Letter: More about Parkside in Portland

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After reading the recent article by Randy Billings in The Forecaster, I hope to provide some additional information about the Parkside Neighborhood Center.

People’s Regional Opportunity Program manages several programs at the Parkside Neighborhood Center, at 85 Grant St. in Portland. Programs include the Night Light After-School Program for youth ages 5-18, Homework Help, Summer Lunch for Kids, Family Supper Night, Information and Referral Services, and Youth Employment Services in partnership with First Jobs/YAI and Goodwill. My job also involves coordinating Parkside Center events, such as community gatherings, meals and Giveaway Days. The Parkside Community Policing office, a PROP Head Start classroom, Portland Adult Education classes, Community Counseling’s East African support group, a Rwandan dance group, and Parkside Neighborhood Association meetings also are based in the center. While we collaborate regularly with organizations to serve as a “one-stop” hub for Parkside residents, it should be noted there is no organization called “Parkside Community Arts.”

With regards to Community Policing space, I am working every day with the community policing coordinator, the Parkside Neighborhood Association and with other stakeholders to brainstorm ideas to keep policing in the building. We are exploring options such as inviting a tenant to share the space with Community Policing, fundraising among Parkside residents and writing grants to fund the space.

 Thank you for your coverage of the work done by many organizations and residents for the good of the Parkside neighborhood.

Rachel Horton White, director
Parkside Neighborhood Center