Posts Tagged ‘Newsletter’

February 9, 2017 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, PCRI, The Beatrice Morrow

oex_beatrice_credit_ohsBeatrice Morrow-Cannady, a historic Portland pioneer in the fight for racial equality, will be honored by Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI).

A new affordable housing development with community-serving commercial space is being developed by PCRI in the Northeast Portland neighborhood where the civil rights pioneer lived and worked. The new building will be named “The Beatrice Morrow” to recognize her work to achieve equality for the African American community and to improve race relations in the City of Portland and State of Oregon.

“PCRI is proud to honor Ms. Morrow by naming our newest development ‘The Beatrice Morrow,’” stated Maxine Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of PCRI. “She is the basis of the opportunities available to African Americans in the State of Oregon and motivates us to continue her work to achieve equity and equality.”

The Beatrice Morrow is a housing development which will encompass 80 affordable apartments prioritized for historic residents of north and northeast Portland. In addition, the development will offer community space and community-serving commercial retail at street level. The development will be located at the former Grant Warehouse site on NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, between NE Cook and Ivy Streets. Construction will begin in early spring 2017, with completion anticipated in 2018.

Beatrice Cannady Taylor, age 80.

An important but often overlooked and hidden figure in the fight for racial equality in the Pacific Northwest, Beatrice Morrow-Cannady worked tirelessly to improve race relations in Portland and to secure equal rights for the Oregon’s African American community.

Morrow moved to Portland in 1910 at the age of 20 and worked as the business manager, associate editor, linotype operator, and editorial and news writer for the African American newspaper, the Advocate. She helped found the Portland chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and mobilized African-American women for the war effort, as president of the Colonel Charles Young War Savings Club and as head of a local Red Cross Auxiliary’s knitting unit.

She graduated from Portland’s Northwestern School of Law in 1922 and became Oregon’s first African American woman to practice law. In 1932, she ran for the Oregon House of Representatives—the first African American to run for elected office in Oregon. Despite not being able to vote herself (African Americans were not allowed to vote in Oregon in 1932), Morrow earned 8,000 votes. Although she did not win the seat, she continued to work tirelessly to improve race relations. She gave hundreds of lectures to white high school and college students and was invited to speak on KGW, KOIN and other radio stations. She also hosted multicultural tea parties at her home every Sunday afternoon which combined entertainment, cultural history and politics. The assemblies received such a positive response that as many as 200 people would attend.

For updated information about The Beatrice Morrow and other PCRI developments, visit pcrihome.org or the development’s Facebook page.

February 8, 2017 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, Pathway 1000, PCRI

Twenty-two low-income families displaced from North and Northeast Portland will be able to purchase a home in their former neighborhood, thanks in part to a $100,000 grant from Wells Fargo Housing Foundation to Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI).

PCRI Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick (2nd from left) accepts a grant from local Wells Fargo executives, left to right: Andrew Tweedie, Community Affairs officer; Tracy Curtis, Regional President; and Cobi Lewis, Community Development officer. PCRI will use the $100,000 grant to build 22 affordable homes for sale to low-income buyers displaced from N/inner NE Portland

PCRI Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick (2nd from left) accepts a grant from local Wells Fargo executives, left to right: Andrew Tweedie, Community Affairs officer; Tracy Curtis, Regional President; and Cobi Lewis, Community Development officer. PCRI will use the $100,000 grant to build 22 affordable homes for sale to low-income buyers displaced from N/inner NE Portland

PCRI will use the grant to help build 22 new homes in North and inner Northeast Portland for purchase by the families. Construction on the homes is expected to start later this year, with all 22 homes completed and sold to qualifying families by the end of 2018. PCRI is estimating the total construction budget will be close to $6 million.

“Helping a family become a homeowner is one of the most effective ways to help them overcome displacement from their historic neighborhoods,” said PCRI Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick. “This grant is an important tool to make homes available and affordable for families who want to return and stay in the neighborhoods they once called home.”

The Wells Fargo grant will make homeownership more affordable by helping offset PCRI’s development costs for new homes built on land it owns. The completed homes will be prioritized for sale to households who have been involuntarily displaced or are at risk of displacement from North and inner Northeast Portland.

Families purchasing the homes will receive support from PCRI’s HUD-certified homeownership education and financial education programs.

The 22 homes are part of a larger PCRI initiative: Pathway 1000. The initiative aims to develop 1,000 new homes during the next 10 years, prioritized for residents involuntarily displaced or at risk of displacement from North and inner Northeast Portland.

