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April is National Financial Literacy Month. PCRI is excited to celebrate with a Financial Education Program in partnership with Banner Bank. Residents who complete the four-class program will earn $100 to open a new checking account or use in other ways. The program includes four 2-hour classes on Tuesday evenings, starting Tuesday, April 28, and will cover topics ranging from budgeting, balancing a checkbook, managing credit and avoiding identity theft.
Classes are limited to 35 participants and pre-registration is required, so residents are encouraged to RSVP as soon as possible to Amy Dang at PCRI. The classes include:
Participants who attend and complete all four classes will earn $100 from Banner Bank. Class sizes are limited and registration is required. Contact Amy Dang, PCRI’s Financial Education Specialist, for more information or to register.
PCRI is excited to host cooking and nutrition classes at Park Terrace Community Center this spring. The classes, available to all PCRI residents, are in partnership with the Oregon Food Bank and their Cooking Matters™ program. Cooking Matters™ is a nationwide program of Share Our Strength which teaches participants to shop smarter, use nutrition information to make healthier choices, and cook delicious, affordable meals.
PCRI’s first class series will run once per week for six weeks from Wednesday, April 22 to Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Classes will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and participants will be provided a free bag of groceries each week. Lessons cover meal preparation, grocery shopping, food budgeting, and nutrition. These are hands-on classes where all participants will have the opportunity to practice fundamental food skills, including proper knife technique, reading ingredient labels, cutting up a whole chicken, and making a healthy meal for a family of four on a $10 budget.
Classes are open to all PCRI residents. For more information or to sign up, please contact Karissa by email or by telephone at (503) 282-1359.
PCRI believes wealth creation is a critical step along the path of stability and self-sufficiency. On Thursday, April 16, from 6:00 – 7:00pm, PCRI will host an asset building information session. PCRI offers several programs to aid with financial wellness and building savings, all aimed at empowering residents’ success. This information session will be a valuable opportunity for residents to learn more and sign up for these programs.
The asset building information session will be held at the PCRI’s Main Office at 6329 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
RSVP’s are requested. Please call Liz at (503) 288-2923 x122 or RSVP via email to confirm your attendance.
The Know Your Rights workshop provides essential information for tenants, including best practices for protecting your rights and communicating with your landlord. The workshop will also share information about rights of immigrants and families with children and ways to protect against harassment in housing.
RSVP’s are requested. Amharic translation will be provided at the workshop. Additional translation and/or translated materials may be available with advance notice.
The Fair Housing Council of Oregon (FHCO) is a nonprofit civil rights organization driven to eliminate illegal housing discrimination through enforcement and education across Oregon. FHCO promotes equal access to housing by providing education, outreach, technical assistance, and enforcement opportunities specifically related to federal, state, and local fair housing laws. These laws protect against illegal housing discrimination based on “protected class status” in any housing transaction and, in fact, any housing situation.
For questions about the workshop or to confirm attendance, contact John at Margaret Carter Center by email or by phone at 503-281-1778.
PCRI invites all Park Terrace and PCRI youth to join us as we explore new foods and learn new skills in the kitchen! The first meeting of PCRI’s Youth Cooking Club will be on Monday, February 23rd from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm.
The cooking club is open to all PCRI youth. And activities at this first meeting, will include decorating aprons, discussing safety in the kitchen, and learning to read a recipe card. We will also be making a delicious snack!
Youth must sign up to join and participate. If your child is interested in participating, please sign up by emailing Karissa, coming by Park Terrace Community Center, or calling the center at 503-282-1359. All youth who participate will receive their own apron to keep!
Interested in lending a hand? Contact Karissa to express your interest in volunteering with the Cooking Club!
Families – Get the Tax Credit You Deserve!
To get these credits, you must file a tax return. Find out where you can get your taxes prepared for free in NE Portland by visiting Cash Oregon.
When you file your taxes, make sure you ask about these federal tax credits:
Oregon has additional tax credits for working families:
Also, if you get your health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may be eligible for the premium tax credit.
Consider putting your tax refund toward reducing debt, repairing credit, or starting an IDA matched savings account. Find out how you can make the most of your tax refund by contacting Amy Dang, PCRI Financial Education Specialist by phone at 503-288-2923 x131 or by email.
For two weeks in August, PCRI hosted the Maya Angelou Summer Youth Arts Camp, giving youth ages 5-18 an opportunity to use their imaginations and express their creativity while building character and confidence.
The annual camp has a different focus each year. For 2014, youth created and starred in a puppet play, thanks to help from Oregon Children’s Theater. Instructor and award-winning actor James Sharinghousen worked with camp participants to develop skills from acting and dance to learning to keep their attention focused.
While Sharinghousen worked with the youth on their theater skills, Resident Services Coordinator Jessie Blanchard helped youth create puppets and props for the camp’s play and provided additional motivation and support to ensure the youth’s success at the camp.
“It was amazing to see the transformation of the youth as they worked as a team to build a 20-minute play,” Blanchard said. “I was proud of them sticking with the performance, no mater how intimidating performing can be. After the final performance, the youth had gained a sense of pride from performing a show that the audience thoroughly enjoyed.”
Blanchard added that the camp participants got to take home the puppets they made at the camp, continuing their interest in storytelling. Each youth also graduated the camp with a t-shirt which they decorated while learning how to screen print.
