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Portland, OR

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Entrepreneurship and improved economic resilience

Description: To support the local economy in Portland's St. John's district, the City's Office of Planning and Sustainability launched a volunteer businesses ambassador program. City staff trained volunteers to act as boosters, who helped local businessowners connect with one another. They developed a business inventory and organized focus groups with residents -- including older adults -- to create a civic engagement framework. Project organizers also engaged in placemaking efforts to increase foot traffic. One such project involved creating a mural in the nearby Albina neighborhood. The artwork depicts residents of all ages spending time in a local park. Additionally, the boosters developed plans for a new pocket park.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Grantees

Portland, OR

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Inclusive transportation solutions

Description: This pilot program taught Chinese-speaking elders to use smartphones to access information about bus schedules, routes and fares. APANO held three hands-on workshops in the Jade District, one of the most diverse areas of Portland. The neighborhood is home to the city's busiest bus route, which serves a housing complex for older adults. APANO navigators worked with youth leaders fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese to teach participants to use the local transit agency's TriMet app, as well as Google Maps. Workshop organizers hoped to reach 50 participants but the first training alone welcomed more than 70 people. Organizers also led practice trips to locations important to workshop participants. APANO reports that building confidence in public transit helped stave off food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, as older adults were able to travel by bus to obtain culturally specific grocery staples.

Portland, OR

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Addressing community health

Description: This project created four COVID-19 Asian Response Teams to conduct outreach to community members at high risk during the pandemic. Made up of community health workers and behavior health counselors, each team's members were proficient in a different language. This allowed the Asian Health Service Center to provide over-the-phone counselling services, wellness checkups and basic emotional support in Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese and English. In additions, the teams provided up-to-date COVID safety information and delivered culturally relevant groceries to participants. when vaccinations became available, the outreach teams pivoted to provide accurate information to clients in their native languages.

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