A community kitchen in Gateway, rebuilding Allen Temple Church Fellowship Hall for community programs in Interstate, improvements to Kelly School’s community grounds in Lents, and support to complete the restoration of the Chinatown Gate in Old Town/Chinatown are among the awards.
CONTACT: Shawn Uhlman, Prosper Portland, 503-823-7994

Prosper Portland will award $1.7 million in Community Livability Grants for fiscal year 2017-18 to 21 projects in five urban renewal areas, leveraging nearly $11 million in private investment. Seven projects in Interstate, four projects in Gateway, four projects in Lents, and three projects each in Central Eastside and Old Town Chinatown will receive funding.

The Community Livability Grant project list includes proposals that honor local culture and history, support expansion of workforce service facilities, and improve community centers and services. Successful grant applicants are required to make a good faith effort to contract with State of Oregon certified Minority-Owned, Woman-Owned, Disadvantaged or Emerging Small Businesses (M/W/D/ESBs). Prosper Portland staff will work with this year’s awardees to identify potential M/W/D/ESB contractors for project work.

Prosper Portland Executive Director Kimberly Branam said, “We’re very pleased to see growing interest and familiarity with the Community Livability Grant program, as a vital tool to help organizations fulfill neighborhood action plans and better serve diverse populations throughout the city.”

Pat Daniels, executive director of Constructing Hope, said, “Over the past three years, Constructing Hope has exceeded expectations by training 173 individuals, then placing and sustaining 119 students from marginalized communities into wealth-building construction apprenticeship careers. Grant proceeds will be used to expand our facilities; allowing us to double that number. How honored we are to partner with Prosper Portland in pursuit of our joint mission to support the prosperity of all Portlanders.”

Aaron Bouchane, CORE (Career Opportunities, Readiness, and Exploration) Program Manager  for Impact NW, said, “We’re very excited about the grant and the improvements it will facilitate, allowing us to create a safer and clearer environment in providing youth career readiness training.”

Evaluation committees for each area included representatives from community organizations, neighborhood and business associations, and non-profit organizations as well as individual business owners and Prosper Portland staff.

The Community Livability Grant Program gives funding priority to projects that improve access to jobs and workforce development services; support wealth creation opportunities for small business owners; honor and enhance the neighborhood’s cultural diversity and history; deliver a community asset tailored to the community’s expressed priorities and opportunities; and advance goals of area-specific action plans.

Since 2006, Prosper Portland has awarded more than $8 million to more than 150 community livability projects across multiple urban renewal areas. This year’s awards will leverage an estimated $10.9 million in other funds and hundreds of hours of volunteer labor.

The full list of 2017-18 recipients follows.

Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area
Allen Temple Church will receive $280,000 to help rebuild its fellowship hall and include space for classes and events, classrooms for counseling, ADA restrooms, an ADA kitchen, a heating and cooling system, new windows, and a sprinkler system.
Billy Webb Elks Lodge will receive $129,000 for a kitchen upgrade to expand the quality and type of services provided by the existing community center.
BRAVO Youth Orchestras will receive $16,000 for acoustics improvements.
Constructing Hope will receive $300,000 to expand its pre-apprenticeship workforce development training facility.
New Hope Missionary Baptist Church will receive $42,500 to assist with roof replacement.
Portland Miracle Revival Church Restoration Outreach Community Center will receive $38,000 for storefront improvements to increase community engagement with the organization’s social services.
Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church will receive $32,500 for renovation of the church interior to encourage a more optimized and efficient use of space

Gateway Regional Center Urban Renewal Area
Our Giving Table will receive $25,000 and a conditional award of $121,240 to build a community kitchen in the Gateway Town Center to distribute an additional 1,500 meals per month.
Friends of Floyd Light Park will receive a $8,500 conditional award for Installation of a trash can and bench and informational kiosk at Floyd Light Park.
Gateway One will receive two conditional awards of $69,000 and $8,500 for placemaking projects in South Gateway and transit center placemaking amenities.
Impact NW will receive $25,000 to make upgrades to the façade of the MakerSpace and warehouse at the Dancing Tree Family Center.

Central Eastside Urban Renewal Area
CODA, Inc. will receive $32,000 in assistance for constructing a dedicated community training room.
Miracle Theater Group will receive $50,000 for improvements to the main gathering and event space
New Expressive Works will receive $35,000 for capital improvements that include ADA accessibility.

Lents Town Center Urban Renewal Area
Kelly School PTA will receive $75,000 for its community grounds expansion, including the addition of a climbing structure, swing set, shade trees, benches and picnic tables.
Leach Garden Friends will receive $125,000 for the Upper Gardens improvement project which includes an aerial tree walk and increased accessibility for community members.
REAP will receive $125,000 to assist with its new headquarters renovation.
Wisdom of the Elders will receive $40,000 for expansion of workforce training in environmental assessment and habitat restoration.

Old Town Chinatown Neighborhood (Downtown Waterfront and River District Urban Renewal Areas)
Lan Su Chinese Garden will receive $50,000 for completion of ADA upgrades.
Old Town Chinatown Community Association will receive $100,000 for the second phase of restoration of the Chinese Gate.
Portland Chinatown History Foundation will receive $50,000 to support the development of the Portland Chinatown History Museum.