Current VISTA Host Site Partners:
Bienestar, located in Hillsboro, Oregon, builds housing, hope, and futures for the wellbeing of Latinx, farmworker, immigrant, and other low-income families by developing, maintaining, and rehabbing affordable rental housing and providing culturally specific, bilingual services. Their community is majority Latinx, many of whom are immigrants and farmworkers and spans across the Portland Metro Area, including both urban and rural locations.
Historic Parkrose, located in Northeast Portland’s urban fringe, strengthens community vibrancy through equity and economic opportunity.
Home Forward, located in Portland, Oregon, works to assure that the people of the community are sheltered. Home Forward has a special responsibility to those who encounter barriers to housing because of income, disability or special need. Home Forward will continue to promote, operate and develop affordable housing that engenders stability, self-sufficiency, self-respect and pride in its residents and represents a long-term community asset. Home Forward will be a community leader to create public commitment, policy and funding to preserve and develop affordable housing. Our community is all of Multnomah County, including the cities of Gresham, Fairview, Portland, and Troutdale, and other East County communities.
JOIN is a lead organization in the community that creatively and collaboratively address issues like family homelessness, access to private market rental housing, culturally-responsive services, engagement with homeless individuals in organized camps and others. JOIN is one of our community’s best assets in the fight to ensure that all of our neighbors have access to a safe and stable home.
Meals on Wheels People enriches the lives of seniors and assists them in maintaining independence by making nutritious food, social contacts and other resources easily accessible. Their community spans across Multnomah, Washington and Clark counties and serves clients in urban, suburban and rural areas throughout the three counties.
The Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency (MWVCAA), located in Salem, Oregon, empowers people to change their lives and exit poverty by providing vital services and community leadership. Our community is a combination of urban and rural areas, focused primarily in Marion and Polk Counties.
NeighborImpact, located in Redmond, Oregon, was created to represent and serve Central Oregon’s economically-disadvantaged residents. They are the region’s leading provider of emergency food programs, housing and homeless services, energy assistance, home weatherization, childcare provider resources, early childhood education services, and self-sufficiency programs for the working poor. Their community is spread across Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, a mostly rural region that also includes Bend and Redmond.
Project Lemonade, located in Portland, Oregon, inspires self-esteem in foster youth through three signature programs: a store where foster youth shop for free clothes, a paid summer internship for foster youth and a WISH enrichment program. Our community is a vibrant urban environment.
Proud Ground, located in Portland, Oregon creates permanently affordable homeownership opportunities for low-income, first-time homebuyers. Their community is comprised of members of Proud Ground’s Community Land Trust, reaching both rural and urban communities throughout Oregon in Clackamas, Lincoln, Multnomah, and Washington counties.
The Rosewood Initiative, located on the Portland side of the Portland and Gresham border, does place-based community development; we connect and empower Rosewood neighbors to build a safe and prosperous, vibrant and inclusive community. Rosewood builds capacity in the neighborhood by helping people learn useful skills and by connecting friends, partners, and resources.
Unite Oregon is a statewide organization headquartered in Portland, OR. Led by people of color, immigrants and refugees, rural communities, and people experiencing poverty, they work across Oregon to build a unified intercultural movement for justice. Their community is located in Oregon’s largest and most diverse city.
Tananáwit began meeting in December 2013, when a dozen Warm Springs tribal members held an informal meeting about starting a cooperative. With so many community member artists, the group decided to focus on promoting Native art in Warm Springs. In April 2017, the group selected its name, Tananáwit: A Community of Warm Springs Artists, and in May 2018, The Tananáwit program attained its nonprofit status as an organization that provides educational and economic development opportunities by empowering our people and building knowledge and understand of traditional and contemporary Native art of the Columbia River Plateau.
The Warm Springs Community Action Team (WSCAT), located in Warm Springs, Oregon, promotes community development by empowering individuals and groups of people to realize their potential, become self-reliant, and affect positive change for themselves, their families, and their community. The Warm Springs Community Action Team is located on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, which covers 1,000 miles in rural Wasco and Jefferson counties.
Current Mercy Corps VISTA Projects:
The Community Investment Trust (CIT) builds the possibility to strengthen communities and create empowered lives. The CIT offers a long-term path to collective, communal ownership of real-estate for investors starting from $10-$100/month. The CIT is a pilot program of Mercy Corps and currently serves the community of East Portland.
The overall goal of the Community Resilience Team is to increase the resiliency of communities in the NW in the face of a major earthquake or major disaster. We also hope to increase resiliency in Mercy Corps staff and position Mercy Corps to effectively respond to a significant disaster in the region.
The Lifelong Information for Entrepreneurs (LIFE) program provides support to incarcerated individuals (“LIFE Inside”) and individuals returning to the community after incarceration (“LIFE Outside”) by administering a business and life skills training course inside prison and providing continued training and support after participants are released from prison. The 32 week, accredited LIFE Inside course empowers participants to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and leverages the potential of self-employment to promote resilience, and economic stability. The program currently serves women at Oregon’s only women’s prison, Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, and the program expanded in 2019 to serve men at the Columbia River Correctional Institution.
Mercy Corps Northwest’s Small Business Education Program provides classes, seminars and consulting by industry experts to help small business owners and entrepreneurs improve their skills and access the support they need to successfully start and grow a small business.
Mercy Corps Northwest helps build empowered, resilient communities in the Pacific Northwest through financial inclusion, education, advocacy and access to capital. They believe that everyone should have the opportunity to improve their life, especially those without ready access to resources. Mercy Corps Northwest is a part of Mercy Corps Global and serves communities in Oregon and Washington, largely in the Portland and Seattle Metro Areas.
Mercy Corps Northwest, Southern Washington Office — Vancouver, WA
Mercy Corps Northwest (MCNW) in Southern Washington supports disadvantaged entrepreneurs by empowering them through financial and educational resources. They work with Clark County community members to provide them with loans, grants, and training that meet their needs and empower them to be financially resilient.
The Mercy Corps Northwest (MCNW) office in Walla Walla, Washington supports low-income individuals in the Central Washington region achieve their entrepreneurial aspirations through our small business programs, including our Individual Development Account (IDA) program, Microloan program, business education program, and community partnership network.