“This grant is part of our commitment to the community to support the creation of more affordable housing, which is so desperately needed in Portland,” said Wells Fargo Oregon Regional President Tracy Curtis of Portland. “We work in tandem with PCRI and other community-based nonprofits to ensure stability and opportunity for local families.”

One of 56 Grants Nationally 

The $100,000 grant to PCRI was one of 56 neighborhood revitalization grants totaling $6 million that Wells Fargo Housing Foundation gave to nonprofits in 20 states and the District of Columbia through its Priority Markets Program. Since 2009 the program has provided grants totaling more than $42 million to nonprofits in 125 communities.

Grant recipients were selected from requests submitted by local Wells Fargo employees and nonprofits Wells Fargo identified as being in need of extra help with large-scale neighborhood revitalization projects. A recipient must be a nonprofit with a successful history of building or renovating housing for low-to moderate-income homebuyers.

 

About Wells Fargo Housing Foundation 

The Priority Markets Initiatives are administered through the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation. The foundation has stewarded more than $82 million and 4.5 million team member volunteer hours in support of creating affordable housing and community revitalization programs. The foundation has mobilized more than 175,000 volunteers to build or refurbish 3,600 homes in low-to-moderate income communities. More information: www.wellsfargo.com.

 

February 7, 2017 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, PCRI

Takara 02PCRI awarded two new laptop computers to school-age youth living in PCRI housing at the beginning of February 2017. The two laptops were gifted to PCRI by Comcast at a late-2016 event providing information about Comcast’s Internet Essentials program. After receiving the computers, PCRI invited youth to submit letters describing how they would benefit from having a new computer. While PCRI received many deserving submissions, two winners stood out:

If it wasn’t already evident in Takara’s letter that she loves to read and write, it quickly became obvious when she came into PCRI’s office to pick up her new laptop. Her face lit up when she described what she would be able to learn and write on her new computer.

Takara 09Similarly, her mother Tiffany beamed as Takara talked about the focus areas of the IB program and how she had earned bracelets for each of the program areas, including thinking critically, taking risks, caring, being open-minded and more. IB schools encourage students outside of the basic common core lessons “by developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are motivated to succeed.”

Another youth picked up his new laptop from PCRI’s Maya Angelou Community Center.

“I have attended the Maya Angelou Community Center ever since it first opened,” wrote Joseph, age 14. “Since that time, I have usually used the center’s computers for homework, but now that I am in high school, by the time I get home the center is either closed or ten minutes to close. Never enough time.”

Joseph with New ComputerJoseph’s letter went on to describe how having a new computer would help him and both of his brothers with their studies and completing homework. Joseph was beyond happy when Resident Services Coordinator Adrena Christmas delivered the news that he had won the new laptop. His immediate response was that Ms. Adrena (as he calls her) was tricking him, but once he realized it wasn’t a joke, he thanked Adrena and PCRI over and over again for allowing him such a great opportunity.

“My teachers would usually assign work that needs to be on Google classroom, I cannot do it without a computer or internet capable device,” Joseph said. “My mother has tried hard to get one, but she never could afford to buy one. This computer will help me so much. My papers will be turned in on time, it will also give me something to do over the weekends.”

Since receiving his new laptop, Adrena remarked that Joseph has been in to the community center every day to work on it and she has noticed him become much more in tune with completing his homework.

“I will work as hard as I can to keep my grades up by using the device,” he wrote in his letter. “I will graduate by keeping my grades up by using the laptop that I am hoping to win.”

All of the staff members who read Takara’s and Joseph’s letters congratulate them on their new computers. PCRI staff look forward to reading more of Takara’s writing and seeing Joseph graduate in a few years from Grant High School.

About the Comcast Internet Essentials Program
Working side-by-side with schools, government, and non-profit partners, Comcast has connected more than 750,000 families—over 3 million low-income Americans—to the power of the Internet in their homes.

This program has grown to be Comcast’s largest and most successful community investment initiative. Since 2011, Comcast has built a network of over 2,000 volunteers and over 9,000 non-profit and educator partners to help spread the word about Internet Essentials. All told, Comcast has provided more than $300 million of support for digital literacy training, benefiting over 4.4 million people.
January 24, 2017 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, Pathway 1000, PCRI

Providing homeownership opportunities and housing counseling assistance to low-income families ensures long-term affordability, stabilizes residents and their neighborhoods and helps families build equity and break the cycle of poverty.

Pathway 1000_Page_2In conjunction with the Pathway 1000 Initiative, PCRI is adding additional focus in current and future housing development efforts to increase opportunities for homeownership. PCRI’s goal is to address active and ongoing involuntary displacement of African Americans and other low income residents from the neighborhoods we serve.

