Posts Tagged ‘Newsletter’

January 5, 2017 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, PCRI

Save the Date! PCRI’s 6th Annual Dancing with the Stars Portland Gala will be held Saturday, March 25, 2017 at the Hilton Portland and Executive Towers. Visit pcrigala.org to learn details as they’re announced and to purchase tickets – now on sale. Volunteer and sponsorship opportunities are also available.

Dancing with Stars Save the Date

Sign up for PCRI’s mailing list to be the first to learn about the dancers who will compete in the 2017 gala, exciting auction packages and more. We expect the event to once again sell out.

January 5, 2017 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, PCRI
Sabin Fire PFB

Photo credit: Portland Fire Bureau

In November 2016, four families were displaced from their homes after a fire destroyed four of six townhomes at NE 27th Avenue and Killingsworth in Portland. Upon learning of the news, PCRI reached out to affordable housing provider Sabin CDC, who owns the property that was impacted by the fire, offering to assist in finding homes for the displaced families. Happily, two of the families recently moved into nearby PCRI rental homes with help from community partner Self Enhancement, Inc., ensuring the families remain in affordable homes and are able to stay in a familiar neighborhood.

Fortunately, all four families escaped the fire safely and found temporary shelter with the Red Cross while seeking permanent homes. The families not moving into PCRI homes have already found new housing or are working with partners to move into other homes. Sabin CDC is in the process of rebuilding the fire-damaged units so they can be once again made available as permanent housing for low-income families.

IMG_6959In addition to the new residents who were previously displaced due to fire, PCRI welcomed 38 new residents into its homes during the year, ensuring each family had safe, stable and affordable homes. And we’re proud to have opened the doors on 6 new rental homes (including the one pictured at right) in Northeast Portland. Stay tuned for additional news: more new homes are on the way in 2017 for renters and first-time home buyers.

December 21, 2016 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, PCRI

SAM_2820PCRI staff coordinated with Toys for Tots to provide toys to help brighten the holidays once again for resident children. This year, Santa joined kids of all ages, celebrating with toys, photos and fun on Tuesday, December 20.

Toys were distributed at PCRI’s Park Terrace Community Center on a first-come, first-served basis to any residents with children age 12 and under. Parents and kids showed off big smiles with Santa and his “sleigh” full of toys. PCRI staff joined in the fun too! Santa exchanged a big thank you hug with Victoria Davis, PCRI’s Resident Services Coordinator at Park Terrace Community Center (pictured, right).

PCRI Resident Services staff work one-on-one with resident families to help them find resources like Toys for Tots or The Skanner/Portland Prime’s Thanksgiving turkey giveaway. Need a hand or know someone that does? Or maybe you’re interested in volunteering to help other families? Email us for information on getting involved or about upcoming programs.

December 14, 2016 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, PCRI

While many children celebrated rare Portland snow days recently, many low-income working families faced a difficult choice: stay home but lose a day’s income and risk losing their job, or brave the elements to be able to pay rent and keep food on the table.

Portland snowPortland’s winter snow and ice underscore the importance of providing affordable housing in walkable, opportunity-rich neighborhoods. Individuals who work in lower-paying jobs including grocery clerks, hotel and food service work and other service professions typically do not have the luxury of staying home from work or working from home when the weather is bad. But, when “affordable” neighborhoods are further away from frequent transit service and job centers, families can lose their stability with just one bad weather day.

PCRI is continuing to reinvest in North and Inner Northeast Portland neighborhoods where, even on snowy days, families have more options for safe, reliable access to work, to grocery stores and to community centers (where kids can safely play even when parents don’t get a snow day). Beyond ensuring safe, affordable housing, we help families build stability so one day of bad weather is an inconvenience, not a crisis.

Click the links to learn more about PCRI’s recently completed developments, new homes under development as well as initiatives to ensure existing homeowners are able to retain their homes.

November 21, 2016 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, Grant Warehouse, Pathway 1000, PCRI

PCRI is proud to be selected by Meyer Memorial Trust for a 2016 Housing Opportunities portfolio grant award. The grant, announced in November 2016, will help offset costs for PCRI to develop a large community center in the new building at the Grant Warehouse site which will serve residents as well as the larger community. Grant funds will also ensure the affordability of family-sized apartments in this new building, meeting Meyer’s goal of increasing the number of available affordable housing units.