The Maya Angelou Art Camp was started in 2004 by a community member as a free summer program for the children at the Maya Angelou Apartments and the surrounding neighborhood. After supporting the camp for several years, PCRI recently incorporated the camp into regular programming at the Maya Angelou Community Center. The Maya Angelou Art Camp, as well as PCRI’s Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Camp provide opportunities for growth and development for youth residing in PCRI housing and the surrounding community who typically lack access to summer programs and healthy foods outside of school.
On August 21, PCRI’s Programs and Resident Services Department unveiled a new client and group meeting space located at 6601 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The PCRI “Annex” is located two blocks from PCRI’s main office and will offer private space for meeting with clients as well as classroom-style group space to host larger meetings, such as Homeownership Program and Financial Education classes, Homeownership Retention forums, and Individual Development Account orientations.
The 2nd annual Portland Roots Festival is almost here! Join us:
We are looking forward to tasting Africa-inspired dishes from some of the city’s tastiest food trucks, caterers, and restaurants. Including:
Love Belizean, Gamila Cafe, Terrel’s Texas BBQ, Delight of Africa, Enat Kitchen, and Caribbean Kook Pot
On the main stage, we will be treated to performances from some incredible musicians, poets, and dancers. Including:
Turiya Autry, Capoeira Ijexá PDX, ZZ Rose, Amenta & Hanifa Abioto, Chata Addy, Black Butterfly, Akela Auer, NW B-Boyz, and Speakerminds
Have fun learning about food, health, and community with our partner organizations. Including:
Friends of Family Farmers, Q Center, Coalition of Community Health Clinics, Urban League, Men’s Health Project, Curriculum of Cuisine, Bradley Angle, Earth Wisdom Alliance, Lanyi Fan, Black Women for Peace, and Oregon Children’s Theater who will be on-site with storytelling workshops.
Special guests include key-note speaker, Bryant Terry.
Bryant Terry is a chef, food justice activist, and author of numerous books, including Vegan Soul Food, The Inspired Vegan, and Afro-Vegan. He is also the host of Urban Organic, a multi-episode web series. His interest in cooking, farming, and community health can be traced back to his childhood in Memphis, Tennessee, where his grandparents inspired him to grow, prepare, and appreciate good food. Bryant completed the chef’s training program at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City. He holds an M.A. in American History from New York University and a B.A. with honors in English from Xavier University of Louisiana. From 2008 to 2010, Bryant was a fellow of the Food and Society Policy Fellows Program. He lives and creates in Oakland, California, with his wife and children.
Special guests also include event host – Bryan Gallyot. Repeatedly voted Pasadena’s “Best Personality”, Bryan is also known for hosting charitable events across Southern California. This Palm Springs based entertainer and co-owner of the Crazy Coconut Bar & Grill is happy to join us here in Portland for the 2nd annual Portland Roots Festival.
For more information, contact PCRI at 503-288-2923. We hope to see you there!
PCRI is pleased to announce that we have been chosen as one of 30 select organizations to participate in United Way of the Columbia-Willamette’s new Community Strengthening collaborative cohort designed to improve outcomes for low-income children and their families, and ultimately break the cycle of childhood poverty in the four-county (Clackamas, Clark, Multnomah and Washington) region.
The collaborative cohort, which is based on the “collective impact” approach, is part of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette’s new strategic direction to leverage the expertise, resources, and effort of multiple organizations across the region in working together toward one common goal: breaking the cycle of childhood poverty.
United Way’s Community Strengthening cohort is comprised of 30 emerging and established non-profits serving low income and culturally specific communities across the metropolitan area. The cohort will work together for a period of three years (July 2014 through June 2017) to create and participate in learning communities designed to share experiences, exchange data and information, and build collective knowledge around new and promising practices to improve outcomes for low-income families and their children. Each member of the Community Strengthening cohort will be awarded up to $50,000 per year, to complete this critical work. (*Funding to PCRI and the other non-profits in the cohort is contingent on the funding United Way receives as an organization to its Breaking the Cycle fund.)
“We are pleased to participate in the United Way’s Community Strengthening cohort because together we can make community-level change,” said Melody Padilla, PCRI Director of Programs. “We hope to learn new models and best practices, share our own, and build a movement to end childhood poverty.”
Each non-profit organization participating in United Way of the Columbia-Willamette’s Community Strengthening cohort has agreed to share their results through a common measurement framework, to work together on critical problems and innovations in the field, and to build a common knowledge base about collective impact on childhood poverty in our region.
“We are ecstatic to be collaborating with the outstanding organizations selected to be a part of our Community Strengthening cohort on breaking the cycle of childhood poverty. The issue of poverty is incredibly complex, with multiple facets; it’s a far greater issue than any one organization can resolve alone,” said Keith Thomajan, CEO of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette. “In utilizing the collective impact model, we are confident we can amplify and accelerate the impact we are making in our community specific to student success, family stability, and connected communities to give every child, regardless of their socioeconomic status, a fair chance at success. Quite simply, we are better together.”
The Collective Impact Model
The collective impact model, as articulated by the non-profit consulting group Foundation Strategy Group (FSG), is a model of work that brings people together, in a structured way, to achieve social change. There are five conditions** of “collective impact” that lead to meaningful results:
A common agenda: All participants have a shared vision for change including a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving it through agreed upon actions
**Source: Foundation Strategy Group (FSG) http://www.fsg.org/OurApproach/CollectiveImpact.aspx
To learn more about United Way’s Community Strengthening strategy and the other organizations involved in the cohort, please visit http://www.unitedway-pdx.org/community-strengthening-investments