October eNews from Human Solutions

There is so much to share with you this month – about what we’ve been up to and what’s coming down the pike. First and foremost: with Election Day upon us, we encourage you to vote. We know how concerned folks are right now about what’s happening in our area when it comes to housing stability. Human Solutions has endorsed two housing measures and the Portland Clean Energy Initiative. We urge your vote in support of these local and statewide measures that we believe are critical to solving our local housing and homeless crises and to expanding community equity.


Visit From Governor Brown

What an honor it was to host Governor Brown yesterday at Arbor Glen, one of our affordable housing communities. She joined our staff and incredible residents for a dialogue and listening session to hear from people with very low incomes and experiences with homelessness. It really was an amazing opportunity to convey to decision makers what people are facing every day - from barriers to housing like criminal histories and past evictions to childcare affordability struggles and juggling multiple jobs. We were inspired by how hard families work to make ends meet, raise kids and overcome barriers that too often are the outcomes of policies that create and perpetuate poverty and inequality. The morning filled our hearts and sharpened our determination to keep doing the work we do at Human Solutions. What a day! We are grateful to Governor Brown for wanting to hear directly from some of the most vulnerable Oregonians she serves and to take their experiences and thoughts into account as she strategizes solutions.


Be the Solution: Phone Bank for Affordable Housing

Human Solutions has proudly endorsed the Metro Regional Housing Bond (local Measure 26-199) and the constitutional amendment for housing bonds (statewide Measure 102). We did so because together they will make real strides toward adding desperately needed affordable housing in our region. To ensure these measures pass, we have knocked on doors to chat with voters and are hosting a phone bank next week on Tuesday evening, October 30th at our Rockwood office (124 NE 181st  here’s a map). You will want to be there because you’ll know you were part of the solution – PLUS you can see our cool office space and eat candy with us the day before Halloween. Drop in for an hour or two (or three!) between 5:30 and 8:30 PM.

Please spread the word and invite friends on Facebook – here’s the event page.


Join Us @ Our 30TH Anniversary Celebration & Gala Auction

We’re planning a BIG PARTY to celebrate our 30th Anniversary on Saturday, November 17, 2018. We hope you’ll spend the evening with us as we come together as a community to know each other a little better and fuel Human Solutions work into the future. It is so needed right now!

Get event details and register right here; contact Matthew at 503.548.0279 with any questions. See you in a few short weeks for a very fun night! Thanks to all who have already purchased tickets and tables – they are selling fast!


Season of Sharing: It's Nearly Time for Our Annual Holiday Toy Drive!

The annual Holiday Toy Drive is a joyful tradition at Human Solutions! Every year, we partner with volunteers and organizations in our community to collect gifts for kids who need them and invite their parents to “shop” (for free, of course!) for the holidays. The event serves low-income community members who live in our affordable housing communities or are participating in our programs. Details and volunteer sign-ups are on our web page. We hope you join in this community tradition – we’re pretty sure you’ll be glad you did!


Our New Development in Portland’s Gateway Neighborhood

We are working with experienced local developer Gerding Edlen Development to build a catalytic, mixed-use community next to the new Discovery Park in the heart of the Gateway community in East Portland.

There will be ground-floor retail fronting Halsey Street and the park plaza, as well as a second-floor office and service center for Human Solutions, and 78 units of mixed-income housing adjacent to the park. We are busily pulling all the pieces together so we can break ground in early 2019. If you’ve not yet visited Discovery Park, we can’t recommend it enough. The photo here is a rendering of how the building will look, a product of robust community input. We like it a lot and believe it will be a real asset to east Portland and a wonderful home for Human Solutions, area businesses and 70 families for years to come!.


New Report on Portland Area Homelessness

Earlier this month the Oregon Community Foundation (one of our generous funders) released a report to better understand and solve the area’s growing homelessness problem. We appreciate funders zeroing in on this critical issue in an effort to identify effective solutions to get behind. While we were not surprised by its finding (we need more affordable housing and services), we were glad to know that the credible partners who produced this report validated our approach to ending homelessness – providing deeply affordable housing coupled with services that support the success of residents. We’re including a link to the full report here, but if you’re short on time (as most are these days!), the six-page Executive Summary offers a great summary. Check it out!

Thanks, as always, for reading. We’re glad you’re part of our community and our work and invite you to get in touch with questions anytime.  

We’ve Pledged Yes

It’s election season! Human Solutions is proud to support two measures on your November ballot that will help solve our homeless and affordable housing crises: the Portland Metro Regional Bond (Measure 26-199) and the statewide constitutional amendment (Measure 102).

The Yes for Affordable Housing campaign is working to win both, and we are pleased to be partnering with them to reach voters. Thank you for your time to read through this update and hopefully we will see you at either our upcoming phone bank or canvass – or both!

