Providing housing stability

By Jean Powell Marks

Multnomah County’s most recent count of homeless citizens tallied 4,177 people; men, women and children sleeping in tents, in cars, or on the sidewalk. Even worse, that figure was up 10 percent from the previous count two years earlier. A third of these individuals are chronically homeless and have been living on the street for more than a year.

People who are chronically homeless often require significant assistance accessing support services, healthcare, and drug and alcohol addiction programs in order to succeed in permanent housing.

Citing this chronic housing crisis throughout the nation, Catholic Charities USA has launched an ambitious plan to slash chronic homelessness by twenty percent. In Portland, this will be the focus of work coordinated by Catholic Charities in partnership with Catholic parishes that choose to offer new housing alternatives to those in need, as well as Providence for healthcare services.

Portland is one of five cities selected by the national social service agency to be the initial participants in the Healthy Housing Initiative to reduce homelessness by bringing together the resources of local organizations.

In Oregon this includes Catholic Charities, Providence Health & Services, and the Archdiocese of Portland. The other cities are Detroit, MI, Las Vegas, NV, St. Louis, MO, and Spokane, WA.

According to Catholic Charities of Oregon executive director Deacon Richard Birkel, Ph.D., the initiative will create permanent supportive housing for up to 300 people in the county. Local Catholic parishes are integral to the success of the initiative.

“Our first step is to meet with parishes to learn of their interest and support for potential projects that could be built on their property or repurpose existing buildings that are not in use,” said Birkel.

The projects will include small buildings with as few as five and as many as fifty units that can be more easily integrated into parish neighborhoods. Proposals would include a mix of new development and repurposing of existing facilities.

Creston PTA auctions Little Libraries

In support of 350 K-8 students, as well as the co-located Columbia Regional Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Creston Elementary PTA is hosting an Auction and Speakeasy, a throwback to the Roaring Twenties, on March 9.

This year’s auction committee has partnered with Creston parents and friends to build Littale Free Libraries. The theme for the libraries was chosen to honor Creston school’s participation in the Portland Metro STEAM Partnership, which focuses on the science-related fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.

One Little Library per grade will be decorated and auctioned for Kindergarten through 5th, plus one additional library to represent Creston’s Middle School – for a total of seven Little Libraries.

Once decorated, the libraries will be filled with books appropriate for each grade level and entered into an online auction open to the general public, which runs through March 9.

The online auction will be entered into a live auction at the Creston Auction and Speakeasy from 6 – 10 pm, starting with the last online bid amount (unless the ‘Buy it now’ price is met).

In addition to the live auction of little libraries, Creston’s largest annual fundraiser also features a wine wall, auction items, 200+ silent auction items plus fun raffle goodies.

Ticket prices are $30 individual, $50 for a couple, $20 for first-time attendees and include drinks, food, live entertainment and a DJ.

Attending this fundraiser and bidding on the little libraries or silent auction items is a wonderful way to support the school in an age of shrinking state and district budgets.

Creston Elementary School is a culturally diverse community educating students in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood in SE Portland, and over the years the neighborhood school has grown and flourished.

The Creston community, like a lot of Portland’s area schools, finds itself having to fund raise to help fill financial gaps.

Tickets are available at

Bridger Auction

Sat. March 16  • 5:30 pm
Madeleine School & Parish

3240 NE 23rd Ave.

The Bridger School PTA auction directly benefits Bridger School students. Funds provide support for educational field trips, after school classes, and teacher and classroom supplies.

The auction is open to the public and admission is $40 per person, $80 for a pair, and $300 for a table of eight.

Admission includes dinner by Delilah’s Catering, one drink, and an opportunity to bid on fabulous items such as a vacation in Sunriver, a week in Maui, tickets to the Timbers and Thorns, and artwork created by Bridger students.

To browse auction items and purchase tickets, see

Bridger is a K-8 school engaging the creative minds of its students and challenging them to achieve their full potential. In the foothills of Mount Tabor’s Montavilla neighborhood, the school offers both a neighborhood and a Spanish immersion program.

For information, contact auction co-chairs Katie Purk at 713.898.3761 or Shelley Moore at 503.957.8891 or email


SMART Volunteer of the Year

SMART (Start Making A Reader Today) announced their 2019 Volunteer of the Year, Julie Ehlers, Site Coordinator at Vestal Elementary.

