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Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI) believes investing in disadvantaged communities is one of the best ways to break the cycle of poverty. This fall, PCRI did exactly that: 22 affordable rental homes in North and Northeast Portland will have new roofs, fresh paint and new sidewalks by the end of 2013 thanks to a workforce training program operated by local non-profit Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) and several minority-owned contractors.
PCRI spent more than $112,000 on improvements for the homes, with over 90% of the work performed by local, minority-owned and non-profit contractors. The improvements ensure the long-term durability and safety of the homes for the low-income families who live in them and further PCRI’s long-standing goals to provide opportunity for small, local businesses and minority-owned firms.
“These aren’t just investments in a few homes, they are investments in the strength and livability of our community,” said Maxine Fitzpatrick, PCRI Executive Director. “’Community Reinvestment’ is part of our name as well as an important part of how we do business.”
For the capital improvement projects, PCRI sought businesses with whom the organization had existing relationships such as NAYA Construction Services. NAYA’s construction workforce training program trains low-income Native Americans with essential skills for living wage construction jobs.
“Our job is to care for our people and invest in our community. These building improvements mean a safer, more secure residence for people who need it, and increased opportunity for the minority-owned-and-operated contractors doing the work,” said Matt Morton, Squaxin Island Tribe, NAYA Family Center Executive Director.
PCRI also used these capital improvement projects to connect with contractors the organization had not previously used. The Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs (OAME) and Portland’s Metropolitan Contractor Improvement Project (MCIP) were especially instrumental, connecting PCRI with local minority businesses for this and future projects.
PCRI is continually improving its portfolio of 700 affordable housing units, including single-family homes, small plexes, and community apartments. Contractors who are interested in participating in future improvement projects should contact Jordan Allen, Maintenance Administrator, for more information.
#GivingTuesday is a national campaign on December 3, 2013, just following “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” that will create a day of giving to celebrate and encourage the community to participate in charitable activities.
This year, PCRI is thrilled to be a part of #GivingTuesday! It doesn’t take much to make a big difference and we appreciate giving on any level through donations, volunteering, or helping spread the word. Here are a few suggestions for your #GivingTuesday:
PCRI, the community and the world want to help make this giving season the biggest yet!
For Questions, please contact Travis Phillips at 503-288-2891
“Do your little bit of good where you are. It is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
~Archbishop Desmond Tutu
A team of recognized experts and influencers, initially convened by leaders of 92nd Street Y and supported by a core group of founding partners, originally spearheaded this effort. Founding partners in 2012 included United Nations Foundation, DonorsChoose.org, Mashable, Blackbaud, charity:water, GlobalGiving, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Kiva, Darden Restaurant Group, Groupon, Unilever and VentureThree Capital. Leaders in philanthropy, social media, innovative giving, grassroots organizing, marketing and communications are providing counsel and resources to help build this movement.
To learn more about #GivingTuesday plarticipants and acitivites or to join the celebration of giving, please visit:
#GivingTuesday is endorsed by Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, Dorothy A. Johnson Center on Philanthropy, Giving Institute, Giving USA Foundation and InterAction. Charity Navigator, Givewell and GuideStar are serving as Charity Advisors. VolunteerMatch is a volunteer advisor to #GivingTuesday.
We’re proud to announce the newest member of our Board of Directors, Damien R. Hall.
Mr. Hall is actively engaged in community development and is an attorney at Ball Janik LLP practicing with the Land Use and Real Estate groups. With a background in urban planning and development, he regularly assists clients with land use matters, real estate transactions, natural resources law, municipal law, and formation and organization of business entities.
On joining the PCRI Board of Directors, Mr. Hall said, “I am honored to serve on the PCRI board and assist the organization in its goals of avoiding community displacement by providing quality housing options.”