Conceptual Rendering of Development at Grant Warehouse site (c) Carleton Hart Architecture

Conceptual Rendering of Development at Grant Warehouse site (c) Carleton Hart Architecture

In a post on Meyer’s website, Housing Opportunities portfolio director Theresa Deibele noted that equity and cultural competency were especially important for selected grantees, including PCRI and other organizations who predominantly serve communities of color. She added that selected grantees such as PCRI aligned well with Meyer’s equity mission, including work to reduce the disparities faced by marginalized people, support for vulnerable populations and commitments for contracting and employment opportunity.

“Equity also showed up in how projects are carried out,” Deibele wrote. “All capital projects reflected a commitment to use minority-owned, women-owned and emerging small business contractors.”

PCRI has made significant commitments to contracting equity in the development of the former Grant Warehouse site and other projects. This development will also be part of PCRI’s Pathway 1000 initiative, which has a significant component dedicated to contracting and employment. An implementation plan for this portion of the Pathway 1000 initiative is currently underway.

PCRI was among six organizations who were awarded grants for new housing development. All of the developments awarded will serve very vulnerable and high priority populations. A total of 282 new units are expected to be added to the state’s housing stock in part because of these awards, according to Meyer’s website.

Diebele noted the value in Meyer’s philanthropy to help ensure the viability of affordable housing which also leverages public and private funds.

“Many projects directly leverage large public investments, which often come from restricted funding sources (e.g., tax increment financing that must be spent on capital in a certain neighborhood region),” she wrote, “and philanthropy can play a role in helping to fund the staffing and support services needed to deploy such funds.”

PCRI is honored to have Meyer Memorial Trust’s support to develop the former Grant Warehouse site and is looking forward to beginning construction. As of November 2016, the development was pending building permit approval and finalization of financing terms. Construction is expected to begin in winter 2016-17.

 

November 3, 2016 · by Travis Phillips · PCRI

Winter holidays can create challenges for any budget. But for families who are already fighting to make ends meet, the pressures of holiday gifts can be even more difficult. To help this holiday season, PCRI is partnering with Portland Fire & Rescue for their Toy & Joy Makers Toy Drive.

Toy Drive 6Residents interested in receiving toys for their children should contact Adrena Christmas by December 1, 2016. Registration is required for the Toy Drive; Ms. Christmas is available to provide assistance during the Maya Angelou Community Center’s regular hours.

Portland Toy & Joy Makers helps low-income families in the Portland area give their children toys for Christmas, which they have been doing since 1914. They rely on the generosity of the community in order to make this possible.

“Please continue to help make a Christmas wish come true for some girl or boy,” says Toy & Joy Makers to community members that would like to help. They accept donations of toys or money. Check their website for information about where to donate as well as suggested toy donations.

PCRI helps families each year as well, connecting and registering families for toy drives to help make the holidays brighter for deserving children. In 2015, 97 resident children received toys through these programs. PCRI also provides comprehensive financial wellness and budgeting classes to help families become and remain financially stable year-round. Interested in learning more? Email us or check out information on our programs.

October 18, 2016 · by Travis Phillips · PCRI

The 2016 election is full of firsts. One of those is Portland’s first ballot measure dedicating funds to create more affordable housing: Measure 26-179. We know there are currently not enough homes in Portland that are affordable to low-income families (or even many moderate-income ones), which is why PCRI supports and has endorsed this critical measure.

Yes4Homes“For many months now, Portland residents have lamented the soaring cost of housing in their city, but they’ve also felt helpless to do much about it,” said the Portland Tribune in their endorsement of the measure. “The Nov. 8 election offers a chance for them to make a dent in the problem through the best means possible — by actually increasing the supply of affordable places to live.”

The housing this measure will fund will be built to last—and will be required to last and remain affordable for at least 60 years. Street Roots noted that families served by this housing will span generations. Approximately 1,300 safe and stable homes created by this measure would provide housing for up to 58,000 people over the course of six (or more) decades of service.

Will one ballot measure fix the entire problem? No, but will help relieve some of the pressure of our housing crisis. And more importantly, it’s a prudent investment compared to doing nothing. In fact, the cost of a homeless individual spending one night in the emergency room can often be more expensive than rent for an entire year. And this doesn’t consider the challenges of children or adults facing housing instability.

“It’s tough showing up from a tent to earn or learn,” said the Oregonian in their endorsement of the measure.

“Portland’s housing gap won’t be filled soon, but Portlanders should approve the housing bond proposal as an investment in the well-being of the entire city, not just those at the lower end of the income scale,” the Oregonian added. “Prosperity and engaged citizenship, if they are to be valued, can’t be declared until everyone has a home.”

Ballots will be arriving in the mail any day now. Please help us spread the word about this critical measure and, please: VOTE! You can find out more at yesforaffordablehomes.com and pick up informational materials and signs at PCRI’s main office.