“Our work providing one-on-one reading sessions and books to kids simply wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated volunteers who give time each week to help kids build reading confidence, skills, and get excited about reading and learning,” says Michelle Gilmore, SMART’s Senior Program Manager for East Multnomah County.

“We are so grateful to Julie for the time and talent she shares with SMART.”

Ehlers was selected from more than 1,500 local volunteers for her outstanding commitment to fostering a love of reading in kids. She was honored at SMART’s statewide fundraiser, the Alphabet Ball, on Feb. 8.

To learn more about SMART or sign up to volunteer, visit or call 971.634.1634.


Give Laurelhurst Park a Boost!

By Alice Knouff

Have you ever visited Laurelhurst Park? Have you strolled or run there? Taken your kids to the play or soccer area, played tennis, or walked your dog there? Maybe a picnic or concert? This popular park is used not only by the immediate neighborhoods, but by people from the whole Metro area. With this in mind, consider coming out this Spring to volunteer for one or more of the work parties.

The Friends of Laurelhurst Park are a volunteer grassroots group who want to keep the park in good condition. Portland Parks and Recreation staff do the bulk of maintenance and direction and the group’s goal is to help PP&R out, and to make this place better through involvement.

The volunteers weed out invasives (ivy, blackberries, etc), while pruning, shoveling mulch chips to help the plants thrive, and more. Sometimes picnic tables need a fresh coat of paint, or litter needs removal. The group coordinates with Parks staff to determine what needs tackling next. Bring a friend and join in!

 2019 FLP Work Parties

Bring work gloves; tools are supplied. Most are on Wednesday mornings. Meet at the blue green Parks building at 3600 SE Ankeny St. (north side of park). All Work Parties are 9 am – 12  noon.

April 10

May 8

Sat. May 18

(Family Spring Clean-up)

June 12

July 10

Aug 14

Sept 11

Oct 9

Questions? Contact Peggy at or 503.459.9248


Recycling tip for March

By Bonita Davis, Master Recycler and SE Resident

This time of year, I am more than ready to spend time outdoors, and those inevitable blustery spring rainy spells can be trying.

Last year I made an effort to turn rainy days into opportunities and cross off indoor projects from my “to-do” list. When the sun shines in Oregon, I don’t want to be inside.

Clearing out the garage was my priority, but I was reluctant to take on that mystery stash of paint cans that came with the house. Not successful in prying off the lids of several five-gallon tubs, I just kept putting off the project.

Helping a friend pick out paint colors at a local paint shop, I noticed they sold the same brand as the collection in my garage, so I asked about how to best open the tubs. The paint professional invited me to bring in the tubs for inspection, so I went there with an assortment of containers.

Turns out, one five gallon tub was filled with construction debris, two were less than half full, a can or two were damaged, and I had labels that had been painted over, and some paint dried out. In less than thirty minutes, I had spent a few dollars to buy some new empty cans in quart and gallon sizes, and all the paint was inspected, transferred, resealed, mixed and new printout labels were attached listing paint type, color name and formula.  I learned stored paint should have less empty air space in the container.

Returning home with fewer containers, the paint would now fit into an indoor cabinet space where the steady temperatures would help preserve it.   In just a couple of hours, my mission was accomplished.  I had cleared space in the garage, and knew exactly what paint I had.

A conservative estimate of value for the paint would be $400.   The paint can be expected to last longer and be more accessible in the new storage spot. The cans and tubs with dried paint were able to go in my blue rollcart for recycling. Best of all, I found a paint shop I want patronize. Not bad for two hours on a rainy day!

More information on safe paint storage and disposal at Use the Find-A-Recycler Tool at to find businesses that accept paint for recycling.

Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore may be an option for donating your good useable paint. Go to or call 971.229.8888, to determine if your liquid latex paint (in the original container with the original label attached) is something they can accept. Another option? Offer unused paint to your neighbors on

My next rainy day project?  Camping gear.

Multnomah County Master Gardeners Speaker Series  

Tuesday, March 12, 7 pm


5441 SE Belmont St

Homegrown food tastes best, especially when you follow simple strategies for maximizing the flavor of your garden’s fruit and vegetables.