He is also presently Chairperson for the Portland Development Commission’s (PDC) Oregon Convention Center Urban Renewal Area Advisory Committee, and has served on the commission since 2007. Mr. Hall is a member of the Young Leaders group of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) of Oregon and SW Washington, and he is a member of the Developing Leaders Committee of the Oregon Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP). He participated in the PDC’s N/NE Economic Development Initiative Advisory Committee from 2010-2011 and in the City of Portland’s North/Northeast Quadrant of I-5 Broadway/Weidler Stakeholder Advisory Committee from 2011-2012.
In addition to his active professional engagements, Mr. Hall serves as a Board Member of Groundwork Portland. He also represented “Verde – Let Us Build Cully Park!” as pro bono counsel. Hall received his J.D. from Lewis and Clark College, Northwestern School of Law in 2008 and his B.S. in Public Policy, Planning and Management from the University of Southern California in 2005.
Oregon Business magazine has once again named PCRI as a top nonprofit to work for in 2013. We are honored to again be a part of this stellar class of fellow nonprofits who work day-in and day-out to make Portland a better place. Congratulations to everyone!
For the fifth year, they showcase exemplary nonprofit workplaces with our 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon project. More than 5,000 employees and volunteers from 159 nonprofits statewide took part in our 2013 survey.
The project is based on Oregon Business’ 20-year-old, well-known 100 Best Companies project. The nonprofit project was created to recognize nonprofits as key businesses critical to the economic health of the state, employing hundreds of thousands of Oregonians.
Not to worry, we have lots of pictures to share with you!
Roots Fest happened on September 1st at Pioneer Square. It was part of our Healthy Foods Access Initiative where we got to showcase the produce our residents had been growing along with local, afro-centric food, vendors and entertainment. Will Allen of Growing Power was also in town to talk to the community about urban farming and sustainable agriculture.
We are thankful to all those who participated!
Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI) extends an open Request for Proposals to perform capital improvements at 27 PCRI-owned scattered-site affordable rental homes in Portland. The projects are located in North and Northeast Portland. Scopes of work vary by property and may include exterior painting, roof replacement, and flatwork upgrades and repairs.
Interested contractors must schedule an appointment by September 30, 2013, with PCRI’s Maintenance Supervisor to review information about the projects, specifications, and PCRI’s goals for the improvements. Contractors will also be required to complete PCRI’s Contractor Qualification forms prior to inspecting properties and submitting proposals. Appointments may be scheduled and Contractor Qualification forms may be requested by email or by calling PCRI at (503) 288-2923.
All bids must be received by PCRI by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 9, 2013. Bids received after this time may not be considered.
Please note: many PCRI properties were constructed prior to 1978. Please consider that any work which disturbs paint in any way will require proper containment procedures. Contractors who are not lead-paint certified, should indicate this clearly in their proposal.
In the fall of 2012, PCRI and Albina Construction began a project to extensively rehabilitate 10 of PCRI’s affordable rental homes, preserving these valuable assets for our community and helping ensure the stability of their neighborhoods. In September, rehabilitation was completed on the final home and new residents moved in, benefiting from the energy-efficiency, health and durability improvements that characterize the work being completed at each house.
The ten homes are located in eight diverse Portland neighborhoods, with each home near parks, community resources and frequent-service public transportation. New paint, which addressed lead-based paint hazards, makes a dramatic before-and-after comparison. Additional improvements to these and the other nine rehabilitated homes go much more than skin-deep, including improvements to efficiency and indoor health made according to Home Performance with Energy Star standards. Testing was performed upon completion of each renovation to ensure the homes are as healthy, safe, and energy-efficient as anticipated.
Many of the new homes will also benefit from kitchens and bathrooms redesigned for better usability. These newly-rehabilitated rooms will also benefit from cabinetry and flooring chosen not just because they look great, but also for their durability and the absence of unhealthy chemicals used to produce or finish them.
These rehabilitation projects also provide good paying construction jobs as well as training opportunities. As with prior projects, PCRI teamed up with Oregon Tradeswomen at several of the homes, where students developed their carpentry and teamwork skills building fences, installing floors and creating raised planter beds where the new residents can grow their own healthy produce.