A bit of history: during the period from the mid-1990’s to 2010 10,000 residents—primarily African Americans—were forced to relocate out of North and Northeast Portland neighborhoods.  Essentially, 3 people every day for 10 years were forced to find another place to live.

To accomplish our  goal of addressing this involuntary displacement, PCRI established a displacement mitigation initiative, Pathway 1000, with the sole purpose and intent of slowing and reversing the involuntary displacement of long term residents previously forced to move from N/NE Portland, and current residents at risk of displacement.  Through the Pathway 1000 initiative, PCRI aims to build and create at least 1,000 homes, many of which will be available to purchase.  The homes will be located throughout the city of Portland, with the primary focus on the N/NE Portland neighborhoods where displaced families previously resided.

Pathway 1000_Page_1The 1,000 homes will be constructed at a level of 100 homes per year over the next ten years. PCRI is targeting involuntarily displaced residents who were forced to relocated due to escalating housing costs, or because their rental home was sold to a homeowner. PCRI encourages interested community members to participate and learn more via PCRI’s website and social media channels, where a forthcoming questionnaire will be posted to determine eligibility and housing needs.

PCRI will also conduct a series of exploratory sessions with displaced residents and residents on the verge of displacement. These sessions will further determine the need as well as interest in taking advantage of the Pathway 1000 initiative and share more information about the opportunities to move back into historic, African-American populated NE Portland neighborhoods.

We cannot undo the harms done, but rather must focus on restoring housing justice for those who were harmed.  PCRI’s goal is to support and encourage displaced African-Americans to focus on the future.  Homeownership is the stabilizing solution to displacement.  Investing in opportunities and assistance for low-income families ensures long-term affordability and stabilizes residents in their neighborhood.

Community development corporations like PCRI can support displaced residents by building community awareness of solutions through advocacy and civic engagement to create anti-displacement policy.  Residents and community leaders have influence over planning and development in their neighborhood. Gentrification and displacement issues must be discussed and addressed on a regular basis.  Residents must remind government leaders and city planners of displacement, and the reality of unintended consequences of strategic growth.  Residents who are concerned and who have been impacted must get involved in their neighborhood and they must expect and encourage equitable development.

More: PCRI’s Pathway 1000 Initiative is featured in the Portland Observer, June 2, 2015.

January 23, 2017 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, Pathway 1000, PCRI
PCRI

Cheryle Clunes, 2017 PMAR Vice President Member Services (left) and 2017 PMAR President Kerri Hartnett (right) presented the grant to PCRI’s Travis Phillips and Linda Tellis Kennedy at a January 20 event.

On January 20, The Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors (PMAR) presented an Oregon Home Foundation grant for PCRI’s homeownership education program. The grant will help support increased attendance in PCRI program as well as development of ongoing post-purchase support programs.

“Homeownership is the most effective way for most families to achieve and retain stability within their community,” said Andrea Debnam, PCRI’s Manager of Resident Services. “This grant will help PCRI clients realize their dreams and build assets through homeownership, breaking cycles of poverty.”

PCRI, whose vision is to help low-income families achieve stability and build wealth, shares the Oregon Association of Realtors HOME Foundation’s belief in the incredible value of homeownership to break generational cycles of poverty. PCRI also understands that education and support prior to purchase are key to the long-term success of first-time buyers, especially for PCRI’s target population of African Americans who have been disproportionately excluded from homeownership.

Since 2004, PCRI has successfully provided culturally-specific homeownership education, counseling services, and financial assistance to low- and moderate-income residents living in PCRI housing and in the larger community. Interest in PCRI’s homeownership program has nearly doubled in the last year and, with increased development of homes for purchase associated with the Pathway 1000 initiative, attendance is expected to continue to increase. The Oregon Home Foundation grant will help PCRI meet increased service needs as well as develop new programs.

The Homeownership Opportunities Website Northwest (HOW NW) sponsored by PMAR provides additional resources for buyers without charge or obligation. In addition to PCRI’s education services, buyers are encouraged to visit the HOW NW website to learn more about buying, owning and retaining a home.

January 3, 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 3, 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, Pathway 1000, PCRI, The Beatrice Morrow

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 (more recently named The Beatrice Morrow) 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 The Beatrice Morrow (c) Carleton Hart Architecture

Conceptual Rendering of The Beatrice Morrow (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 Beatrice Morrow 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 Beatrice Morrow 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.

 

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