Willi Galloway, the author of Grow Cook Eat: A Food Lovers’ Guide to Vegetable Gardening, will talk about the science behind flavor and share simple cultivation, harvest and storage techniques for improving the taste of your vegetables.

She will offer tips on harvesting vegetables at different stages, discuss unusual edibles, and share her thoughts on the best tasting varieties for Portland vegetable gardens.

Galloway is a Portland-based vegetable gardener and some of Willi’s first memories are digging with her mom in their backyard vegetable garden.

She went on to earn a degree in English and work as the West Coast Editor of the now (sadly) defunct Organic Gardening magazine – one of the longest running garden magazines in the United States. She offers advice on Seattle’s popular NPR call-in show Greendays.

Galloway’s favorite crop to grow is raspberries and she’s never met a butterhead lettuce she didn’t like.

For information see  or phone 503.445.4608. This is a free event and all are welcome.

 Business Beat

IMELDA’S AND LOUIE’S SHOES CELEBRATES 25 YEARS on Saturday and Sunday, March 2 and 3. Proudly independent  female owner Pam Coven has a keen understanding of style and trends that speaks to the Pacific Northwest way of life. An unmatched selection of footwear and accessories for men and women, combined with a hands on approach to customer service has made Imelda’s one of Portland’s most beloved shopping destinations. “I credit our longevity to our long time loyal customers, my hard working and creative staff, and a city that understands what it means to keep it local.” Coven said of the milestone. The event will include a storewide sale, gift with purchase, raffle prizes, wine tasting, food, and live music. 3426 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

ONE STRIPE CHAI’S spicy chai concentrate is brewed with black tea, organic spices and sweetened with local honey and jaggery (unrefined palm sugar). It can be found at coffeeshops and grocery stores around town. Owners/ baristas, Farah and Josh created their own chai that isn’t full of refined sugar. Their name is actually an oblique military reference to a “One Striper” or “Airman” referring to the stripe received  upon completion of Basic Training.


COOKING & CALLIGRAPHY CLASSES for children and adults.Given over spring break by Oh Honey Cookery and Rock Paper Calligraphy. For class and contact info: and


Stable homes for Oregon families

Today the Oregon Senate passed Senate Bill 608, a bill which provides basic protections for tenants. Passage of the bill came after a long hearing last week in the Senate Housing Committee with most witnesses testifying in favor of the bill.

The Stable Homes for Oregon Families coalition, represents people who rent their homes, landlords, advocates, labor unions, faith and community organizations issued the following statement upon the bill’s passage.

“SB 608 will next go to the Oregon House of Representatives. If passed, it will go to Governor Brown, who has already stated she supports and will sign the bill.”

To learn more, go to

ANNUAL SHAMROCK CRUISE on board the Portland Spirit Sunday, March 10, 2:30 – 5:30 pm, boarding at 2 pm, 110 SE Caruthers St., This three-hour cruise is for everyone and will take place on the Willamette River with the music and dance of Ireland. Admission is $42-$50 general, infants, children and student: or call 800.838.3006. You and your family and friends will enjoy a lovely scenic tour of the Willamette while your souls are filled with music and dance from Ireland. Fun stuff and what a way to spend part of your day! Performers are Tom Creegan, Dale Russ, Cary Novotny, Danny O’Hanlon, Preston Howard, Conor O’Bryan, Erik Killops, Rob Barrick, Oregon Irish Dance Academy with Christina and Victoria White and more. There will be a bistro food bar on one level and full bars on all levels for your pleasure to purchase. Details at


SAVE THE OREGON COLLEGE OF ART AND CRAFTS – A non-profit was formed by former students to save the institution, the only accredited Arts and Crafts school in the country: It is feared this is another land grab. Stuart Emmons has created a plan and here’s a link to this plan:


MIND BODY RITUAL YOGA + SELF COACHING WORKSHOP – March 9, 1-3 pm at Wild Hearts Wellness, 4230 NE Fremont St. Through sacred movement, mindful thinking, everyday rituals and self coaching prompts, you will learn tools to empower abundant action and take you from victim to hero of your own life. To sign up for workshop go to:


