Strategic & Equity Plan | 2018 to 2023

Welcome and thank you for taking a look at our Five Year Strategic & Equity Plan!

The team at Human Solutions spent 18 months listening to our staff, housing residents, program participants and partners to inform a new direction for our organization.

Our goals are clear – to support long-term housing and economic security for the people and communities we partner with, to become a financially stronger agency that makes meaningful progress countering the forces of oppression within our organization and without, and to elevate our advocacy for policies that will help end homelessness and interrupt intergenerational poverty.

Join us – we’re going places!

5 Reasons This Is a Powerful Plan

  1. It targets our efforts toward lasting progress on some of our most significant community issues – poverty, homelessness and residential displacement.
  2. It centers our work and organization around racial and community equity.
  3. It leverages our 30+ years working in East Multnomah County to advocate for real solutions and needed community investments.
  4. We developed it together, as a team, with input from our whole organization and community.
  5. We will live by it and hold ourselves accountable to its ambitious goals.

4 Key Goals

  1. Thriving individuals, families and communities.
    The people and communities who partner with Human Solutions will experience long-term housing stability and economic security so they can seize opportunities to thrive.
  2. An inclusive, anti-racist organization delivering equitable results.
    Human Solutions will recognize and counter the impacts of racism and other forms of systemic oppression by modeling and championing diversity, equity and inclusivity in our leadership, programs, outcomes, investments and operations.
  3. Public policies and systems that reduce poverty and help more people thrive.
    Human Solutions will advocate with our community for policies and investments that expand housing and economic opportunity, eliminate wealth inequality and end poverty.
  4. A strong, capable and nimble organization.
    Human Solutions will develop the resources, internal systems, staffing and capacity to achieve our mission.

Important Components

Executive Summary

Download an Executive Summary of our Strategic and Equity Plan.

Core Values

Everything we do is based on these core values. (Access this as a PDF.)

We Value Excellence

Our passion for our mission inspires us every day to do our best work for the people and communities with whom we partner.

We Value Humanity

We believe in the infinite worth of every human being and value the life experiences and abilities we each bring.

We Value Integrity

We are honest and transparent in all of our relationships.

We Value Collaboration

We intentionally form new and relevant relationships to learn, grow and deliver the best possible results.

We Value Justice

Our work — and how we accomplish it — strives to counter the oppressive forces of our past and present to create a just and equitable future.

Our Ongoing Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

(Access this as a PDF.)

Human Solutions is an inclusive, multi-racial and multi-cultural organization working to alleviate the impacts of poverty on people and communities. Our work counters many of the primary forces that make and keep people poor.

We focus our work in East Portland and East Multnomah County, one of the most diverse areas in Oregon. Here, many individuals, families and communities experience high rates of economic and housing insecurity and residential displacement as a direct result of historic and ongoing policies and practices that deprive communities and individuals of land, wealth and basic human rights because of their identity.

As an organization working to counter a legacy of inequity, we commit to:

  • Understand the impacts and causes of bias that include racism and white supremacy, learned patterns of oppression, and the strong connection between poverty, homelessness and race.
  • Confront and challenge all forms of institutional oppression within our organization so that staff and those who partner with us will experience Human Solutions as truly inclusive. We will create the time and space to continue learning vital lessons and to undertake the urgent work necessary to counter the centuries-old and still-active forces that block opportunity for people of color and other oppressed people.
  • Continue our growth into an intentionally anti-bias, anti-racist organization that actively aligns with community-based efforts to overcome inequality and its roots in racism and oppression.
  • Acknowledge who holds power in our organization, whose voices shape our decisions and who is not “in the room.” We will work constantly and vigorously to address internal disparities of power and influence.
  • Hold ourselves accountable by continuously measuring and sharing progress toward all diversity, equity and inclusion goals.
  • Revisit these commitments regularly to update the actions and words that define this critical work as we learn and grow.

Theory of Change

(Access this as a PDF.)

The Problem We Tackle: Intergenerational Poverty

At Human Solutions, we define poverty as a lack of power, choice and control over circumstances, typically caused by a lack of income, assets and resources at a personal and community level. People and communities who experience poverty typically inherit it as a product of deep structural inequality caused by adverse systemic forces like racism, misogyny, ableism, and mass incarceration.

As a result of historic, ongoing and intentional policies that concentrate wealth and power, far too many people – especially people of color – continue to experience intergenerational poverty. In our home of East Portland and East Multnomah County, people and communities experiencing poverty typically reside in neighborhoods that have experienced years of disinvestment and lack basic amenities like healthy food, safe streets and welcoming places to gather and play. Entrenched, intergenerational poverty and a landscape of disinvestment leave people and whole communities vulnerable to poverty’s compounding conditions: powerlessness, residential displacement, lack of educational and economic opportunity, and the recurring trauma of hopelessness and homelessness.

Our Approach: Invest in Transformation and Long-Term Success

Human Solutions works to counter the forces that keep people and communities in poverty. We partner with individuals, families and communities to support their long-term success and transcendence from the conditions of poverty. Here’s how:

  • We provide trauma-informed programs that offer hope, support and a pathway to stability and opportunity to our community’s most vulnerable families and individuals.
  • We develop and maintain healthy, high-quality affordable and supportive housing that responds to the needs and desires of people experiencing housing insecurity and homelessness.
  • We offer employment training and career coaching to help people build skills that lead to higher incomes and greater economic opportunity.
  • We partner to strengthen poverty-concentrated neighborhoods by developing housing, resources and community amenities that support the success of future generations.
  • We advocate for public policies and investments that expand housing and economic opportunity, eliminate wealth inequality, and end poverty.

We believe Human Solutions can counter structural causes of poverty by sharing and aligning our influence, resources, programs, investments and expertise with individuals and communities so they can build wealth, power, security and influence.

Full Plan

Download the full Strategic & Equity Plan.