October 13, 2016 · by Staff · Featured, PCRI

Travis Phillips, PCRI’s Director of Housing and Development, took to the airwaves Wednesday, October 12, to discuss PCRI, involuntary displacement, and homeownership on XRAY.FM’s “XRAY in the Morning” show.

IMG_8851Talking about gentrification and displacement, host Jefferson Smith noted that there is a risk of people growing numb to an ongoing challenge such as displacement due to residents no longer being able to afford their neighborhoods.

“Are people motivated to do things right now, to help your work?” Smith asked. “Do you have any risk of fatigue?”

“Sure we have a risk of fatigue,” Phillips responded. “What I think is really exciting right now is there is an attention to displacement and more importantly some solutions to displacement that are long overdue but ones we haven’t seen before,” referring to PCRI’s Pathway 1000 Initiative and “Right to Return” program that gives waiting list preference for some units to households involuntarily displaced from N/NE Portland.

The show continued, discussing homeownership opportunity for lower-income and first time buyers.

“For a lot of Portlanders, becoming a homeowner is akin to running an ever-quickening treadmill. You want to do it, but it’s getting faster and faster,” Smith said, wondering how PCRI works with home buyers to overcome the challenges of the current market.

Education, Phillips noted, is one of PCRI’s key strategies for home buying success. It is PCRI’s goal to ensure that buyers are well-prepared for their home purchase so they can maintain homeownership for the long term. On the show, one resource (Portland Housing Bureau’s Down Payment Assistance Loan) was discussed, but PCRI helps connect buyers with multiple resources that can be leveraged and combined to help ensure home buyers borrow from a bank only what they can afford.XRAYFM

For XRAY listeners and others who are interested in learning more about buying a home with PCRI’s assistance, PCRI offers a HUD-certified education program, one-on-one assistance and regular educational seminars. Visit our homeownership page for details or contact Homeownership Program Specialist Linda Tellis-Kennedy for more information.

Jump over to XRAY’s website to listen to the entire broadcast. Or find specific segments and archives from more than two weeks back by going to XRAY’s SoundCloud page.

 

October 11, 2016 · by Travis Phillips · Awards, Featured, PCRI

IMG_8802At its October 4 Equal Opportunity dinner, the Urban League of Portland honored PCRI Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick with the 2016 Equal Opportunity Award.

“Maxine Fitzpatrick is a passionate leader in our community, working to ensure that all Oregonians have access to affordable housing and opportunities for home ownership,” the event’s program said. “As the Executive Director of Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, Inc. (PCRI) for over 20 years, she has been a tireless advocate for families in our community and at the forefront in providing real solutions to Portland’s housing crisis.”

IMG_8788Nearly every speaker at the dinner praised Maxine’s dedication to the community. Urban League CEO Nkenge Harmon-Johnson recognized Maxine as a role model and mentor, while Senator Jeff Merkley gave honor to Maxine’s “decades of service.”IMG_8798

Brooks Staffing President Simone Brooks recognized Maxine’s perseverance in the face of challenges. “It is not an easy path you walk, Maxine,” she said.

Following Maxine’s acceptance of the award, Simone Brooks and Nkenge Harmon-Johnson presented Maxine with a painting of the City of Portland created by a local artist.

The annual event celebrates and supports the work of Urban League of Portland and others empowering African Americans and other Oregonians to achieve equality in education, employment and economic security.

PCRI’s staff and board attended the event to celebrate Maxine’s award as well as Urban League’s work in the community. More information about the Equal Opportunity Awards dinner can be found on the Urban League of Portland’s website.

October 6, 2016 · by Travis Phillips · Awards, Featured, PCRI

Oregon Business magazine has once again named PCRI as a top nonprofit to work for in the state of Oregon. We are honored to be among other exceptional nonprofits who work day-in and day-out to make Portland a better place while simultaneously striving to be great places to work. We are especially grateful for the recognition, as the rankings are based primarily on feedback from each organization’s employees.

The magazine’s annual 100 Best Nonprofits list is based on surveys of more than 5,000 participating employees from nonprofits throughout the state. The list is based on the Oregon Business’s widely regarded 100 Best Companies project.

“The nonprofit version was created to recognize a critical business sector that employs hundreds of thousands of workers,” according to the Oregon Business website.

Several staff members attended the 100 Best Nonprofits award dinner on September 29, 2016, enjoying a few moments in the spotlight at the reception and dinner.

FullSizeRender IMG_8657

Read more about the event and see the full list of rankings here.

 

 

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