Posts Tagged ‘Partnership’

July 15, 2014 · by pcriadmin · Featured, PCRI

PCRI is pleased to announce that we have been chosen as one of 30 select organizations to participate in United Way of the Columbia-Willamette’s new Community Strengthening collaborative cohort designed to improve outcomes for low-income children and their families, and ultimately break the cycle of childhood poverty in the four-county (Clackamas, Clark, Multnomah and Washington) region.

UW LogoThe collaborative cohort, which is based on the “collective impact” approach, is part of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette’s new strategic direction to leverage the expertise, resources, and effort of multiple organizations across the region in working together toward one common goal: breaking the cycle of childhood poverty.

United Way’s Community Strengthening cohort is comprised of 30 emerging and established non-profits serving low income and culturally specific communities across the metropolitan area. The cohort will work together for a period of three years (July 2014 through June 2017) to create and participate in learning communities designed to share experiences, exchange data and information, and build collective knowledge around new and promising practices to improve outcomes for low-income families and their children. Each member of the Community Strengthening cohort will be awarded up to $50,000 per year, to complete this critical work. (*Funding to PCRI and the other non-profits in the cohort is contingent on the funding United Way receives as an organization to its Breaking the Cycle fund.)

Each non-profit organization participating in United Way of the Columbia-Willamette’s Community Strengthening cohort has agreed to share their results through a common measurement framework, to work together on critical problems and innovations in the field, and to build a common knowledge base about collective impact on childhood poverty in our region.

“We are ecstatic to be collaborating with the outstanding organizations selected to be a part of our Community Strengthening cohort on breaking the cycle of childhood poverty. The issue of poverty is incredibly complex, with multiple facets; it’s a far greater issue than any one organization can resolve alone,” said Keith Thomajan, CEO of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette. “In utilizing the collective impact model, we are confident we can amplify and accelerate the impact we are making in our community specific to student success, family stability, and connected communities to give every child, regardless of their socioeconomic status, a fair chance at success. Quite simply, we are better together.”

The Collective Impact Model

The collective impact model, as articulated by the non-profit consulting group Foundation Strategy Group (FSG), is a model of work that brings people together, in a structured way, to achieve social change. There are five conditions** of “collective impact” that lead to meaningful results:

A common agenda: All participants have a shared vision for change including a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving it through agreed upon actions

  1. Shared Measurement: Collecting data and measuring results consistently across all participants ensures efforts remain aligned and participants hold each other accountable
    1. Mutually Reinforcing Activities: Participant activities must be differentiated while still being coordinated through a mutually reinforcing plan of action
    2. Continuous Communication: Consistent and open communication is needed across the many players to build trust, assure mutual objectives, and appreciate common motivation
  • Backbone Organization: Creating and managing collective impact requires a separate organization(s) with staff and a specific set of skills to serve as the backbone for the entire initiative and coordinate participating organizations and agencies (The backbone organization for the Community Strengthening strategy is United Way of the Columbia-Willamette.)


**Source: Foundation Strategy Group (FSG)

To learn more about United Way’s Community Strengthening strategy and the other organizations involved in the cohort, please visit

May 5, 2014 · by Staff · Featured, PCRI

You can help Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, Inc. earn donations just by shopping with your Fred Meyer Rewards Card!

Fred MeyerDid you know that when you and anyone you know shops at Fred Meyer, the Fred Meyer Rewards program will donate money to PCRI?

With the shopping at Fred Meyer you already do, you can help fund the work PCRI does to support Portland families!


Fred Meyer is donating $2.5 million per year to non-profits in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, based on where their customers tell them to give.

Here’s how the program works:

  • Sign up for the Community Rewards program by linking your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to PCRI at You can search for us by our name or by our non-profit number (80010).
  • Then, every time you shop and use your Rewards Card, you are helping PCRI earn a donation!
  • You still earn your Rewards Points, Fuel Points, and Rebates, just as you do today.
  • If you do not have a Rewards Card, they are available at the Customer Service desk of any Fred Meyer store.

Download the Rewards Program flyer for more information and to share the program information with your family and friends!

