Metro Council sends Northwest Portland nearly $70,000 to address community's needs
Members of community organizations in Northwest and North Portland had their dreams come true last week, as the Metro Council approved $69,900 in grants for community projects.
The 15 improvement projects will benefit residents with after-school programming to bolster creativity, health and fitness; hot meals, a community garden and a food pantry to feed the hungry; training and equipment for volunteer rangers in the city’s largest park and more.
"Our schools, support services for families, infrastructure and a healthy environment have been essential to the quality of life that attracted us to our neighborhoods in the first place," said Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder, chair of the Metro Central grant selection committee and whose district includes Northwest and North Portland. "These grants support an intricate system that keeps our community strong and will fuel a good business climate."
The Metro Central grant program was established by Metro in 1993 after a regional transfer station was opened in Northwest Portland. Through a unique partnership with people living in neighborhoods closest to the facility, Metro began disbursing grants from a 50-cent surcharge collected on each ton of discards processed at Metro Central. Grants are awarded through a competitive application process whereby local activists from the target area solicit, review and select projects to fund.
"During deliberations, we talked about our shared stake and responsibility," explained Haze Moss, a Linnton resident who serves on Metro’s committee. "We came to the realization that the choices we make today must help build the best possible future for the people and businesses in our area."
The 2012 grant cycle marks the 18th year Metro has invested funds in the community through the Metro Central enhancement program. Since then, close to $3.2 million has been awarded to help fund 330 local improvement projects.
The complete slate of 2012 grant awards in Northwest Portland includes:
Chess for Success – $2,000 – After-school chess club at James John Elementary School for 75 students
Children’s Relief Nursery – $5,000 – Child-parent psychotherapy project serving 28 families and 20 foster care children and biological parents
Forest Park Neighborhood Association – $5,500 – Training and equipment for 30 volunteers in Forest Park volunteer rangers’ park watch program
Friendly House, Inc. – $7,410 – Scholarship support for after-school children’s programming and annual membership for disabled adults, low-income seniors
Girls on the Run – $1,175 – 12-week self-esteem and life skills after-school program for 15 third to fifth graders
Linnton Community Center – $6,000 – Food for emergency food pantry serving more than 5,500 residents
Loaves and Fishes – $5,000 – Two Rivers' onsite dining program serving 50 low-income seniors every weekday for 12 months
Northwest Portland Ministries – $5,345 – Support for a community garden and food pantry serving 855 people each month, as well as raised planters at a home for teenaged mothers serving around 100 residents each year
Open Meadow Alternative School – $2,500 – Fitness and health program for 135 students four times a week.
Pathfinders of Oregon – $7,900 – Construction of outdoor play area for children and their teen parents completing high school education
Rebuilding Together Portland – $5,500 – Free home repairs and rehabilitation services for up to three low-income elderly or disabled homeowners
St. Andrews Episcopal Pantry – $501 – Tires and gasoline for van used to pick up 8,000 pounds of items donated monthly for 10,000 people served per year
Sauvie Island Center – $7,126 – Two full-day field trips for a farm-based educational program and two classroom visits for 214 third and fourth grade students
Store To Door or Oregon – $5,000 – Weekly grocery shopping and delivery service for 60 low-income seniors or disabled people
Tears of Joy Theatre – $3,902 – After-school arts and crafts, and performance, program for 75 youth
For more information about projects receiving funds this year, or to read a report about outcomes of past projects funded, visit Metro’s web site or call Karen Blauer at 503-797-1506.