Vote YES for Affordable Housing

We have a big opportunity this fall to address the need for affordable home for folks who live and work in our communities. By voting YES on Measure 102 and Measure 26-199, we can help up to 12,000 people in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties secure a safe, affordable place to live.

Human Solutions has joined over 600 nonprofits, businesses and community leaders who have endorsed Measure 102 and Measure 26-199. We are asking you to join us.

We invite you to pledge to vote YES for Affordable Housing on November 6th.

Skyrocketing rents have priced hard-working people and families out of their homes. In our region, a person making minimum wage would have to work 81 hours per week to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment.

Measure 26-199 is a regional affordable housing bond that will build or preserve affordable homes for thousands of our neighbors in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties -- and it will only cost the average homeowner $5 per month. Measure 102 is just as critical. It’s a sensible statewide ballot measure that will allow local governments to work with nonprofits and local businesses to make affordable housing bond money go further. Together, these two measures will house up to 12,000 people in our communities.

This fall, every single vote counts. Your support will make a difference. Please pledge to vote YES on Measure 102 and Measure 26-199 today. Thank you for your support!

Please join Human Solutions to get the word out about the Yes for Affordable Housing campaign:

  • Sunday, October 14th from 1 to 4 PM we’ll be knocking on doors in East Portland/County to talk with voters. Meet at the Human Solutions office at 12350 SE Powell Blvd.
  • Tuesday, October 30th from 5:30 – 8:30 PM we’ll be making calls to voters from our Rockwood office @ 124 NE 181st (near Burnside).

You need not be an expert or have any experience! We’ll train you, and of course we’ll have snacks.

Please sign up to volunteer here!

We look forward to seeing you later this month and thank you wholeheartedly for being part of this communitywide solution.

Fall eNews (and an invite!) from Human Solutions

As summer winds down, we are looking ahead to a busy fall, when we will be celebrating our 30th Anniversary with a fun gala and auction. We’ve been doing effective anti-poverty work – with help from many of you - in and with the East Portland / Multnomah County community since 1988! We want YOU to join us as we celebrate all that we have accomplished together – and look ahead to all that we will do in the future. DON’T MISS IT!

Beyond celebrating our work together, we have lots of other news to share with you:

OUR AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM FOR KIDS IS SERIOUSLY FUN!

LearnLinks is our after-school and summer program that we run for kids in kindergarten through 8th grade who live in our affordable housing communities and emergency shelter. Activities are provided on-site, which is key, so when kids get home from school in the afternoon they can get a snack, some homework help, and supervised playtime. Our goal for the program is to foster greater academic achievement in public school, support positive character traits and leadership skills, increase parent participation in their kids’ academic lives, and support the overall stability of families. Watch this short video to see the activities the kids have been up to this summer (big thanks to the Portland Children’s Levy for both helping fund the program and creating this video).

JOIN US @ OUR 30TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION & GALA AUCTION

We’re planning a BIG PARTY to celebrate our 30th Anniversary on Saturday, November 17, 2018. That may seem like a long way off, but really it’s just around the corner! Please save the date and grab your ticket now – in fact, why not host a table and fill it with friends and family who also want to live in a community where housing is affordable to all?

Get event details and register right here; contact Matthew at 503.548.0279 with any questions. See you in November!

BEAUTIFUL HAND-MADE APRONS DONATED TO THE GRESHAM WOMEN’S SHELTER

The incredible quilters of the Mt. Hood Quilt Guild have donated beautiful quilts to Human Solutions for years – all of which we have delightedly passed along to local families who need them. This summer, guild members (pictured here in their creations) sewed 20 wonderful aprons for the residents and visiting chefs at the Gresham Women’s Shelter, an emergency shelter for 90 unaccompanied women (and their pets!). And they do it all with donated fabric, to boot! THANK YOU to the Mt. Hood Quilt Guild from the bottom of our hearts. We have the best community partners!

SEASON OF SHARING: IT’S NEARLY TIME FOR OUR ANNUAL HOLIDAY STORE!

The Annual Human Solutions Holiday Store is a joyful tradition! Every year, Human Solutions partners with volunteers in our community to collect gifts for kids who need them and invites their parents to shop for the holidays. The event serves low-income community members who live in our affordable housing communities or are participating in our programs. The gifts come from anyone inspired to share during the holiday season of sharing – is that you?

We invite you to help us put on this terrific event – we need toys, volunteers and generous sponsors. Get details on our website or contact us directly: holidaystore@humansolutions.org or 503.548.0213.

