Portland, February 7th, 2016. Native American community leaders are excited about helping their children. They broke ground on the housing development phase of  their community hub called Generations. It’s a multigenerational development in SE Portland being built on land which was once home to Foster Elementary. The Native American Youth and Family Center (known as NAYA) project has been underway since 2013 and will provide stable housing and cultural support for foster youth, elders, and families. Generations was modeled on the multigenerational community, Bridge Meadows which is an intergenerational community for foster children, parents wishing to adopt, and community Elders. Local Native American leaders say the facility is vital because Portland’s Native students are perpetually under-served. They say 53% of Native students in Portland Public Schools do not obtain a diploma. At Generations, an on-site Long House community center will provide culturally specific educational, economic support, and a regional Early Learning Academy will offer early education for kids ages zero through Kindergarten.

Generations places 40 units of housing, the Early Learning Academy and the Long House in Portland’s southeast Lents neighborhood, at the 3.5 acre site of a former public elementary school. The site is near transit, shopping and public parks.

After construction is finished, Generations will inclue 40 housing units, the Early Learning Academy and the Long House in Portland’s southeast Lents neighborhood. It’s on a 3.5 acre site which held a public elementary school. The site is near transit, shopping and public parks. The total project budget for Generations is estimated to be $22,100,000.

NAYA is proud to partner in this effort withPortland Public Schools and the City of Portland. This partnership led Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber to designate Generations as an “Oregon Solutions” project, bringing multi-sector organizations together to collaborate on this project. An innovative and inclusive planning process resulted in a Declaration of Cooperation, signed in July 2014, by the partners, with Oregon Department of Human Services, Oregon Child Development Coalition, Oregon Housing and Community Services, Multnomah County, Lents Neighborhood Association, Capital Pacific Bank, Guardian Real Estate Services, Carleton Hart Architecture, LMC Construction, Legacy Health, and Social Venture Partners.

Keeping cultural traditions alive is important to the community. NAYA is partnering with Portland Public Schools and the City of Portland on the project. A Declaration of Cooperation was signed by Oregon Department of Human Services, Oregon Child Development Coalition, Oregon Housing and Community Services, Multnomah County, Lents Neighborhood Association, Capital Pacific Bank, Guardian Real Estate Services, Carleton Hart Architecture, LMC Construction, Legacy Health, and Social Venture Partners.

Here’s an informational video about the project.

From NAYA:
Our Native American community has come together since time immemorial to identify priorities, solve problems and create positive change for our people. Portland’s Native American people, combining our diverse strengths, are united to address a long-standing inequity: one in five Native American children in Multnomah County is in child welfare custody – a rate 26 times higher than White children. Removed from our culture, our youth are more likely to age out of foster care, experience homelessness, drop out of high school, fail to obtain a diploma, and experience mental health and wellness issues. Our community, working with private and public partners, has devised an intervention – a place to provide Native American foster youth homes, families, and support to break the cycle of child welfare removal in our community.

  • Community members at Generations are not “clients.” They are families, neighbors and friends who are all deserving of love, respect and dignity.
  • Native American youth and their siblings in foster care are connected to adoptive parents in stable, affordable housing.
  • Community Elders become adopted grandparents and mentors who can “age in place” with a renewed sense of purpose, helping with child care and providing wisdom.
  • Given the opportunity to care for one another, community members come together to become a first line of intervention.
  • The Early Learning Academy and Long House create a center of community. A community like this can reduce poverty, improve health and wellness, and rebuild the cultural fabric of the Native community.
  • To the youth, parents, and Elders who live there, Generations is simply, finally, home.
  • The total project budget for Generations – land, construction, and soft costs – is estimated to be $22,100,000.
  • Almost half of the project funding has been committed at the current time.
  • With a recently-announced award of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) from the State of Oregon Department of Housing and Community Services, funding for the housing component of the project is in place.
  • Funding strategies for other program elements are under active development. NAYA’s community supporters – individuals, families, and businesses – will be invited to plan their philanthropic support, as critical partners in achieving the vision this project represents.
  • To donate to the project, here’s a link: https://nayapdx.thankyou4caring.org/

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