A grant to help Portland-area nonprofits support community members experiencing hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic announced its final round of funding this week.
The Metro Council COVID-19 Community Fund selected 17 non-profits to each receive $1,000 grants. Grant funds will primarily focus on food security for people around Metro’s service area.
This was the third round of grants from the community fund program. Overall, the program awarded $51,000 in community support.
More than 50 requests for funding were submitted, underscoring the growing need for services around greater Portland, said Metro Councilor Gerritt Rosenthal, who was one of three councilors on the grant review team.
“We know our economy is recovering, but that doesn’t mean it’s recovering equitably,” Rosenthal said. “These grants help support community members who are still struggling as we wait for the economic recovery to reach everyone."
The full recipients include:
Family and Community Together – $1,000
FACT Oregon supports families experiencing disability through advocacy, educational programs and activities. Metro has previous supported FACT Oregon by sponsoring the All Ability Tri4Youth barrier-free triathlon. Funding would be used to provide educational support for young students by engaging and equipping families in response to comprehensive distance learning and transition to in-person schooling.
Gresham-Barlow Education Foundation – $1,000
GBEF partners with community to provide educational support and enhancement to students in the Gresham-Barlow School District. Funding would be used to support comprehensive distance learning challenges for elementary school students. This includes helping to bridge the digital divide for many families in need.
Dignity and Peace – $1,000
Dignity and Peace serving under the non-profit umbrella Call to Action Northwest Oregon, serves individuals experiencing homelessness in Portland by providing basic necessities like food, clothing and toiletries. Food and items are distributed by a volunteer-run mobile van service which reaches up to 100 people weekly. Funds would be used to replenish food and item supplies and support the weekly distribution.
Hand Up Project – $1,000
Hand Up Project provides emergency food services to the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities of which experience higher rates of food insecurities. Funding would be used to purchase PPE equipment to ensure the safety and continuation of the emergency food project. The People's Food Pantry is hosted at the Q Center (North Mississippi Avenue) and St. Philip the Deacon (Northeast Knott Street).
Good Neighbor Center – $1,000
Located in Tigard, the Good Neighbor Center provides safe emergency housing and supportive services for individuals and families in Washington County experiencing housing instability and homelessness. Funding would be used to support the Pathway Home Program which offers rental assistance and case management to eligible families staying at the Good Neighbor Center.
Ecumenical Ministries Northeast Emergency Food Program – $1,000
Located at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church in Northeast Portland, the Northeast Emergency Food Program offers emergency food boxes to individuals and families in need. 85% of clients qualify as low-income and primarily identify as immigrant, people of color and/or non-English speaking communities. Funding would be used to support the onsite volunteers with safety equipment as food boxes are distributed as a drive-in or walk-up process.
ROSE Community Development – $1,000
ROSE CDC provides affordable housing across multiple multi-family complexes in Portland. ROSE CDC serves approximately 458 low-income households with affordable housing and resident services. Funding would be used to purchase additional signage and hand sanitizing stations across the complexes to increase public health and safety.
Dignity Village Inc. – $1,000
Located in Northeast Portland, Dignity Village provides safe and secure shelters for up to 60 people a night. Due to the pandemic about a third of the members have lost work and are unable to contribute their monthly dues leaving the site with utility billing shortfalls. Funding would be used to help with utility bills to continue to be able to support the shelters, shower and internet access.
St. Johns Food Share – $1,000
St. Johns Food Share serves the surrounding community, shelters and faith community with sustainable, eco-friendly practices offering food security. 60% of residents in the St. Johns community are non-white with 25% living at or below the poverty line. St. Johns Food Share serves over 3,000 households with in-person shopping at the site. PPE is essential to the operations in which funding will be used to purchase additional to safely distribute food.
Janus Youth Program – $1,000
The Janus Youth Street Outreach program is the only street outreach program for homeless youth in Portland and surrounding Multnomah County. Staff provide information, essential supplies and referral and crisis-intervention services to homeless youth. Funding will be used to purchase PPE and other health related items to distribute to highly vulnerable youth.
Active Children Portland – $1,000
Active Children Portland provides community oriented, mentor-led after-school programming for K-8th grade kids in underserved greater Portland neighborhoods. Funding would be used to purchase printed workbooks and journals provided to youth served. These workbooks will also be translated into Spanish as 47% of all student participants are from the Latinx community.
Community Cycling Center – $1,000
Community Cycling Center partners with the Oregon Food Bank to deliver food via their Food Pantry Deliveries by Bicycle program to over 180 low-income families each week. These families primarily reside in North and Northeast Portland neighborhoods. Funding would be used to support continued service operations of this program.
Rose Haven – $1,000
Rose Haven is the only day shelter and community center for women, children and gender-diverse people in Portland. 50% of women served at Rose Haven identify as a person of color and 18% of guests identify as LGBTQ+. In the wake of the pandemic, Rose Haven has had to increase their direct service expenses. Funding will be used to support the advocacy program which offers financial aid, rent and utility assistance and health care support.
Bridges to Change – $1,000
Bridges to Change provides support services including peer recovery mentorship, transitional and permanent housing and substance use disorder and mental health treatment to individuals in need. Their service area includes greater Portland. Funding would be used to assist individuals with housing stability needs including rent assistance.
Ride Connection – $1,000
Ride Connection provides access to alternative transportation options for communities in need. Sponsorship funds will help Metro connect with Ride Connection customers who are facing food insecurities. With these funds, Ride Connection can deliver additional food boxes to those in need in Washington and Multnomah counties, in collaboration with the Oregon Food Bank.
Center for African immigrant and Refugee Organization (CAIRO) – $1,000
CAIRO aims to reduce achievement gaps and address barriers for African children and youth in Oregon Schools. Programs include providing wrap-around students and family support and services with respect to their educational and health needs in and out of schools. This need is particularly pressed as a result of the pandemic. Funding will be used in support of these programs like the Community Health Program, CAIRO Academy and SPACE Program.
Congregation Neveh Shalom – $1,000
Congregation Neveh Shalom’s COVID-19 Outreach and Services team and Portland Refugee Support Group co-host two interfaith food drives in accessible locations on the west side and east side to provide culturally-relevant food and other staples and goods to communities in need as a result of the pandemic. Funding will primarily go towards purchasing bulk Kosher/Halal meat and other food products. Funding will also go towards basic household cleaning products and PPE.