TRI-MET’S NEW LOW-INCOME FARE

We are pleased to share that Human Solutions recently became a community partner for TriMet’s Low-Income Fare program. For current clients of Human Solutions who have trouble affording TriMet fare, relief may be available through this new program. Here’s how it works: Oregon residents who are 18 to 64 years old and have an income less than twice the federal poverty level can apply to ride for a lower fare. If approved, riders will save 50% off a single ride or day pass or 72% off a month pass. As a community partner, Human Solutions’ staff are trained to qualify applicants income when they come to one of our locations, making it easier for people in the community to sign up. Find out if you’re eligible and apply here. We know firsthand how important it is to make public transit affordable to those who depend on it.

Thanks for reading and for always supporting Human Solutions and the wonderful folks we get to work with every day.

Fair Housing Laws

April is Fair Housing Month. Last week, Multnomah County highlighted the work of the Housing Stability Team which works to ensure people who already have homes don’t lose them. And this week we're making sure everyone knows what laws protect them from housing discrimination in Multnomah County.

Help keep our community safe and ensure equity by sharing, printing and posting the poster below in any area where people may see it.

Download, print and post the fair housing infographic poster.


Infographic text:

There are fair housing laws to protect you in Multnomah County

The federal Fair Housing Act and the Fair Housing Amendment Acts, Oregon law, and Multnomah County protect you from discrimination.

No one can discriminate against you because of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Marital status
  • Source of income
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation including gender identity
  • Family status
  • Domestic violence
  • Disability
  • If you are age 18 or older

Fair housing laws apply to:

  • Individual homes, duplexes, multifamily housing (apartments, condos, and townhomes), retirement housing, adult foster homes and long term care facilities, homeless shelters and other nonprofit housing.
  • Sales, rentals, mortgage lending, building and construction, home insurance, appraisals, and inspections, land use regulations, zoning, as well as neighbor-on-neighbor harassment.

You might be experiencing discrimination if:

  • Someone refuses to rent to you or terminates a lease because you’re in one of the groups above.
  • A landlord creates different terms or standards for different tenants.
  • A landlord refuses to make reasonable accommodations for a tenant with a disability.

Who to contact if discrimination happens:
Call the Fair Housing Council of Oregon(link is external) at (800) 424-3247 ext. 2 if you believe that you or someone else have been victims of illegal housing discrimination. Remember to: 1) Write down what happened, including dates, times, who was involved, as well as the names of possible witnesses. 2) Keep an ongoing list of events. 3) Save any written materials that relate to your case. The Fair Housing Council will advise you of the appropriate next steps and may refer you to services and organizations that can help.

The Numbers

"With Oregon exploding onto the national scene in the last decade, becoming one of the most popular destinations to move to, the area east of 82nd Avenue—including East Portland, Gresham, Troutdale, and Fairview—has come to be affectionately called “The Numbers.” It has one of the area's highest concentration of school-age children, a sky-high poverty rate, and an uncommon diversity of race, ethnicity, and language." -- from The Numbers

In May of last year, Oregon Humanities released "The Numbers," a video project by Sika Stanton and Donovan Smith documenting the hopes and concerns of young people living in East Portland.

Learn more about the young people involved in "The Numbers," part of Oregon Humanities' "This Land" project, on their  website.

 

New report finds rent assistance benefits housing stability and employment

Human Solutions participates in the Economic Opportunity Program (EOP), which helps participants get on track to stable employment and housing.  For the past year and a half, we have been working with partner organizations to evaluate the impact of rent assistance through EOP for people at risk of homelessness.

The evaluation shows that, compared with people who did not receive rent assistance,  recipients were 38% more likely to complete employment training and 67% more likely to obtain career track employment. On average they also increased their income at double the rate of those who did not receive assistance.

In fact, the report shows that recipients increased their income by triple the amount of the rent assistance they received. Also, 76% of recipients remained housed a year after they stopped receiving assistance, suggesting that rent assistance leads to long term housing stability.

Read the full report: EOP Rent Assistance Final Report.

Thanks to our partner agencies and Worksystems for producing this report with a grant from Meyer Memorial Trust.

Human Solution's New Website

Welcome to Our New Website

Human Solutions is trilled to present our new website! Our new site will allow us to better communicate with all of our stakeholders. We can more easily let you know what is going with the agency, and we have made it easier for you to find the information you need!

Have a look around and check out all of the new content and features. While you are there, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter so you will always know what’s happening.

Board of Directors Names New Executive Director

The Board of Directors of Human Solutions, Inc. announced today that Andy Miller has been named Executive Director of the Human Solutions, effective July 13. He will succeed Jean DeMaster, who is retiring at the end of September. . In announcing the appointment of Miller, Carla Piluso, chair of Human Solutions' Board of Directors, stated […]