SPRING TOWN HALL HOUSE DISTRICT 42 – Join a discussion about taxes in Oregon and an overview of what Rep. Nosse has been working on this session at the Capitol, Saturday, March 9 at 10, SEIU Local 49, 3536 SE 26th Ave. south of Powell. Presentation on revenue issues currently facing Oregon along with a brief history of revenue topics in Oregon Presented by Head of Legislative Revenue Office, Chris Allanach. Attendees are encouraged to bring other topics for Q&A for second half of discussion. Constituents and businesses located in House District 42 are urged to attend. For info or to request special needs accommodations, contact Rep. Nosse’s Office 503.986.1442 or email


VIKING PANCAKE BREAKFAST MARCH 10 – Enjoy the best breakfast in town and start your day with delicious all-you-can-eat Viking pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage links, fresh fruit, strawberry compote, lingonberries, orange juice and coffee or tea served in the charming Bergen Dining Room at Norse Hall, 111 NE 11th Ave.,  8:30 am to 12:30 pm.  Adults $8, Children ages 5-12 $4, Children under age 5 are free. Parking is free.


PORTLAND SINGS! community sing-along. A casual, fun group-singing opportunity for anyone wanting more singing in their life. Sunday March 17 from 2-4 pm at Artichoke Music, 2007 SE Powell Blvd. Sliding scale $8-$15. For info see


YOU, OLD AGE & POWER: GET IT TOGETHER NOW! – A discussion that covers how and when to: use a financial planner/advisor; use an elder law attorney; use a home-finance specialist; use an Aging-in-place designer/remodeler; use a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES). Wednesday, March 27, 11am-1 pm at Flying Pie Pizza, 7804 SE Stark St. The event is free, pizza provided, RSVP required. Call 971.207.2806.

 ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS (ADUS) as a solution for rising costs and longer life spans. Discussion to cover: overview of the issue, challenges & benefits; ADUs – attached, detached and new construction; costs and return on investment as rentals; The Certified Aging in Place (CAPS) design bonus; funding options. Wednesday, March 27, 2-3:30 pm, Peoples Food Coop, 3029 SE 21st Ave. The event is free, RSVP required. Call 971.207.2806.

SAVE THE DATE! ANNUAL MEETING, FRIENDS OF MT. TABOR PARK – Mark your calendars for Tuesday, March 12, 7-8 pm for the Annual Meeting of the Friends of Mt. Tabor Park. This year’s meeting will be held at TaborSpace, 5441 SE Belmont St. Doors open at 6:30 pm with refreshments and information. The Annual Meeting, will include reports on what FMTP has accomplished in 2018, announcements, and election of board members, begins at 7 pm. Want to join the board? Contact for details. FREE MT. TABOR PARK TREE IDENTIFICATION WALK – Sunday, March 17 at 2 pm. Meet at the Mt. Tabor Visitor Center in the main parking lot, rain or shine. Bob Rogers leads guests on a walk to identify many species of trees found in the park.

ARE YOU PLANNING A MOVE? Here’s interesting statistics provided by the “Hybrid Move” migration study. Americans move half as often as they did seventy years ago. Oregon ranked #10 as a top moving destination, Idaho was first then Montana, Vermont, Wyoming, New Mexico Delaware, South Caroline and Maine. Portland is the #1 moving destination within Oregon. It is the sixth most popular interstate move  is from California to Oregon. Information provided by Hire a Helper/Hybrid Moves. please visit HireAHelper’s 2019 migration report.

INDOOR SEEDSTARTING, EARLY SEASON PLANTINGS, & PERENNIAL VEGETABLES–Tuesday, March 12, 7-9 pm at People’s Coop, 3029 SE 21st Ave. In March, it is time to begin planting seeds both indoors and outdoors. This session will focus on those early season plantings and varieties that are known to thrive in the Pacific Northwest. Learn how to start and care for seeds and young plants. These classes are available as a five class series ($100) or as individual events ($25 each). 20% off discount for People’s Food Coop members: get in touch with Marisha by email at marisha.permaculturerising@gmail.


OPEN HOUSE FOR HRCP/DOZ respectively the Historic Resources Code Project and the  Design Overlay Zone Assessment. The quality of building design and the preservation of historic resources matter for a growing city. Portland needs to make room for growth and change – ensuring that new development reflects the needs and aspirations of our ever-changing city while protecting community assets. In SE, Open House will be Saturday, March 16, 2-4 pm at TaborSpace, 5441 SE Belmont St. TriMet Line: #15