Homelessness PDX Connection Winter 2020
Homelessness PDX Connection Winter 2020

Homelessness PDX Connection        Winter 2020

Director Zapata: Help raise $1,000 today for homelessness research 

Today PSU launches its one-day giving campaign PSiloveU. Please consider donating to programs that deliver direct services such as food, emergency funds, and scholarships to students in need.
If you have more to give, consider supporting research at our center. The more we invest in research, the more we can change the systems that lead to and perpetuate homelessness and food and housing insecurity. Efforts include our recent testimony at the legislature, public education, and continued work on understanding food and housing insecurity among students and staff. 
Even small gifts can make a big difference with university incentives. We can earn $1,000 if we reach any of the following challenges:
  • Most donations between 9 and 10 a.m. today
  • First person to donate at 2:14 p.m. today
  • First person to donate at 6:16 p.m. today
  • $500 for the fund with the most faculty and staff donations
There are free ways to support our work as well. Consider signing up to be a social ambassador to share our cause. Once signed up, you can access sample messages and link to our giving page

Bill tackles student housing and food insecurity 

Research Director Greg Townley testified on HB 4055 to address food and housing insecurity among Oregon college students and offered to share the center's survey research tool.
“In order to know how to best advocate for solutions to food and housing insecurity for all of Oregon’s students, we need an organized and comprehensive plan for ongoing research and evaluation across the state’s community colleges and public universities,” Townley said.
Students experiencing homelessness are 11 times more likely to withdraw or not register, according to a study conducted at the University of Maryland. A recent study showed that one in five oregon Community College students recently experienced homelessness.
Several Oregon students testified at the hearing about personal struggles with homelessness and food insecurity. 
“If you miss a rent payment, your landlord knocks on your door, but if you miss a meal, nobody knows,” testified one Western Oregon University student.
Townley is currently analyzing Portland State University’s first comprehensive study on food and housing insecurity among staff and students. He offered to share the survey tool with other public universities. Read more, including summaries of bills we're following and links to the full text.

Members collaborate on homelessness project in Anchorage, Alaska

Four members of the Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative trekked to Anchorage, Alaska in the middle of winter to help launch a community project on homelessness.
Todd Ferry and Marta Petteni worked with the Anchorage Museum on the exhibit “Houseless,” which features work from the sleeping pod initiative at Portland State University’s Center for Public Interest Design. It is part of a larger exhibit and community conversation about homelessness in Alaska that also includes The National Building Museum’s “Evicted” and the art exhibit “We Are All Homeless.
Director Marisa Zapata and Research Director Greg Townley joined community conversations and expert panels to kick off the exhibit, which runs through April 5.
"People were really excited to look at homelessness from a different perspective,” said Center Co-Founder Todd Ferry.
The exhibit transformed the museum into fertile soil for cultivating ideas, raising questions, and sparking conversations around homelessness, said Petteni.
"I'm excited to see where some of those ideas, designs, and conversations take us."

Center secures grant to study sleeping pod village model, develop guide  

Portland’s sleeping pod villages, sometimes called tiny home villages, have helped dozens experiencing homelessness transition to stable housing. 
The next step? Better understand how they work and for whom. 
Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative will soon evaluate the model and develop a "how-to guide" for future villages thanks to a $184,800 grant from Meyer Memorial Trust. 
"It's an amazing opportunity to rigorously analyze villages to understand their impact, to see how they might be improved, and use that information to help address homelessness," said Todd Ferry, a leader in the village movement through his work at PSU's Center for Public Interest Design.
"What's unique about this opportunity is that we are approaching this in a truly interdisciplinary way with community psychology, urban planning, and other lenses in addition to design."

Center offers faculty grants of up to $25,000

The center will release approximately $100,000 from an external gift this year to support research and creative work about or connected to addressing or preventing homelessness.
Funding can be used for up to two years of research and project support, including grant writing, with a maximum individual award of $25,000.
HRAC is interested in a wide range of topic areas and hopes to foster interdisciplinary work across schools and departments. Projects must incorporate an equity lens with a specific focus on racial equity.
Priority is given to those affiliated with HRAC. Become a member.  Applications are due by Sunday, March 29, 2020. 

TEDx talk on homelessness with Director Zapata

Everyone thinks they understand the issue of homelessness, and many believe they know how to solve it. But they’re often wrong even about the most basic facets of the problem. 
The key to addressing homelessness is understanding the foundational causes and rethinking everything we think we know. That’s the subject of Dr. Marisa Zapata’s recent TEDx talk.
Zapata said she was grateful to have a team of TEDx volunteers workshop her ideas and the support to share this message with a broader audience.
“I’m looking forward to changing the narrative on homelessness through this talk,” she said. 

We’re fans of p:ear's youth programs

p:ear has mentored more than 5,000 youth and provided over 308,000 hours of healthy, engaging and nurturing programs including education, art, and employment since 2002.
The nonprofit has identified a strong model for helping youth end their homelessness.
It also assists youth in recognizing themselves as capable people while providing supportive relationships and opportunities for growth. 
Learn more about p:ear and how to help including donating art supplies, outdoor gear, and gift cards. 

Feb. 26

Candidate's Forum: Director Marisa Zapata will moderate the Gray Panther’s forum, including four candidates for Nick Fish's open seat on city council and six candidates from the metro area for Oregon State Legislature, 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26 at PSU Chit Chat Cafe, 1907 SW 6th Ave., Portland. Free.

March 17

Business Breakfast - Houselessness in Portland: A Community Conversation with Director Marisa Zapata and Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran, moderated by Joanne Zuhl, executive editor of Street Roots. The event runs 7 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 17 at PSU Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 327, 1825 SW Broadway, Portland. It will be hosted by Mittleman Jewish Community Center and will be open to the public. Cost is $36, which includes breakfast. Learn more.
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