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You can’t live in Portland without realizing that the number of our fellow citizens experiencing homelessness has reached crisis levels. Working to solve this problem - sometimes even confronting it with open eyes - can feel overwhelming. But there are clear and simple ways we as designers and fellow human beings can help.
On Monday, April 8th, we will be hosting a panel discussion with several extremely effective local organizations as they present their work, and we outline a way we can all help them multiply their positive impact. Speakers and panelists include:
Brandi Tuck is the Founding Executive Director of Portland Homeless Family Solutions. PHFS' mission is to empower homeless families with children to get back in to housing and stay there. They are working on a new shelter using trauma-informed design, where they will be able to double the number of families they serve. There are now over 1200 families in need of housing, with the average age of a PHFS client at 9 years old. Brandi is a positive and engaging speaker with a wealth of knowledge on both the problems and solutions surrounding homelessness.
Dunetchka Otero-Serrano is the Executive Director of Community Warehouse - the region's only nonprofit furniture bank. A Puerto Rican native, she has twenty years of experience in the nonprofit sector with a focus on outreach in the local Latinx community. Community Warehouse provides home furnishings for people transitioning out of homelessness, instilling hope and empowerment while increasing the success rate of permanent housing.
Christina McGovney is the Shelter & Housing Services Manager of Raphael House. She uses her experience as a direct services advocate, and her lived experience as a survivor, to support a team of 3 coordinators, who oversee a total of 18 advocates. Christina is honored to be a part of the Raphael House team for nearly 9 years, which has provided life-saving shelter and support to families fleeing abuse for more than 40 years.
Sean Suib is the Executive Director of New Avenues for Youth. He's also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working with Portland youth at-risk of, or experiencing homelessness since 1992. Sean has had a hand in developing and implementing all of New Avenues programs and has plated a leadership role in creating a countywide safety net system for at-risk youth. Sean has focused New Avenues for Youth around increading early intervention and prevention programs, developing innovative housing solutions, and growing New Avenue's portfolio of job training/social enterprise businesses.
Jessica Helgerson is the founder of Jessica Helgerson Interior Design and the catalyst for The 1% Project. Jessica Helgerson Interior Design strives to bring highly customized visions to life for residential and business clients. Headquartered in downtown Portland, Jessica sees the struggle and discrepancy daily. She refuses to turn away her head from this problem any longer and has started The 1% Project to enact meaningful change in our community.
*Event banner design by After All Studios http://afterallstudio.com