An Oregon Solutions team of PSU students and volunteers led by National Policy Consensus Center Senior Fellow Beverly Stein provided facilitation and consulting services during the early phases of the Oregon Business Council’s Poverty Reduction Task Force in cooperation with ECO Northwest. The task force developed an integrated framework to address poverty that included the following:
- Supporting community efforts to address poverty using Oregon Solutions
- Advocating for legislative changes
- Providing input to the Governor
- Designing and implementing innovative solutions to poverty
The task force aims to reduce poverty in Oregon from 17 percent to less than 10 percent by 2020 by building pathways for jobs, preparing people to work, building social capital in communities with concentrated poverty, and improving the poverty safety net. The task force works with community partners, including Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, United Way, Latino Network, Children First for Oregon, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Oregon Solution’s assisted with a range of task force work, including the following:
- Creation of #everyoneIn, a United Way collaboratory. #everyoneIn is an outgrowth of the Prosperity Design Lab that was sponsored by the Governor and the Oregon Business Council’s Poverty Task Force. #everyoneIn hosted a Community Design Pitch to encourage innovative ideas for utilizing technology to address poverty in Oregon.
- NPCC publication of “Communities of Concentrated Poverty: A Proposal for Oregon” (housed on the PDX Scholar website) and publication of “Underutilized Federal Benefits” (PDF).
- A presentation at Portland State University by Bob Friedman, Founder and Chair Emeritus of the Corporation for Enterprise Development. Friedman’s “Race, Wealth, and Opportunity” presentation was sponsored by NPCC and the Oregon Business Council. He described the importance of assets as a means for getting out of poverty, and described how child savings accounts could help break the cycle of poverty. Read an article on the Business Tribune website to find out more about Friedman’s visit.
The Poverty Reduction Task Force was funded by a grant from the Northwest Area Foundation for three years and is now continuing with funding from Providence Health and Services. Oregon Solutions has completed its work with the ongoing task force.
Learn more about the Poverty Reduction Initiative at the website of the Oregon Business Council.