Greetings from Human Solutions! We’ve got some important items to share with you today - about your ballot (if you live in Portland), an important read about the history of intentional housing segregation, and an invitation to join our Auction Committee. Plus some important new local housing data (not just for wonks!). Thanks, as always, for reading! We appreciate you.

Let’s Renew the Portland Children’s Levy!

Human Solutions proudly endorsed the ballot measure to renew the 15-year-old Children’s Levy for another five years. For the last 15 years, the Portland Children’s Levy has invested over $150 million in proven programs that help keep children safe, healthy and successful. The Levy is a reflection of our values as a real community and it makes a real difference for our kids and our future.

Your support means:

  • Children enter kindergarten ready to learn
  • Students are safe in engaging after-school programs
  • Kids of all ages have mentors to keep them on track
  • Parents are getting help for stress and trauma
  • Families are seeing a reduction in home violence
  • Children facing hunger receive food.

By voting yes we can continue to ensure a better future for our kids and our community. Learn more here - and keep an eye out for your ballot, Portlanders! Election day is Tuesday, May 15th.

We’re Seeking Auction Committee Members!

Human Solutions is turning 30 this year, so we’re celebrating with a BIG gala & auction on Saturday, November 17, 2018 in SE Portland. And the planning is getting underway in earnest around here! If you support Human Solutions’ mission and have a great network of friends and family who might, too, we need to hear from you! Just contact Lisa Frack at lfrack@humansolutions.org or 503.548.0282 to learn more. We’ll be meeting monthly starting in late May and corresponding over email in between. It’s a great way to connect more with our work and the people behind it. Hope to hear from you soon!

Fair Housing & The Color of Law

Thanks to the Fair Housing Council of Oregon for bringing Richard Rothstein to town to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. Richard wrote The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, a popular and critically acclaimed book about the “forgotten history” of America’s intentional housing segregation and the continuing and devastating impacts on education and wealth inequity and other issues we grapple with daily at Human Solutions. Rothstein’s main thesis is: if we do not as a nation understand our racist history, we cannot begin to make adequate current policy to address its inequities.

Learn more: Get the book from the Multnomah County Library or listen to this NPR interview with the author. We agree!

City of Portland’s 2017 State of Housing Report is Here.

This data-rich report tells an important story about the housing crisis in our area and how different communities are experiencing it. Importantly, you can find neighborhood-level data and learn how different communities are being impacted. Here are just a few statistics that we think are important:

  • More than 31,680 of the city’s renters are severely cost-burdened — spending 50 percent or more of their income on housing—putting them at substantial risk of displacement.
  • Changes in the proportion of the non-White population measured in the 24 neighborhood areas between 2000 and 2015 illustrate a continued significant shift in the racial composition of the city.
  • The average senior household can afford to rent in only one neighborhood in the city, located in East Portland. There are no neighborhoods affordable to rent for the average Black, Latino, Native American, and single mother households
  • Single mothers (on average) can’t rent or buy housing without being rent-burdened (ie paying more than 30% of their income for housing) in a single Portland neighborhood.
  • When it comes to incomes, there’s a real different between black and white earners: overall incomes are rising but vary starkly by race, with White households earning the highest median income of $58,824 a year and Black households at lowest of $27,412.

Learn more: There is so much important information in this report, we suggest you take a look for yourself!

Thanks, as always, for your interest in our work. Your donations are always needed and greatly appreciated! It ensures that we can continue to make an impact in your neighbors lives. It’s easy to contribute online here.