Volunteers host ‘Housing Fair’ in Lents

See how neighbors are helping other outer East Portland neighbors by bringing together resources to help folks get shelter, or to stay housed …

Here in the Lents neighborhood, this outdoor “Housing Fair and Restore Share” provides knowledge, and goods, to all who come by here along SE 92nd Avenue.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The lengthy lack of public events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the high technological barrier created by online-only meetings, have made it difficult for people who need help with housing to talk to several helpful organizations at one time.

However, on March 26, Joanne Rees, and other volunteers from the Lents Strong Housing Team, put on a “Housing Fair and Restore Share” in the parking lot of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Lents.

-2 Shanda Moore of Rent Well tells about her organization’s tenant-based education course.

“We’re bringing together homeowners, renters, and houseless resources,” Rees told East Portland News. “Here, we have several organizations offering information about first-time homeowner opportunities, and foreclosure prevention.”

At the Resource Share; a “free store” by Pilgrim Lutheran Church offered attendees a chance to donate items they’re not using; so others could take what they need. And, the event featured representatives from:

  • Rent Well
  • African-American Alliance for Ownership
  • Cultivate Initiatives,
  • Sisters of the Road, and
  • a Street Roots vendor.


Sharing information about the programs they offer to help members of their community discover the values of homeownership, and how to become a homeowner, was African American Alliance for Homeownership Program Coordinator Shardea Booth.

“A lot of our Lents neighbors are being negatively-impacted by the end of the eviction moratorium,” Rees observed. “They could be living in cars in a doorway, or couch surfing with family members and friends.

“We’re trying to proactively get people together to organize and take care of one another, and to share what our collective resources are,” Rees remarked.

Sharing information about their programs we found Matthew McCarl, Community Engagement Action Director at Cultivate Initiatives.

“It’s important to us to bring bringing together homeowners, renters, and houseless neighbors; realizing that ‘housing is a right’, and we all deserve to be housed,” Rees concluded.

This fair was funded, in part, by a grant from the East Portland Community Office’s Community Activities Fund.

To learn more about the Lents Strong Housing Team, CLICK HERE.

© 2022 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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