Portland, OR. Over 275 guests gathered at the Oregon Zoo to hear how employers – big and small – are helping Community Action address issues of poverty. The Community Action Leadership Luncheon on September 29th raised over $62,000 and drew supporters like Betty Atteberry; Pam Treece, Westside Economic Alliance Executive Director; Frank Angelo and Darcie Rudzinski of the Angelo Planning Group. The event showcased businesses who help lead the way in the fight against poverty in Washington County through the investments they make in their employees and their communities. (Photo credit, Andie Petkus) 

Francesca Kim, Roy Kim of Central Bethany Development, Sarah Joannides of New Seasons Market. Mr. Kim and Ms. Joannides inspired the crowd by sharing their own stories of housing advocacy.

Roy Kim explained how commercial developers can create partnerships for affordable housing. Guests also heard from Sarah Joannides about the connection between affordable housing and a stable workforce and how New Seasons uses the power of their corporate voice to advocate for public policy solutions.

Mayor Pete Truax, City of Forest Grove; Renée Bruce, Community Action Executive Director; Mayor John Coook, City of Tigard

From Community Action:

Programs & Impact

HEAD START prepares low-income pre-school children, ages 3 to 5, for success in school and life, including children with special needs. EARLY HEAD START promotes physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and language development of infants and toddlers and supports positive parent-child relationships.
•    1,018 children gained a solid educational foundation by participating in Community Action’s Head Start programs for children from birth to 5 years old.

CHILD CARE RESOURCE & REFERRAL provides access to quality, affordable child care for working families and strengthens the local child care network by providing training for providers and businesses.
•    518 Parents, (341 with incomes below $25,000 per year), were able to work because they could access child care that met their needs.    
•    The quality of local child care resources improved as 1,513 providers participated in 11,227 hours of training in early childhood development.

FAMILY DEVELOPMENT provides phone based assessment and assistance connecting to resources and home visiting case management to help families meet their goals, increase housing and income stability, improve family functioning and parenting skills. 
•    With access to appropriate pre-natal services, 152 low-income pregnant women were better equipped for a healthy birth. 
•    758 new parents were provided with information about early child development and parenting resources.  
•    86 at-risk families received parenting support to prevent child abuse and neglect. 
•    277 families participated in home-visiting support services to set and achieve goals to help avoid or recover from homelessness and maintain a stable home. 

HOUSING & HOMELESS SERVICES provides shelter for families experiencing homelessness, assists them in achieving housing stability and advocates for their children to ensure school success. 
•    150 homeless children and parents had the chance to get back on their feet by staying at Community Action’s Hillsboro Family Shelter.
•    1,055 families experiencing homelessness or at eminent risk of homelessness were assessed for eligibility for the continuum of housing programs in Washington County.  
•    126 families experiencing homelessness were re-housed with short-term rent assistance.

ENERGY & EMERGENCY RENT ASSISTANCE prevents homelessness and assures that families can remain safe and warm in their homes by providing financial assistance for those facing eviction or termination of heat and electricity services.
•    6,953 families stayed warm and safe in their homes with heat and electricity bill paying assistance from Community Action.
•    423 families facing eviction remained in their homes because of rent assistance provided by Community Action.

ENERGY CONSERVATION helps families reduce energy bills by assessing home energy use, recommending cost saving measures and connecting with resources to improve energy efficiency.
•    211 families had lower heating costs and warmer, safer, healthier homes because Community Action provided comprehensive weatherization services.  
•    510 households reduced energy costs, improved home safety and increased energy efficiency by receiving energy education and conservation services.

INFORMATION & REFERRAL Community Action is the Washington County partner for 211 Info providing information and referral to critical health and human services.
•    By dialing 211, 11,459 callers were connected with vital health and social services because of Community Action’s comprehensive data base of Washington County resources.

FINANCIAL LITERACY helps families take charge of their finances and plan for their future by providing financial literacy classes and Individual Development Accounts.
•    6 new families began the process of saving funds to increase their education or start a business through Community Action’s Individual Development Account program. 28 Families in total are currently saving towards their asset goal.
•    78 individuals learned skills to take control of their financial future through Community Action’s financial education classes.