1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204
News from and about Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish
Oregonian columnist Steve Duin wrote about Mark Gunderson, a veteran struggling with homelessness. Mark has secured a home, and is scheduled to move in today!
We have an inspiring story to share with you.
Recently, Oregonian columnist Steve Duin wrote about Mark Gunderson, a veteran struggling with homelessness.
In December, Mark was issued a VASH voucher. The VASH program provides veterans with rent assistance to help pay for a home, and case management and services through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The challenge is that once he was issued a VASH voucher, Mark only had 90 days to find an apartment or else the voucher goes back into the pool. And with a tight rental market, many veterans are having difficulty finding an apartment to rent.
Here’s the good news: Mark has secured a new home at Weidler Commons, and is scheduled to move in today!
Weidler Commons is owned by our partner, Northwest Housing Alternatives, which has been serving our community for over 30 years.
There are many unsung heroes to thank, including the VA, Home Forward, and Mark’s case manager.
But special thanks go to Cascade Management CEO Dave Bachman, who read Steve Duin’s column and stepped up to rent Mark an apartment.
The VASH program was created to help men and women who served our country move from homelessness to self-sufficiency. But the program doesn't work if landlords don't rent to our veterans.
Yesterday I attended a town hall on veterans and homelessness with VA Assistant Secretary Mooney and local leaders and partners. We discussed the progress we have made together, and the challenges ahead.
Thanks to strong partnerships, our community has helped nearly 270 veterans find a place to call home. That's a great success, but there are still dozens of veterans looking for homes to rent.
We call on landlords in our community to join with Cascade Management and others to open their doors to our veterans.
February is Black History Month!
February is Black History Month!
All month long there are events around the city for reflection and celebration to grow awareness that Black History is American History.
Black History Month began in the United States in 1926 when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association of Negro Life and History dedicated the second week in February as “Negro History Week.” The 2nd week in February was chosen because both Fredrick Douglass and President Lincoln’s birthdays were in that week.
The week grew in popularity throughout the decades, and in 1976 the federal government expanded Black History week to Black History Month.
On Wednesday, February 6 City Council will issue a Black History Month Proclamation at 9:30am in City Hall Chambers. Other events around the City of Portland include films, a Taste of Soul Luncheon at the Portland Building, community events, and a market place.
Get out and about in your community to reflect and celebrate!
To learn more about what the city is doing in honor of Black History Month check the City's activities calendar.
I write to update you on the City’s budget and its impact on the Portland Housing Bureau.
Portland Parks & Recreation has submitted a requested budget for FY2013-14.
Following the Mayor’s request to propose a budget with a 10% cut, PP&R has submitted a proposal that includes programs and services that are most critical to the bureau’s mission.
The remaining 10% of the bureau’s budget is submitted as add back proposals ranked in priority order.
As of February 4, Mayor Hales has assumed management of all City bureaus. He will keep them throughout the budget process. As a result, individual Commissioners will not be acting as official advocates for the bureaus they manage.
I will be looking for ways to deliver services more efficiently, including better coordination with partners like Multnomah County.
I am committed to working with Mayor Hales, my colleagues, and the public to craft a responsible budget that maintains the core services and programs that Portlanders value.