Thursday, June 30, 2011

Portland's Homeless Street Count results released

Back in January, the city did its biennial street count and recently released the results. Not surprisingly the levels of homelessness in Multnomah County have increased over the past couple years. Nearly 3,000 people were counted as "literally homeless" for the one night, an increase of 7-9% from the 2009 count. The count gives us a broader picture of what homelessness in Portland looks like and what the needs are, but there are some "hidden" populations that don't show up in the report.

Many of the youth p:ear serves are couch surfing, staying with friends or cycling on/off the streets. As they were not literally homeless on the night of January 26th, those youth are not in the count. Expanding the definition of homelessness to its broadest (including those who are couch surfing or in temporary housing), the report estimates the number of homeless folks in Portland to be closer to 15,000.

As the City of Portland is over half-way through its 10 year plan to end homelessness, it will be interesting to see how the results and information from the Street Count effect and guide the way we address homelessness.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

First Thursday

#Royal Wedding

The Trim/Vojdani Gallery at p:ear presents:

Jacob Perkins & p:ear Youth Artists

Opening Reception: Thursday, July 7th, 6-9pm

On Display: July 7th - July 31st, 2011

Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Friday 10-2pm, or by appointment

Creating a marriage between high and low art, Jacob Perkins exposes us to, #Royal Wedding. This series builds a cohesive relationship between the techniques and ideologies of all perspectives with editorial comic qualities. Perkins' composition and color has an impeccable ability to form a reaction amongst the viewer, as he highlights unfavorable trends or groups. Join p:ear this First Thursday in celebration of the simple power of a statement with live music and more!

Live Wire's Courtenay Hameister talks about p:ear programs

We're fortunate that so many talented members of the community donate their time in support of p:ear's programming. During a recent interview with Street Root's Joanne Zuhl, Live Wire host Courtenary Hameister discussed a writing group she did a p:ear:

J.Z.: You’ve gotten involved in the homeless front, doing an event for p:ear a few years ago.

C.H.: I did, and I got to go in one time for a writers group with some of the teen-agers there, and I got to sit in with them, and I got to read some of their stories and talk to them, and that was an amazing experience. And I was just blown away by the talent and how genuine these kids were and how much potential they had. It was just extraordinary. The work that p:ear does is unbelievable. I was really lucky growing up. I was slightly upper-middle class, and so I never had to deal with being afraid of not having a place to live, but I do know that had I not had a creative outlet, I don’t know what would have happened to me. I very well could have taken all that neuroses and allowed it to feed on itself instead of sending it out into the world. I think that all of our fears inside of us can just grow to be gigantic, and as soon as we speak them, they shrink. So an outlet like p:ear for these kids, it’s a place, for people to go and have that recognition — that there are people like me, and we matter. If that person matters, then I matter to.

You can do what Courtenay did! Contact to learn about volunteer opportunities and share your skills.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gilt Club raises over $500 for p:ear

The Gilt Club has been donating proceeds from dinner every last Thursday of the month to p:ear, and has raised over $500 to date! Thanks for supporting a fantastic local restaurant AND p:ear. The next dinner donation date is June 30th. Make your reservations and come hungry!

Monday, June 20, 2011

p:ear stories

From a former p:ear youth, inspired by the photography program and creative environment at p:ear to set up her own photography business and website.

To the dedicated members of p:ear,

I would like to thank you, more than I can possibly explain, for the kindness and welcoming you offered me for many years as a homeless youth in Portland, Oregon. I was once a regular at the center, and those days spent creating art with your ample resources did more for my emotional growth than any amount of money could have. Warm food, warm people, and a warm place to create was often all that kept me going through some of those cold lonely days. I just passed my 21st birthday and thought I might express my gratitude at this point. It's been four years now since I last walked through your doors or stood in your gallery, but those moments still bring me warm fuzzies. Had I never found your help, I may have never discovered my passion for photography. Had I never found your help, I may have never discovered my self worth.

I would not be the person I am today without you.

Please accept my thanks, and kindly glance over the "about me" section of my website to find mention of your support:

Kind regards,


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How to address homelessness? OPB tackles the issue

Recently the new Bud Clark Commons (offering housing, shelter and a day center) opened up just down the street from p:ear, and just this morning OPB's Think Out Loud tackled the issue of how we should think about and start to address the issues(s) surrounding homelessness. At p:ear, our transitional housing program is an all encompassing program designed to help young people not only find stable housing, but learn to how "live" in stable housing which means a long-term commitment from both the staff at p:ear and the youth. Success comes about from both inner strength AND a strong supporting structure.

There's an interesting discussion over at OPB about Portland's ten year plan to end homelessness and other topics. Join the discussion here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A special thank you to the Community 101 class at David Douglas High School

p:ear received a grant from the students in the Community 101 class at David Douglas High School, and transitions coordinator Rodolfo Serna not only accepted the check but also performed a Lakota thank-you chant. Watch his performance below.

Monday, June 13, 2011

p:ear Youth Sings about an Educational Revolution

PORTLAND, Oregon – Thursday, June 9th 2011 – The 4th of July celebrates the independence our nation achieved through revolution. On July 4th, 2011, at 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the p:ear headquarters on 338 NW 6th Ave, p:ear youth Kayla Stone, recipient of the city sponsored Youth Action Grant, invites you to join her and several other performers for a free music, food and poetry event to share in the celebration of a revolution she sees just as imperative to our nation’s success: an educational revolution.

