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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Street Roots' Israel Bayer wins 2010 Skidmore Prize

Congratulations to Street Roots Director Israel Bayer for being named a 2010 Skidmore Prize winner

November 10, 2010

Congratulations to Israel Bayer, Director of Street Roots newspaper, for being named one of four 2010 Skidmore Prize winners. The Skidmore Prize is awarded annually to four people under the age of 36 who do outstanding work at Portland-area non-profits.

Under Israel's leadership, the paper has more than doubled its annual budget since 2007 and prints 10,000 copies of every biweekly issue.

"Everything about poverty and homelessness is gray and convoluted," Israel told WW writer Christina Cooke. "We try to be that stabilizing factor, creating a family-like environment where it doesn't matter where you came from or your past."

Read Israel's letter of thanks, and click here to donate to Street Roots through Willamette Week's 'Give Guide.'

Above: Nick joined Israel and JOIN's Marc Jolin at the 2008 Homeless Connect event in Waterfront Park


Portland Housing Bureau announces recipients of $1 million funding boost

Commissioner Fish and Mayor Adams announced an extra $1 million for the Portland Housing Bureau earlier this year

November 10, 2010

In May of this year, Mayor Adams and Commissioner Fish announced a $1 million boost in funding to the Portland Housing Bureau to help people sleeping on the streets of downtown Portland.

Commissioner Fish and PHB staff brought together a group of community leaders - including business, non-profit, neighborhood, and law enforcement - to determine the most cost-effective and creative way to prioritize funding.

The result: funding will focus on easing the bottleneck created by the large number of people in shelters and transitional housing by helping them move into permanent housing. Freeing up those shelter and transitional beds will help provide a safe and warm place to sleep for downtown's homeless.

The goal is to help 200 people move into permanent housing, increase the incomes of 47 people, and open up more than 100 shelter beds for people currently sleeping outside, writes Amanda Waldroupe in Street Roots.

Through a competitive process, PHB selected two local non-profits for funding:

  • JOIN will lead a coalition of seven agencies to serve adults
  • New Avenues for Youth will lead a group of five agencies to serve youth

"It's a crisis time in our system," PHB Director Margaret Van Vliet told Waldroupe. "If we can help people who are ready to transition to the next level of housing...then we free up more space along the continuum."

PHB will report back to Council on the outcomes from this additional funding.

The City's 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness helps thousands of people move from homelessness to stable housing each year. For more information visit PHB's website at

Proud Ground and Hands on Greater Portland honored

Commissioner Nick Fish was proud to speak at Bank of America's Neighborhood Excellence dinner, which honored outstanding local nonprofits

November 12, 2010

Congratulations to local non-profits Proud Ground and Hands on Greater Portland, which were honored Wednesday night by Bank of America's Neighborhood Excellence Initiative.

Nick was proud to speak at the event, where these organizations' outstanding work was recognized with $200,000 in unrestricted grant funding. 

Both of these organizations are great partners of the City, in particular with the Portland Housing Bureau.

For more than 10 years, Proud Ground has been connecting families with affordable homes by working with lenders, builders, and other partners - since 1999, they've helped over 100 families find homes.

Hands on Greater Portland connects willing volunteers with opportunities to serve. Over the past year, they've helped almost 18,000 people connect with ways to volunteer, publicized over 10,000 volunteer events, and organized volunteers for more than 250 organizations.

We also want to congratulate Community Warehouse's Roz Babener, who was honored as a "Local Hero" and will receive a $5,000 grant.

The impact of budget cuts on Portland Parks & Recreation

The Parks bureau, overseen by Commissioner Nick Fish, is facing tough budget cuts this year - please share your priorities at tomorrow's meeting

November 15, 2010

We hope you saw Candice Ruud's story, "Portland Parks & Recreation community centers saved in 2011-12 budget," in Saturday's Oregonian.

Her piece includes an interview with Jim Blackwood, our Senior Policy Director, who shared that for years, the Parks bureau has been able to accommodate budget reductions by making minor cuts to programs and services citywide. This year, that strategy won't be possible.

The Parks bureau is working hard to reach out to the community to find out what Portlanders' top priorities for their parks system are. "All these cuts have implications in terms of much-loved services and parks employees," he told Ruud. "It really affects people's lives."

The Bureau is currently discussing potential cuts totaling $1.3 million (3% of the General Fund budget.) We are hopeful that the City won't have to cut that deeply, and that the Bureau will be able to submit a requested budget that includes smaller cut packages.

Tomorrow night, Commissioner Fish and Parks Director Zari Santner will present proposals for budget reductions and ask for your ideas at a Community Budget Meeting. This year, more than ever before, your feedback will shape Parks services and programs moving forward. Public input will be crucial for the final Budget Advisory Committee recommendation, which will be presented to Commissioner Fish in early December.

We hope to see you tomorrow night.

Nick in the Chinese Times

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish was on the cover of the Portland Chinese Times recently

November 16, 2010

We were excited to see Commissioner Fish on the cover of the Portland Chinese Times recently.

The headline reads "With the urging of the local Chinese community, the storage for the homeless has been moved to a new location. Commissioner Nick Fish fulfilled his promise, and respects the opinion of the local Chinese community."

The City of Portland, the Portland Business Alliance, and Central City Concern have formed an innovative partnership to provide day storage services to people experiencing homelessness. Helping people store their belongings in a safe place frees them to look for jobs, housing, or other services without being tethered down. It also offers a solution to concerns about the impacts of large carts or piles of personal belongings on sidewalks or in front of businesses.

The day storage site will operate until the Resource Access Center opens in the Summer of 2011 and provides this service on a permanent basis.

This pilot program offers storage every day of the week, is staffed by Clean and Safe employees, and is structured to provide a very valuable service while limiting the impact of the facility of neighbors and surrounding businesses.

We are very proud of this creative collaboration.