December 21, 2013 · by pcriadmin · Featured, PCRI

PCRI believes that low-income families should not be forced to choose between keeping their homes warm and putting healthy food on their table.  To help low-income families stay warm and have money left for other essentials, a partnership of Portland businesses will soon begin a pilot weatherization program at ten of PCRI’s single-family homes in North and Northeast Portland.

HELP installers discuss a home's weatherization measures.

HELP installers discuss a home’s weatherization measures.

The pilot, a collaboration between Portland non-profits PCRI and Verde, will be funded by NW Natural.  It provides energy-saving weatherization improvements like air sealing and insulation to low-income households without challenges like waiting lists and up-front costs that accompany many existing weatherization programs.

“This pilot is a great opportunity to more efficiently provide utility cost savings to families who need it most,” said Travis Phillips, Housing Development Manager at PCRI.  “We’re eager to see and expand on the pilot’s success so these and other families can spend their hard-earned salaries on school books and healthy food instead of keeping their home warm

PCRI and Verde are also using the pilot to provide economic opportunity to low-income families and communities of color.  The two non-profits engaged Home Energy Life Performance Group (H.E.L.P.), a minority- and woman-owned business who has already weatherized and reduced energy consumption for over 800 Oregon homes, to perform the weatherization improvements.  The project is expected to create 340 work hours in its pilot phase, with additional opportunity in future phases.

“Along with helping Oregon families to live in warmer, healthier homes, partnerships like this mean we can grow skilled-labor jobs, while generating additional opportunities for multiple local business providers,” said Berenice Lopez, President of Home Energy Life Performance Group.

Beyond measures like air sealing and insulation, the pilot includes an education program, funded by a grant from a private foundation, helping residents understand the work being performed and how household habits affect their energy bills, comfort and healthy indoor environments.

“NW Natural is excited to fund and partner on this innovative program,” said Bill Edmonds, NW Natural director of environmental management and sustainability. “Even though gas prices are as low as they were in 2004, that doesn’t make drafts any warmer. We think it’s important to reach as many households as possible with education and services about energy efficiency.”

The pilot phase of the project is expected to be complete in early 2014.  Following a successful pilot, PCRI and Verde aim to replicate the program elsewhere in PCRI’s affordable housing portfolio, for seniors in PCRI’s Homeownership Retention program, and with other organizations serving low-income Oregon residents.

Want to learn more? Contact Travis Phillips at PCRI and read about our partners below:

ABOUT VERDE:  Verde serves communities by building environmental wealth through social enterprise, outreach and advocacy.  Verde establishes social enterprises to employ and train low-income adult community members, create contracting opportunities for minority-owned and women-owned businesses, and bring environmental assets to low-income neighborhoods.

ABOUT H.E.L.P.: Born out of a desire to build an organization that combined green job values with assistance to homeowners, Home Energy Life Performance Group, Inc. (H.E.L.P.) has been a driving force in Oregon’s home performance industry and is committed to helping make warmer and healthier homes accessible to all Oregonians.  The company’s trained and certified staff perform all aspects of weatherization using building science practices.

ABOUT NW Natural: NW Natural (NYSE:NWN) is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and provides natural gas service to about 689,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington. It is the largest independent natural gas utility in the Pacific Northwest.  Additional information is available at

December 17, 2013 · by Staff · PCRI

Saturday, December 21,2013, Portland’s Black Parent Initiative (BPI) will hosting their annual Black Parent Initiative Holiday Parent Fair from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.  The event will showcase parent education workshops and will feature gifts, music, food and fun.

BPI Fair“It’s a great opportunity for parents who’ve been unable to join us to enjoy more of our weekly scheduled classes and get resources from our community partners,” says Charles McGee, President and CEO of the Black Parent Initiative.

Childcare will be provided for children ages 3-12.

The Black Parent Initiative Holiday Parent Fair
December 21, 2013 | 11am-2:00pm

McCoy Village Community Room
4430 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd

For more information, visit The Black Parent Initiative website at  Workshops at the fair include:

Literacy Traditions in the Black Community:
“Literacy Advice for Adults Raising Black Children.”

This informative workshop focuses on the reading traditions in the Black Community. This workshop will also highlight the importance of African-American presence in our reading selections. Using Imagery of African Americans to not only inspire but to motivate Black children to read and become culturally responsive to literature.