The Problem

As a result of the budget crisis, funding for educational programs that Kayla loved was cut. “All of a sudden we weren’t going on field trips”. However, unlike many that see such cuts, complain about the cuts and do nothing, Kayla was motivated. “You can’t just bitch and not do something”. What Kayla discovered was that there are many resources for people that are willing to work a little. “Students need to know about the grants that are available to sustain their schools and fine arts programs”. Unusually resourceful, Kayla attended grant-writing classes, applied and was awarded the Youth Action Grant to make Multnomah County a better place to live.

Kayla’s Quest

With this grant seed money in hand, Kayla has set out on a most noble quest; to educate others and bring them together to fix and save what she sees as incredibly important; an educational system that builds upon synergies, increases awareness, and promotes the work of inspirational teachers. On July 4th Kayla is celebrating the kick-off of her mission to bring many educators and students together. “We are barely brushing shoulders with one another,” says Kayla. As a result she feels we are all working on our own little projects and programs instead of looking outward to see how we can all work together. “Building an ant hill happens quickly because they (the ants) are all working together”. Kayla’s big dream has garnered attention from some big names; CaffĂ© Vita, Outside In, KBOO Radio, and New Avenues for Youth are all participating in her event on the 4th.

The Party

Kayla, quoting Emma Coleman said “You can’t have a revolution you can’t dance to” and so on July 4th, the band Lady Liberty – of which Kayla is a member – will be performing. Youth from Guerilla Theatre, a peer education program based at Outside In, will unveil a mural that will be on display at Outside In’s clinic. Aztec dancers will also present as a reminder of our heritage. But it isn’t a party without food, particularly on the 4th of July so at this free event attendees can expect complimentary BBQ and non-alcoholic beverages. Be warned though, everyone is expected to mix and mingle and determine how they can do their part to build a more sustainable and inspiring educational system. Talk about a revolution.

Event Specifics

The Educational Revolution will occur on Monday, July 4th at 6:00 pm at the p:ear headquarters located at 338 NW 6th Ave. Food and beverages are complimentary and the public is invited.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Holcombe Waller's Sponsor Song from p:earblossoms 2011: ALCHEMY

p:ear blossoms 2011 – ALCHEMY Sponsor Song by Holcombe Waller sung to the tune of Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne" (play video below for tune)
p:earblossoms takes you down to Left Bank, near the river
You can savor Alma Chocolates, sip Champagne by Argyle Winery And you know Pippa's half crazy but that's why you wanna be here As we feed you plates prepared by Le Cordon Blue and Eleni's Estiatorio Courtesy of Whole Foods Market Java Jacket, and King Harvest, oh They get you on p:ear’s wavelength, yeah These in-kind sponsors answer that you've always been p:ear's lovers
[CHORUS] Widmer beer and New Deal Vodka Drink 'em down 'til you are blind And you know you'll give Pear money Cuz we've touched you've perfect bodies with our in-kinds
Now Tim Parsons was a sailor when he infused your rhubarb cocktails TScott Media spent long time watching interviews with p:ear's young mentee's Cuz when p:ear knew for certain how these homeless kids would need them p:ear said all ye shall be sponsors ‘til our services can free them So KZME ran the web ads, SmartTech AV brought the tech gear On Pointe credit gave cash money Alchemy Jewelers made a gold pendant from ruby stone [CHORUS] And you’ll want to bid up the auctions Oh, you'll want to donate blind sipping Wines from Dalla Terra, as Random Order touches your perfect palettes with their pies
Soon Poison Waters will take your hand, she will lead you to the after-party Bunches and Bunches made fresh cookies Caffe Vita brings espressos Holy Kakow spiked martinis as you'll mingle with performers Who'll have shown you where to look among the garbage and the flowers TO BE heros in the seaweed TO THE children in the morning They are leaning out for love Lest they lean that way forever Help p:ear mentoring hold the mirror [CHORUS] See you already want to give more money Now you want to donate blind thanks To all this evening's sponsors Who will touch your perfect bodies Yes you know you'll donate thousands For we've touched your perfect bodies with our in-kinds

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Students4Giving + p:ear

PCC's Students4Giving, a fantastic course created to educate and empower the next generation of philanthropists, recently awarded p:ear one of its four yearly grants. Over the course of the year, students reviewed nearly 30 organizations, making site visits and reviewing all the nuts and bolts before deciding on the recipients.

We're so pleased to have been part of this process in Students4Giving. Each year the students raise their granting money through an online auction, which you can check out here.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Focus on p:ear partner: Rejuvenation

For a small, entrepreneurial organization like p:ear community partners are essential for program support and keeping the lights on. For the past year, Rejuvenation has supported p:ear's work by donating proceeds from various events such as their recent lecture on Robert Rummer and from their grand re-opening last November. Why would a lighting and hardware store care about homeless youth? After being connected to p:ear through board member Peter Bro, Nicole Curcio Rejuvenation's public relations and events specialists, explains why Rejuvenation decided to support p:ear:

Rejuvenation has always been active in the Portland community and made donations to organizations that help support vibrant, sustainable communities where our employees and customers live and work.

During our first meeting with Pippa, her passion for the kids and creating long-lasting mentoring relationships was infectious, and partnering with them seemed like an obvious choice. What I find most impressive about p:ear is that it is a grassroots, hands-on group of people who really believe in what they’re doing and it shows.

We are so thankful for both Rejuvenation's support and donations!