Contact: Shawn Uhlman, Prosper Portland, 503-823-7994

The renovation of Africa House in Gateway, upgrades to the Sons of Haiti Lodge in Interstate, improvements to the Junior Achievement space in Lents, and support for the Maybelle Community Center in Old Town/Chinatown are among the most significant awards.

Prosper Portland will award $1.49 million in Community Livability Grants for fiscal year 2018-19 to 23 projects in five urban renewal areas or neighborhoods, leveraging nearly $30 million in private investment. Eight projects in Interstate, five projects in Lents, four projects in Central Eastside, three projects in Old Town/Chinatown and three projects in Gateway 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 for diverse residents. 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.

Prosper Portland Executive Director Kimberly Branam said, “Over the years the Community Livability Grant program has been an incredible tool to help organizations fulfill the aspirations of their neighborhoods and better serve diverse populations throughout the city. We’re proud to keep the momentum going with this year’s awards.”

The 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 $10 million to nearly 180 community livability projects across multiple urban renewal areas. This year’s awards will leverage an estimated $29.8 million in other funds and hundreds of hours of volunteer labor.

The full list of 2018-19 recipients follows.

ProjectDescriptionTIF DistrictFiscal YearAward 
Central Eastside Industrial CouncilViaduct Arts Belmont Building MuralCentral Eastside2019-2020$25,000
Imago TheaterADA accessibility and expanded spaceCentral Eastside2019-2020$100,000
Portland Adventist
Community Services (PACS)
Install fence surrounding thrift store and food pantry parking lot to improve safetyGateway Regional Center2019-2020$50,000
Guardian PartnersOffice building ADA updatesGateway Regional Center2019-2020$8,500
Human SolutionsComplete the service center/ office in a community-based social services centerGateway Regional Center2019-2020$141,500
Abundant LifeRenovate state-of-the-art audio, technology engineering, and computer skills as a Community Technology LabInterstate Corridor2019-2020$40,000
Blazers Boys & Girls ClubHVAC systemInterstate Corridor2019-2020$37,500
Health (Garlington Center)
Renovate 2,400 sq foot vacant outdoor area to develop a community garden and children’s play area. Interstate Corridor2019-2020$29,000
Sunshine Center
Preschool expansion/Community Help
Institute for
Learning &
Interstate Corridor2019-2020$25,000
Friends of the ChildrenGym renovation to ensure safety and improve insulation and energy efficiency.Interstate Corridor2019-2020$23,435
Life Change ChurchPedestrian safety + mural improvementInterstate Corridor2019-2020$75,000
MESOImprovement to four existing structures and the groundsInterstate Corridor2019-2020$15,000
New Hope MBCFacility upgrade to better support the arts and community engagement.Interstate Corridor2019-2020$40,000
POIC & RAHAInstallation of security cameras and automated identification security systemInterstate Corridor2019-2020$20.000
Q CenterInterior/exterior improvements and wheelchair accessible front doorInterstate Corridor2019-2020$20.000
Center (Miracle
Upgrades to electrical, plumbing, ADA accessibility and fire/life and safetyInterstate Corridor2019-2020$25,000
East Portland
Tenant improvementsLents Town Center2019-2020$43,560
Hacienda CDCPortland Mercado: Expansion/repave parking lot, build permanent canopy for outdoor seating, replace ADA accessible door at the entranceLents Town Center2019-2020$56,259
Portland Chinese CMAC Improvements to enlarge and improve capacity of language school, youth activity spaces, job skills training and childcare center.Lents Town Center2019-2020$80,000
Oregon Chinese
Repair and refurbish ornamental roof parapet Old Town/Chinatown2019-2020$97,000
p:ear Coffee Works Exterior improvements include awning, a roll-top service door, energy efficient windows, lighting upgrades, replace oxide paneling. Old Town/Chinatown2019-2020$55,000
Portland Saturday MarketSkidmore MAX station sign restorationOld Town/Chinatown2019-2020$19,228
Kickstand ComedyRenovate theater space to transform into thriving inclusive hub for performance and educationOld Town/Chinatown2019-2020$150,000
Stone SoupInterior improvements for workforce development training facility Old Town/Chinatown2019-2020$73,722
Quotes from recipients:

“Prosper Portland and the Community Livability Grant (CLG) program are making a difference in St. Paul’s neighborhood – improving our property to bless the community, making the unknown possible and dreams come true.”

– Pastor Craig Brown, St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church

“By supporting our preschool expansion project Prosper Portland is helping us expand our reach in the community by providing more services, increasing the number of jobs we can provide and improving the efficiency and usability of our property. This grant provides access to capital we would not have normally. I cannot wait until we are able to have the opening of our expanded preschool!”

– Troy Tate, Sunshine Montessori School

“The grant from Prosper Portland will allow us to increase the number of members who can utilize our Community Room, which is at capacity much of the time. By re-configuring underused spaces to high need areas, we can expand access for folks with mobility devices, improve services, and enhance the experience of everyone using the Center.”

– Jillianne Bandstra, Maybelle Center

“Since 1950, we have been inspiring and preparing young people in Oregon and SW Washington with work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy education. We opened our doors on SE Foster Road in 2007 with the launch of JA BizTown, our flagship elementary program that is now reaching nearly half of all Portland Area fifth graders. This grant funding will be used to address several crucial needs in maintaining our building’s exterior, drainage and parking lots while reserving our limited resources for serving K-12 students. This project will have a lasting benefit on the students, volunteers, teachers, visitors and staff who use our building, especially the 13,000 plus students and 4,500 adults who are a part of our JA BizTown program each year. In our overall outreach, we are impacting more than 45,700 students annually, and approximately 45% of students we serve qualify for the Federal Free/Reduced Lunch Program. Diversity and inclusion will be a key pillar of our strategic plan. Junior Achievement is grateful for the support from Prosper Portland.”

– Ryan Deckert, President, Junior Achievement Oregon & SW Washington