Balancing Home, Life, Balance:

This workshop will highlight tools and strategies needed to help better balance our hectic lives. The discussion will give strategies as to highlight how to best navigate when facing the challenges of having a demanding job, kids and families. The facilitator will provide tangible tools that can be implemented for organizing and maintaining a healthy life, without having to do it all!

March 7, 2012 · by pcriadmin · Featured, PCRI

Last weekend, PCRI and Cascadia Green Building Council’s Emerging Professionals organized a hands-on volunteer home improvement project in one of PCRI’s affordable rental homes.  The volunteers teamed up with Green Hammer Construction in mid-February to observe and participate in Green Hammer’s Home Performance assessment process, conducting weatherization testing, inspecting insulation and verifying safe operation of combustion appliances, like the furnace.

Armed with information gained from the testing, the crowd of nearly two dozen volunteers (pictured at right), led by PCRI, Emerging Professionals and Andrew Morphis of Green Hammer Construction, tackled projects to make the home healthier, more comfortable and more efficient.  Existing carpet was removed to expose wood floors that were ready for refinishing.  Old kitchen cabinets were deconstructed to make way for new, more usable ones.  Windows that were previously painted shut were once again made operable for fresh-air ventilation.  Insulation was improved and volunteers slathered mastic on the heating ducts to ensure they operated as efficiently as possible.  All of the materials that volunteers removed were carefully sorted to enable recycling and keep as much as possible out of the landfill.

PCRI’s Executive Director, Maxine Fitzpatrick greeted the volunteers before they started on the project.  She thanked them for their service, adding that their volunteer efforts are priceless in supporting PCRI’s ability to provide below-market rate rental homes to residents who rely on these opportunities to stabilize their lives and return to self-sufficiency.

In addition to the home improvement benefits realized by PCRI, volunteers utilized the day as an opportunity to learn more about efficiency, home performance testing and existing buildings.

“I think there were a lot of learning opportunities for energy efficiency projects as well as the real world variability of existing buildings and the challenges that they inherently represent,” said Emerging Professionals volunteer Jackie Kingen.

To reward the volunteers’ hard work, Parr Lumber rolled up to the work site with their BBQ trailer and grilled up a meal of burgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers (plus some chips and cookies for good measure!) to refuel the volunteers on the day of the event.

Click on any of the pictures below to view the full size image.

PCRI’s is a Community Partner with Cascadia Green Building Council and the International Living Future Institute for their upcoming Living Future 2012 Conference.  The conference, scheduled in May, will be the Northwest’s premier Green Building conference and expo.  More information about the conference can be found at the Cascadia GBC’s website.

February 1, 2012 · by pcriadmin · PCRI

For low-income Oregonians, identifying tax deductions and completing tax forms is as important as it can be confusing.  Many families and individuals unknowingly overlook valuable tax credits they are eligible for.  To help, PCRI is hosting CASH Oregon’s free tax preparation services at our Margaret Carter Neighborhood Network Center.  PCRI residents and other community members can register for an appointment by calling Lisa at (503) 281-1778.  Additional information is available at CASH Oregon’s website or in the flyer pictured below.

The assistance, provided by AARP Tax Aides in conjunction with CASH Oregon, will help identify eligibility for a variety of tax credits, including Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Oregon Earned Income Credits and Oregon Working Family Child Care Credit.  In addition, Oregon IDA participants may be able to deduct 2011 interest and contributions on their state taxes.  Once the participant and the tax aide have identified eligible credits and deductions, the tax aide will be able to e-file the participant’s 2011 tax return.

Interested participants should bring to their appointment a picture ID, their social security number and/or ITN as well as documentation of income (W-2s, 1099s, etc.), records of tax-deductible expenses such as child or dependent care, property taxes and mortgage interest.  For direct deposit of any refunds, participants should also bring banking information, including their account number.

CASH Oregon, like PCRI, is committed to improving the financial health of low income working families, individuals, and seniors.  Their Earned Income Tax Credit outreach and free tax preparation programs—coupled with financial fitness programs like those provided by PCRI and other organizations—provide families and individuals with the tools and resources to begin building solid financial futures.

This tax preparation assistance is free to the community and is a valuable way PCRI residents and other community members can stretch a limited income.  Appointments are required.  Please call Lisa at (503) 281-1778 to schedule yours.

