Catholic Sentinel photo by Clarice Keating
Archbishop John Vlazny and Matt Cato (second from left, bottom row) with recipients of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development grants.
Clarice KeatingThe Archdiocese of Portland honored recipients of the 2012-‘13 Catholic Campaign for Human Development grants with a banquet. Archbishop John Vlazny and Matt Cato, director of the diocesan Office of Life, Justice and Peace, congratulated the three Oregon organizations that received national grants and six programs that will get a boost from local grants.
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The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is the Catholic Church's domestic anti-poverty program. The campaign assists local anti-poverty groups in organizing programs by and for poor and marginalized people. Grant applicants are assessed on their ability to find solutions to local problems and to improve local economic conditions.
Cato pointed out during the presentation that poverty is not a lack of hard work, effort or skills, but societal factors like societies attitudes toward people of color, the poor, the unborn, uneducated and mentally ill.
“Here tonight are the communities who organize to change these social sins,” Cato said. “We applaud them. We thank them for their passion and their work to rid our Oregon of poverty and injustice.”
The Campaign funds programs that respect human life, foster human dignity and empower the disadvantaged to take control of their own lives by having and maintaining a strong voice in the organization's leadership (representing one-third to one-half of the decision-making body).
The project strives to bring about institutional change – addressing the root causes of poverty in the U.S. – through change to our culture, corporations, laws, stereotypes, or unjust social structure, or by creating an economic opportunity.
The three national grants were awarded to:
• Organization: Community Alliance of Tenants
Project: Housing Justice Program and Just Cause Campaign
Community Alliance of Tenants is an established community organization working on tenants' rights. It is the only membership-controlled, tenants-rights community organization in Oregon. Affordable housing that is safe and clean has always been a
This grant will fund CAT’s Housing Justice Program where low-income renters are organized to directly challenge unsafe housing conditions in members' buildings and new leaders are supported to guide important changes to housing policies.
• Organization: Hacienda Community Development Corporation
Hacienda Community Development Corporation was formed in 1993 in response to the declining standard of living among Hispanic immigrants in Portland's lower-income communities. Hacienda's mission is to develop affordable housing and build thriving communities in support of working Latino families and others in Oregon by promoting healthy living and economic advancement. .
The grant will fund the development of Portland’s first Latino Public Market, a co-operative established by 30 low-income Latino entrepreneurs.
• Organization: MACG Vision
Project: Latino Organizing Project
MACG Vision is a subsidiary of Metropolitan Alliance for Common Good formed to outreach to institutions that represent a majority of low income, minority, or underserved populations.
This grant will fund MACG Vision’s outreach to Latino members of metropolitan Catholic parishes to build relationships with the intention of seeking opportunities for bringing about institutional change that affects the Latino immigrant population. The targeted populations – Latinos and the diverse East Portland residents are poor. Hispanic household median income is 30% less than white households yet the voices of these Hispanic households are rarely heard.
The six local grants were awarded to:
• Organization: Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon: Interfaith Food and Farm Partnership
Project: Rockwood Community Voices for Food Justice
The goal of the Rockwood Community Voices for Food Justice program is to build the capacity of low-income residents of the Rockwood neighborhood of Gresham for improved access to healthy, affordable food through organizing and leading a grassroots food assessment. This grant will partially fund this assessment, which will be lead by a Neighborhood Assessment Team composed of low-income community members.
• Organization: Huerto de la Familia (The Family Garden)
Project: Cambios (Change) Micro-Development Program
Huerto de la Familia works to expand opportunities and training in organic agriculture and business creation to families with the least access, but who have great potential to benefit.
This grant will partially fund the Cambios Micro Development Program, which offers business training and business counseling to Spanish-speaking individuals who want to create or enhance food and farm businesses.
• Organization: New City Initiative
Project: New City Kitchen
The mission of the New City Initiative is to build bridges between the faith community and the non-profit, business, and public sectors towards the goal of ending homelessness.
The New City Kitchen, a social enterprise in collaboration with Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and DePaul Industries, will train 20 workforce trainees through a 100-hour program at Ecumenical Ministries’ Patton Kitchen, and then placing them in “workplace internships” with local food service employers.
The grant will help develop a catering arm of the New City Kitchen.
• Organization: OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon
Project: Bus Riders Unite and East Portland Bus Stop Project
OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon is a grassroots community-based organization working to educate, engage and empower low-income communities of color to build leadership and capacity to effectively participate in the civic process to protect their community health and interests.
CCHD funds will be used to support OPAL’s Bus Riders United! membership program and transit justice campaign work, focused specifically on leadership development and the East Portland Bus Stops project.
• Organization: San Martin de Porres
Project: Social Justice Ministry/Community Outreach
The majority of the parishioners of San Martin de Porres Catholic Church are low-income Latinos living in rural Oregon. San Martin's Social Justice Ministry advocates for the Latino immigrant community by providing the knowledge regarding local resources, civil rights, and leadership skills necessary to become contributing members of society.
The grant will fund an annual immigration conference, intended as an educational event for both the Latino and Anglo communities; citizenship/civic classes to benefit current residents in our community seeking to gain citizenship; Know Your Rights workshop to educate its community regarding their constitutional rights and what to expect when encountering government immigration or law enforcement officials.
• Organization: Salem-Keizer Coalition for Equality
Project: Parent Organizing Project: Leadership Development
Salem-Keizer Coalition for Equality organized in the Latino migrant community to develop meaningful parental involvement to increase the graduation rate for, and educational outcomes of, low income and minority students in Salem-Keizer.
The grant will partially fund continued training of nine new parent facilitators and providing professional development opportunities for its seven-member senior facilitation team.