One other home, which is also part of the so-called “Big 11” project, will be deconstructed and the existing two-bedroom structure will be replaced with a newly-built Earth Advantage-certified four-bedroom home. This new construction home, which is anticipated to be complete in spring 2014, will feature a wheelchair-accessible main floor bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room, plus three upstairs bedrooms to accommodate a larger family.
Funding for these projects has been provided by Portland Housing Bureau, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and by energy-efficiency incentives from the Energy Trust of Oregon.
Portland Roots Festival will feature a variety of food, art, and cultural practices from Portland’s diverse African Populations. The festival, held on September 1 at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland will run from 12 noon until 8:00 p.m. It is PCRI’s first culturally specific food festival, promoting healthy living through healthy food choices and activities from the rich and ancient traditions of the African people. Admission to the festival is free of charge and all ages are welcome.
The festival will highlight the different yet similar avenues these ancient practices took through the celebration of food practices of African-American, Afro-Caribbean, Afro- Latin, and African Diaspora populations of Portland, Oregon. Vendors (pictured below with KPTV Fox 12 host Joe Vithayathil) and their menu items will include:
Click on any vendor’s name for more information. The festival will have additional features including:
The Portland Roots Festival is free and open to all ages. The festival is Sunday, September 1, 2013 from 12:00 noon until 8:00 p.m. at Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland. A tentative schedule is available HERE. Please note that all times are subject to change without notice.
PCRI will host the Portland Roots Festival on September 1, 2013, from 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m. Thanks to generous support from our sponsors, including Platinum Sponsor NW Natural, the festival will feature a keynote from Will Allen, founder and CEO of Growing Power, Inc., and a leading authority in the expanding field of urban agriculture. The celebration will also include African, African-American, Afro-Latin and Afro-Caribbean food vendors, performers, non-profit community groups, micro-entrepreneurs.
PCRI gives special thanks to our Platinum Sponsor, NW Natural, for helping make this celebration a reality.
Gold Sponsors have also provided essential support for the Roots Festival. The festival’s gold sponsors include Wieden + Kennedy, Legacy Health, and the Oregon Health Authority’s Office of Equity and Inclusion.
PCRI also appreciates support provided by Multnomah County’s Office of Sustainability, a Silver Sponsor for the festival.
Additional support for the Roots Festival has also been provided (in no particular order) by New Seasons Markets, Portland Trailblazers, Time Airport Shuttle, Dave’s Killer Bread, Steven Smith Tea Maker, Spirit Mountain Community Fund, and Union Cab.
In celebration of the PCRI’s Healthy Foods Access Initiative, we are hosting the Portland Roots Festival on September 1, 2013. We will be in Pioneer Square from 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., exploring the African roots of signature dishes from some of the city’s tastiest restaurants and food carts. Come savor the vibrant flavors of global street food in a beautiful open air setting.
The event will feature African, African-American, Afro-Latin and Afro-Caribbean food vendors, performers, non-profit community groups, micro-entrepreneurs, and a key-note speech from Will Allen, founder and CEO of Growing Power Inc.
Mr. Allen – the son of a sharecropper, former professional basketball player, ex-corporate sales leader and now farmer, has become recognized as among the preeminent thinkers of our time on agriculture and food policy. The founder and CEO of Growing Power Inc., a farm and community food center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Will is widely considered the leading authority in the expanding field of urban agriculture. At Growing Power and in community food projects across the nation and around the world, Will promotes the belief that all people, regardless of their economic circumstances, should have access to fresh, safe, affordable and nutritious foods at all times. Using methods he has developed over a lifetime, Will trains community members to become community farmers, assuring them a secure source of good food without regard to political or economic forces.
In 2008, Will was named a John D. and Katherine T. McArthur Foundation Fellow and was awarded a prestigious foundation “genius grant” for his work – only the second farmer ever to be so honored. He is also a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, and in February 2010, he was invited to the White House to join First Lady Michelle Obama in launching “Let’s Move!” her signature leadership program to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity in America. In May 2010, Time magazine named Will to the Time 100 World’s Most Influential People.