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Our Developed Complexes
Our Developed Complexes | Projects in Development
Since 1994 Human Solutions has developed 608 units of housing, in 16 locations in East Portland, Gresham and Fairview. Forty-one percent of our housing is 3, 4 and 5 bedroom units, which give us the capacity to house large families who otherwise could not find affordable housing in the private market.
Human Solutions Housing complexes are:
Human Solutions believes that providing access to safe, decent, affordable housing is an important first step for low-income families, but that the key to long-term success and stability comes through our Resident Services Program. One of the primary goals of Resident Services is helping families maintain their housing knowing that stable housing is good for parents and very good for their children—students typically do better academically if they stay at the same school over time. Resident Services takes a pro-active approach to behavior or circumstances that can threaten a resident’s tenancy. Resident Services receives copies of all notices given to residents. Depending on the nature of the notice—non-payment of rent, disturbance violation or housekeeping issue—Resident Services provides information on lease violations, access to educational materials or help finding rental assistance. Often it is through the assistance of Resident Services staff in finding additional resources for food, clothing or school supplies that residents are able to pay their rent. For example, last year Resident Services assisted over 150 residents in locating utility assistance which allowed residents to pay for other basics including rent, food and transportation costs.
Start School Right 2010 provided over 100 students with the tools needed to begin the school year ready to learn. Resident Services also provided education and other enrichment activities to residents and low-income community members. Classes and workshops included ESL and nutrition classes, budgeting and credit repair workshops, citizenship classes for non-English speaking immigrant adults, resident-led cooking and craft activities, gardening, and community celebrations. All together, 894 residents participated in 91 different programs offered by Resident Services in 2010.
Providing programs to the children living at our properties is also a high priority, since low-incomes, lack of transportation and irregular work hours make it difficult for parents to provide these activities to their children. While we do offer recreational activities to kids, our kids programs focus on educational enhancement programs. Homework Clubs are organized at six of our sites and Resident Services works with local schools to improve parent connections to schools, in addition to helping parents to advocate for their children.
LearnLinks: Our newest Resident Services program
Our most comprehensive after-school tutoring and mentoring program is Learn Links which is located at Park Vista and Lincoln Woods, two properties with very high numbers of refugee and immigrant families. Human Solutions first partnered with LearnLinks in 2007 when LearnLinks was a program of the YWCA. Starting in 2009 LearnLinks became a partner in Human Solutions’ 3-year Resident Services Enhancement Grant, funded by the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette. In February 2011, LearnLinks was acquired by Human Solutions and we plan on expanding the LearnLinks model to our other properties.
The LearnLinks program works to meet both the educational and psychosocial needs of children and families by creating a highly supportive learning environment that promotes academic success. Staff and volunteers provide students with two to four hours of critical one-on-one attention weekly. They assist with homework and reinforce basic skills. LearnLinks also strives to understand how children from immigrant and refugee families may have different educational barriers which can be addressed in an after-school program with one-on-one attention. As part of LearnLinks holistic approach to building academic strength and self-esteem, students are supported by the services of an art therapist.
In addition, LearnLinks works with parents to increase involvement in their children’s education by organizing family activities that provide opportunities for parents and children to spend time together thinking and learning. At the same time, LearnLinks and Resident Services staff members work together to communicate with the schools about students’ educational needs and keep parents informed of potential educational issues facing their children. LearnLinks’ staff track students’ grades, meet with teachers as needed throughout the school year, and survey teachers at the end of the year to gauge each student’s success. The school liaison model used by LearnLinks is a resource that Human Solutions can offer families to break the cycle of generational poverty.
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