Living Cully Memorandum of Understanding signed... PDF Print E-mail

2.25.2014. Today, Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East, Hacienda CDC, the Native American Youth & Family Center, and Verde finalized the Living Cully Memorandum of Understanding/MOU.

Approved by each organization's Board of Directors, and signed by each organization's Executive Director, the Living Cully MOU recognizes the Partners’ complementary core capacities within a framework of mutually-reinforcing activities. It sets out: Parties and Mission; Vision, Purpose and Scope; Mutual Responsibilities; and, Organization Responsibilities. Per the MOU, Verde is responsible for Leading Living Cully.

Please click here to read the MOU.

The MOU's development process reflects the strong, routine collaboration among the 4 Living Cully Partners:

  • NAYA’s Director of Operations & Finance proposed a Living Cully MOU during the development of the Living Cully Budget.

  • Verde presented the idea at the next Living Cully Partners meeting, where Hacienda CDC offered to share its MOU template with the Partners as a follow up task.

  • Habitat for Humanity used Hacienda CDC’s MOU template to develop the 1st draft of the MOU.

  • Verde revised the 1st draft, and these subsequent drafts were reviewed at Partner meetings and separately by each Partner’s staff.

  • Program Managers and Executive Directors met with their Boards and/or Executive Committees to share information about the MOU, answer questions, and ensure the MOU was on track for formal approval.

  • Each Partner’s Board approved the MOU in the same calendar month.
Biggest funding yet for Cully Park...!! PDF Print E-mail

2.12.2014. Very, very good news last night. City Commissioner Amanda Fritz announced a $1.25M allocation of System Development Charges for Cully Park.

This means we have raised nearly $3.7M (roughly 80%) of the funding needed to open Cully Park in the fall of 2015. By building Cully Park, we transform a brownfield into a new environmental asset that educates youth, provides local green job and business opportunities, restores habitat, improves water quality, creates open space, and establishes a replicable community-based model for Park development.

There is a great deal of thanks and credit to be shared on/for this occasion – to our hardworking nonprofit and for-profit partners, to our brave funders, to the many government agencies who have come to the table.

Briefly, we’d like to highlight the following:

  • Community residents and organizations. From students at Scott School, Rigler School, Community Transitional School and at Hacienda CDC’s Expresiones program, to the hundreds of adults that have participated in the Park’s outreach and design activities, to partners outside the neighborhood like Portland Community Reinvestment Initiative and the Urban League of Portland, to the steady, confident advocacy by the Cully Association of Neighbors and the Central Northeast Neighbors, we thank you. Special recognition to the Inter-tribal Gathering Garden Design Group and to all the gardeners at the NE 72nd Avenue Community Garden. You all made this happen.  

  • The City of Portland. Commissioner Fritz, her staff, and our strong partner Portland Parks & Recreation have stepped up to deliver the largest single investment in Cully Park, in support and celebration of our community-based model for Park development. To you, and to the many other City agencies that are making investments at Cully Park, we thank you. You all made this happen.

  • Living Cully. Let Us Build Cully Park! does not stand alone, it leverages additional environmental investments for Cully because it is a Signature Project in "Living Cully: A Cully Ecodistrict,” a collective impact initiative established by Habitat for Humanity, Hacienda CDC, the Native American Youth & Family Center and Verde. This award speaks to the power of the Living Cully model: the community set the agenda; Verde and its Living Cully Partners aligned systems and pursued resources in response to the community’s voice; and the resulting investment makes a real difference in the lives of Cully’s low-income people and people of color.

So, please join us in celebrating this great occasion and the good work of the many people and groups who made it happen.

Now: Let Us Build Cully Park...

Verde Energy returns with PCRI weatherization pilot PDF Print E-mail

1.6.2014. Verde is pleased to announce the return of Verde Energy, our weatherization social enterprise. Suspended in March 2013, Verde Energy returns in a new role: weatherization project developer, where we conceive, fund and implement weatherization projects in order to bring weatherization improvements to low-income households and to create contracting opportunities for minority-owned and woman-owned businesses.

Our first project in this new role is a weatherization pilot with Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives/PCRI. Formed in 1991 in response to a housing crisis in inner North and Northeast Portland, PCRI provides 700 units of affordable housing to low-income households, helping to address historical inequalities that manifested through neighborhood disinvestment.

The pilot project provides energy-saving weatherization measures and tenant education to 17 PCRI households, funded by NW Natural and by the Concordia Foundation (Princeton, NJ).

HELP Inc, a minority-owned/woman-owned weatherization contractor, installs the weatherization measures. Please click here to read PCRI's press release about the first 10 homes to be weatherized in the pilot project...

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