Innovative Changes’ lending, credit and asset building, and powerful coaching and training programs in order to help its clients achieve their financial and other goals. Rossi will also focus on long range and collaborative planning and on cultivating and strengthening strategic partnerships to do so.
Rossi has a proven record in developing and managing successful programs and partnerships. As the Vice President for Programs at “I Have a Dream” Foundation-Oregon, she was responsible for an ambitious growth plan, building the related infrastructure including many staff, 600 volunteers and over 70 partners. In her previous work as the Director of Admission and Financial Aid at Catlin Gabel and the Program Director at Summerbridge Portland, Rossi developed and managed systems to streamline, increase, and improve student enrollment and enrichment efforts with numerous internal and external stakeholders.
Traci has been inspired by a long line of change-makers, including the late Benjamin and Rose Dean, her grandmother and grandfather, owners of the first African-American owned Beauty Salon and Barber Shop, affectionately known as Dean’s, still in operation in Northeast Portland. On the surface, they were business owners, but true community organizers at heart. Traci is an American Leadership Forum Fellow, a founding Women's Foundation of Oregon Board member among other volunteer opportunities that connect her with beloved organizations and her community.
Founded in 2009, IC$ is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) loan fund whose mission is to help low-income people build their long-term financial health. IC$ operates with 5 staff and the help of 52 volunteers and 54 community partnerships. IC$ is governed by a community-based board of directors. Funding for Innovative Changes comes from the United States Department of Treasury’s CDFI Fund, earned income, charitable foundations, and individual donors.
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