Funded by a $1 fee on each ton of waste processed at the Metro Central Transfer Station in Northwest Portland, this grant program benefits the neighborhoods of Forest Park, Cathedral Park and Linnton; the Northwest District Association and the Northwest Industrial Area; and an area of the St. Johns neighborhood. A committee of local residents annually reviews applications and selects projects to fund. The Metro Central Community Enhancement Committee approved funding for nine projects in the 2022 grant cycle, awarding a total of $262,000.
Project duration for all 2022 grantees is one year.
- Portland Public Schools – Chapman Elementary: $22,000 to support Reading Results, a program that provides a proven reading intervention program to first, second and third grade students who are reading one to two grades below grade level.
- The Forest Park Conservancy: $30,000 for the Green Jobs Training and Internship Program, a year-long workforce development program for young adults of color that provides hands-on paid work experience in green jobs and natural resource fields through outdoor education and improvements to Forest Park.
- Friendly House: $40,000 for enhancements to its Community Recreation and Education program, to support community by connecting people of all ages and backgrounds through quality educational, recreational and other life-sustaining services.
- Friendly House: $40,000 for Student Success at Home, a program that assists families with distance learning challenges and bridges the educational gap for children who, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are behind academically or facing difficulties from stress and social isolation. The program focuses on personalized homework help, social-emotional support and community building, while also providing resources for families who continue to struggle with basic needs.
- Linnton Community Center: $25,000 for accessibility and safety upgrades. The upgrades will improve ADA accessibility to Linnton Community Center’s community room, gymnasium, ABC University Preschool and the Hungry Families Teaching Kitchen. The grant will also provide additional security measures and increase COVID-19 health safety through the installation of disinfectant sprayers for toys and equipment.
- Rebuilding Together Portland: $5,000 for the St. Johns Revitalization project, an annual cleanup of Johns Community Garden and Pier Park. Activities will include repairing garden retaining walls, cleaning the park’s baseball fields, removing invasive species and graffiti, and much more. This annual effort keeps the garden and park clean and welcoming and connects University of Portland students with the surrounding neighborhoods.
- St. Johns Center for Opportunity: $30,000 to support the St. Johns Farmers Market program. Funds will be used to by the center’s to increase access to affordable and healthy food for underrepresented people. Funds will also be used for promotional and outreach efforts, with an emphasis on equity and inclusion, and help invest in the business incubation of local farmers, food entrepreneurs and artisan vendors that participate in the farmers market.
- VetREST: $60,000 to support a new Metro Central victory garden that provides an open and accessible place of peace for veterans. The construction of the garden focuses on building supportive spaces to facilitate veteran wellness with mentoring through organic farming, open space development and purposefully inclusive project partners. The garden will also provide mental and emotional healing for veterans in the area with intentional engagement with Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color - especially people who are homeless.
- Wayfinding College: $20,000 to support the Free Tuition Initiative for Black and Native American Oregonians program that focuses on removing systemic barriers that have historically prevented local Black and Native American young adults from getting a college education. Funds awarded by the Metro Central Enhancement Grant are combined with grants from other regional foundations to provide free private two year liberal-arts focused community college for Black and Native American Oregonians.
Learn more about Metro Central Enhancement Grants