December 22, 2011 · by pcriadmin · PCRI

Having a bike is special for 6-year-old Ameia Vaughn.  “I feel great when I ride,” she said.

Ameia was one of many PCRI youth who received a bicycle with help from Resident Services Coordinator Lisa Williams.  PCRI residents with children ages 3-8 were personally contacted by Williams who then helped residents register for Community Cycling Center’s 16th Annual Holiday Bike Drive, held on December 11.

“You went out of your way to make this holiday season special for us,” said Courtney Roser, whose two children Veda and Cadence grinned as they took their bikes for a spin around the bike rodeo safety course.

Before riding around the bike rodeo, the youth got to pick their new ride from a dizzying selection of bikes.  Cadence (pictured below) was a bit shy in front of the camera, but was excited about her choice of bicycles:  “It’s pretty and fun,” she said.

This year, the Bike Drive provided over 465 bicycles, helmets and safety trainings to youth from partner agencies like PCRI.  In addition to pre-registering the youth for their bicycles, Williams and PCRI staff member Travis Phillips joined the families at the event to ensure everything went smoothly.

Judging by the giant smiles on the kids’ faces, everything went very smoothly.

“I like to ride,” said Dominic Weatheroy matter-of-factly before pedaling around the safety course.

His sister Iserael (pictured above) was just as excited to ride, but had some other priorities too.  “It’s pretty with lots of colors and flowers,” she said, posing proudly next to her pink, purple and blue bike.

To express our gratitude for organizing the event and providing the bikes, helmets and training, Williams and the new cyclists signed a giant thank you card.  Williams delivered the card to the center a few days after the event and reflected on the difference made by her effort.

“The economy has put families in financial hardships,” she said.  Connecting families to events like the Bike Drive “can make all the difference to a family.”

PCRI also extends thanks to volunteer Izzy Ventura for capturing great photos of the kids during the Bike Drive.

August 3, 2011 · by pcriadmin · PCRI

It’s Wednesday morning and a half-dozen women are fastening their tool belts and setting up saw horses in front of a PCRI rental home.  There’s some serious work that’s about to happen here, but the real purpose goes much deeper than what first meets the eye.

The crew that’s getting ready to install new floors in PCRI’s affordable rental home is a Trades and Apprenticeship Careers Class (TACC) from Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc.  The class is a free seven-week pre-apprenticeship training program that helps women prepare for high-wage, high-skill construction careers through hands-on construction experience, classroom instruction and field trips.  Upon graduation, the program helps graduates with job searches, applications to apprenticeship training programs, and post-placement support.

Hands-on construction experience brings students into PCRI’s homes during the course of the class. Several groups of students will complete phases of new floor installation including removing old carpet tack strips, installing the new floor and re-installing doors and trim.  At other PCRI homes, Oregon Tradeswomen students have built new fences and re-built porches and decks.

“It’s good work that offers a sense of accomplishment for our students,” said Amy James Neel, Instructor and Job Placement Specialist at Oregon Tradeswomen.

These diverse projects provide useful training opportunities for the students.  Just as importantly, they help supplement PCRI’s maintenance crew in order to more quickly prepare homes for future renters.

“It’s part of our values to serve the community—not just through the hundreds of women we serve through our program, but for the many non-profits we assist,” said Dawn Jones, Training Manager at Oregon Tradeswomen.  “We’re grateful to have PCRI as a consistent and true partner for us in providing a wide range of skill-building opportunities for our students that at the same time help ensure affordable housing in our Northeast community.”

While PCRI and Oregon Tradeswomen have a long history of partnership, cooperation between the two organizations is reaching new heights: including both student and paid instructor time, Oregon Tradeswomen crews have worked over 1,000 hours on PCRI projects so far in 2011.

“This is a great path for our two organizations.  At the core of our efforts are affordable housing and living wage jobs,” said Maxine Fitzpatrick, PCRI Executive Director.  “And it’s personally rewarding to see the women in these classes empowering themselves to create a better future for themselves and their families.”

Oregon Tradeswomen will offer one more 7-week TACC classes in 2011.  Classes start August 30.  Women interested in joining Oregon Tradeswomen’s program should visit or call (503) 335-8200 for more information.

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