In the midst of this heatwave, I wanted to give you an update about the county's progress in helping people get off the streets and into permanent housing.
Last fiscal year we served over 25,000 people -- connecting them with rent assistance, employment services, mental health and addiction services. That includes 3,555 people who were placed into permanent housing. This year, a $30 million investment from the city of Portland and the county is expanding the number of people we will help find a safe place to sleep.
Part of that investment is going to expand the number of shelter beds in our community.
In February, we added 40 additional beds at our family shelter, in July, we added 200 beds at the East Portland Adult Shelter and another 25 beds at a new shelter for veterans. This fall, we will open 210 additional beds, with 120 at the McLoughlin Couples Shelter and 90 at a new shelter for women in Gresham.
If you know someone who needs help, they can find the locations of these shelters online at ahomeforeveryone.net.
During the hot months, we also operate cooling centers. Locations and details can also be found online.
Ultimately, the solution to homelessness is a safe, affordable home. And we are working closely with the city of Portland to expand the number of affordable housing options in the city and include new affordable units in developments throughout our community.
But shelters like these are providing hundreds of our most vulnerable neighbors a safe place to sleep, where they can begin to recover from the trauma of homelessness.
Londer Learning Center graduates largest class since changes to GED testing
The board room was bustling with activity as more than 100 people -- teachers, mentors, friends, family and more -- poured in. They rallied around nearly four dozen recent graduates, most who have finished serving probation, prison or jail sentences. Today, they graduate from the county's Londer Learning Center, its largest graduating class since more rigorous GED (General Education Requirements) testing standards were implemented in 2014.
"It really speaks volumes about their accomplishments," said Carole Scholl, longtime Londer Learning Center manager. "I've seen so many students who have overcome obstacles, that are challenging even for someone who hasn't been through the justice system and have continued to be successful after graduation."
Multnomah County's Londer Learning Center or (LLC) operates under the auspices of the Department of Community Justice and offers a wealth of resources for those transitioning back into the community from jail or prison or adults in recovery. At LLC, students can receive GED testing, National Career Readiness certification, computer coding skills, apprenticeship preparation for jobs in construction and other valuable tools for success in the workplace.
Read full article here.
FamilyCare contributes $2 million towards a new clinic for the Asian Health & Service Center
The Asian Health & Service Center's Annual Asian Community Health Fair supports their mission to be the bridge for Asian and American culture and to build a harmonious community. This year's 15th Annual Asian Community Health Fair took place last Saturday and began with FamilyCare contributing $2 million towards AHSC's new health clinic. They have been at their current location for seventeen years. The new clinic will be located on the corner of SE Foster Road and SE 91st Ave.
"Together, over the last four years we've served more than 80 thousand healthy meals to the community. We've partnered to address mental health disparities, launched a pilot program to help local restaurant owners understand the health code, and deepened our conversations around priorities that the community has for the future," Chair Kafoury said. "That's why I want to express my gratitude to FamilyCare for making such a meaningful investment to further the success of the center. Thank you for being such an integral part in addressing the needs of this community. And for ensuring that the work we do together will continue for years to come."
Health experts say federal gun violence research would save lives
Relatives of mass shooting victims joined public health officials and trauma surgeons last Thursday calling for more research and data collection on gun violence to transform medical care and save lives.
The comments came at a discussion at Oregon Health & Science University on the importance of scientific analysis around gun violence. There is currently a ban on the Centers for Disease and Prevention conducting comprehensive research on gun violence.
Multnomah County Health Officer Dr. Paul Lewis was at the table, along with District Attorney Rod Underhill and County STRYVE specialist Vanessa Micale.
Leading the event was U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, whose goal was to hear from what he called "health and advocate all-stars" on the topic in order to learn about how to make legislative change at a federal level.
Among those present at the conference were Robbie Parker, whose six-year-old daughter, Emilie was shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. in 2012, and Robert Yuille, whose wife, Cindy Yuille, was murdered in the 2012 shooting at Clackamas Town Center while Christmas shopping.
Parker and Yuille --voices trembling with emotion-- opened the discussion with statements about what gun violence has meant to them.
Read full article here.
Removal of old Sellwood Bridge marks the end of an era
After 90 years of serving the public, the original Sellwood Bridge will be only a memory by the end of this summer. The last steel span of the original bridge was lowered to a barge on July 12. Removing the old bridge has been one of the most visually interesting parts of the Sellwood project, with many people watching as a familiar landmark slowly disappears.
Read full article here.
County approves property tax break for families of fallen officers
"In communities across the nation, our first responders increasingly face complex and difficult jobs," said Commissioner Judy Shiprack, who sponsored the resolution. "Death in the line of duty is something their families understand is a possibility every day but something I don't think anyone can prepare for fully."
The resolution comes after state legislators passed a bill allowing county governments to waive up to $250,000 in assessed property value for property owned by the surviving spouse of an officer or firefighter killed in the line of duty.
Portland Police Chief Mike Marshman thanked the commissioners for supporting local law enforcement. He said three officers in Portland had been killed in his 25 years on the force, Thomas Jeffries, Colleen Waibel and Kirk Huffstetler.
"They paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect and serve the city of Portland," he said. Their families are left to struggle not only with grief, but a financial burden as well. "This would send a powerful message of support to local officers, who continue to do their job under increasingly difficult circumstances."
Veterans Stand Down events in North Portland and East Multnomah County
Portland Veterans Stand Down
Friday, September 9, 2016 9:00 am to 2:00 pm
Veterans Memorial Coliseum
300 N. Winning Way, Portland, OR
No pre-registration required
Thanks to Transition Projects, more information can be found at www.PDXStandDown.org.
East County Veterans Stand Down
Saturday, October 22, 2016 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
27132 SE Stark St. Troutdale OR 97060
For more information or to donate to the East County Veterans Stand Down, please call Kim Pettina at 503-853-5493 or Pete Pringle at 503-667-7112 ext. 264, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now hiring on-call elections workers!
Come be a part of the democratic process! Multnomah County Elections is hiring on-call Elections Workers for the November General Election and beyond. We want you to join us!
Find out more about this opportunity.