We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community... Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.
— Cesar Chavez

MISSION & VISION

We are working to strengthen the St. Johns & Cathedral Park neighborhoods in Portland, OR through people-centered economic development and community building. We envision a thriving, diverse, and just community where everyone has access to affordable housing, benefits from economic opportunity, and is civically engaged. 

We engage in activities to support our mission and vision in five key areas:

  1. Engaging in community building activities such as neighborhood events, serving as a resource hub, creative placemaking, and empowering leaders;

  2. Strengthening our local workforce by connecting residents (including youth) to local jobs and supporting them in their job seeking efforts;

  3. Organizing our local farmers market and promoting access to fresh, healthy food;

  4. Advocating for more affordable housing in the neighborhood, and;

  5. Connecting local businesses to resources and information.


Values

We believe in transparency
We believe in open dialogue, seeking community feedback, asking questions and giving honest answers.

We are design thinkers
We believe in reflection, continuous learning and being creative to improve all aspects of our work.

We value our team
We invest in our staff, board members, and volunteers and their professional development. 

We work hard & we laugh hard
We are confident in our work, love what we do and have fun making each other laugh.

We are resilient leaders
We stay optimistic, use data to inform our decisions and push through tough times in order to move mountains.

We strive to be an inclusive organization
We have an open door policy and promote a welcoming and approachable atmosphere. 

We believe in working together
We believe that collaboration and strategic partnerships lead to a stronger St. Johns. 


our impact in 2018:

Supported housing for neighbors in need
We have been working with the St. Johns Wesleyan Church to develop a new affordable housing project. Additionally, our Housing Action Committee has continued to advocate for our neighbors experiencing homelessness and supported the move of Hazelnut Grove to the St. Johns community.

Organized creative placemaking events
Our artBURST series has continued to grow and thrive with our quarterly Art Walk and Art Constitutional events. Through our artBURST programming we have supported over 80 local artists and attracted thousands of neighbors to our business district to engage in the arts. Additionally, this November we helped fund a pop-up shop at Bridge City Kid organized by Alshiref Design + Print, which features awesome local artists!

Empowered small business owners
Since 2014, we have granted $137,000 to businesses for storefront improvement projects. We also partnered with MESO and Bizzy Lizzie Social Media Marketing to provide coaching and support to businesses, particularly those owned by individuals who have been traditionally marginalized.

Provided essential resources to low-income neighbors
We distributed over 13,000 clothing items to over 800 neighbors in need through our community clothing closet. Additionally, we distributed $15,608 in fresh fruits and vegetables to neighbors participating in our food equity programs at the Farmers Market.

Connected community members to local jobs
Our local jobs board received over 400 visits per month. We also partnered with Worksystems, Prosper Portland, and IRCO, to fund a Workforce Navigator position that is based at our office. Josie, our Workforce Navigator, provides one-on-one coaching and support to neighbors looking for a job.

Served as a hub for neighborhood engagement
We engaged 59 community volunteers in our work! We also hosted the neighborhood leadership forum at our office, providing regular professional development training and gathering space for a dozen of our neighborhood leaders. On top of that, we fiscally sponsored 3 amazing community happenings - the St. Johns Bizarre, Celebrate North Portland, and the St. Johns Museum.