WeShine Initiative is a nonprofit corporation formed by a grass roots group of neighbors from several northeast and southeast neighborhoods working together to help find better solutions for people experiencing houselessness in Portland. Our goal is to site transitional micro-villages in participating neighborhoods, with start-up and operational funding from the Joint Office of Homeless Services and the City of Portland, as well as other grants and donations. 

WeShine stands for Welcoming, Empowering, Safe Habitation Initiative with Neighborhood Engagement.


We were mobilized by the need for neighborhoods to engage in positive productive action to be part of the solution to houselessness — to offer hospitality rather than hostility — as well as a supportive pathway to affordable permanent housing. 

WeShine is addressing the homelessness crisis by building a new model of  supported micro-village on leased private property, in residential neighborhoods, with wraparound services and robust volunteer engagement. Our dream is that other neighborhoods will join us in this work and establish WeShine micro-villages throughout many Portland neighborhoods.  

Contact us at info@weshinepdx.org

Here are some of the people that make up WeShine. If you would like to join forces with us please join our list here or contact us and see how you can fit in!



Janet (Jan) McManus, LMSW, Executive Director

Janet (Jan) McManus, LMSW is a social worker and social services innovator with more than 45 years’ experience in special needs housing development, crisis intervention and adult protective services, program development and management, long term care, service coordination, and organizational administration and financing.  Jan lives in the Laurelhurst neighborhood. 


Valerie Ilsley, Board President

Retired real estate banker, member of Social Venture Partners and 99 Girlfriends, with an interest in providing administrative support to WeShine, particularly in the area of construction management.

Scott Robertson, Vice President

Scott is a civil engineer who has worked on transit projects in Portland for over 15 years as an inspector, design manager, and construction manager. Scott lives in the Rose City Park neighborhood

Randolph Carter, Treasurer

Randolph Carter, an educational consultant who specializes in diversity, equity and inclusion for schools and colleges and lives in the Sullivan’s Gulch neighborhood.  

Ruth Tadesse, Secretary

Ruth Tadesse is the nurse faculty for Adult Mental Health Project ECHO at OHSU. Ruth has a PhD in nursing from the University of Utah, and a masters in gerontology and a post-masters in psychiatric mental health practitioner from OHSU School of Nursing. Ruth specializes in mental health related to older adults including depression, delirium, and dementia. Ruth is also an interventionist on a research study called Tele-STELLA and meets with family caregivers to help them modify behavior that they find upsetting or distressing. In her free time, Ruth likes to spend time with her family and travel and learn about new cultures.

Andrew Kualaau

Andrew Kualaau, an addiction specialist who is working on his PhD and has frontline experience working in health care. Andrew has lived experience of houselessness and housing instability and lives in West Beaverton. 

Blair Loudat

Blair is retired from North Clackamas School District where she served as the Director of Technology and Information Services. She is currently an active member of Parkrose UCC, the location of the Parkrose Community Village. Blair is also a volunteer and former board member of SnowCap Community Charities.

Sue Gemmell

Sue Gemmell enjoys mentoring small, scrappy, humanitarian groups that are driven to make the world kinder and more equitable. She brings a human-centered, value-sensitive lens to her expertise in community engagement, program design and evaluation, strategic planning, and information system design.

Theo Hathaway Saner

Theo has extensive experience in both nonprofit and political settings and as a property manager works with low-income renters offering assistance to those facing challenges in meeting their rent obligations. Theo firmly believes that every individual has a fundamental right to access shelter, and a just society should strive to offer housing at a reasonable and fair price.

Belinda Green

Belinda Green has spent over 30 years in community non-profit organizations addressing needs of crisis management, medical and mental health concerns, and housing assistance. Her passions lie in program development, organizational change, and making communication accessible to everyone. She believes communities are strengthened by engaging all who live there. Belinda lives in NE Portland.

Advisory Council

Christine (Chris) Tanner, former board president

Chris Tanner is a retired nurse with decades of experience in teaching, community development and coalition building, grant writing, project management and community health. She has served on several boards of non-profits, and board member and  Chair of the Sullivan’s Gulch Neighborhood Association.  She is a founding member of the WeShine Board.

Dwight Jefferson, former board vice president

Dwight Jefferson is a housing and economic planner, formerly with the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. As a member of the bureau’s Anti-Displacement Action Plan team, he helped the City strategize how to protect Portland’s most vulnerable residents from being forced out of their homes and neighborhoods due to rising costs in the housing market.

Dave Weaver, former board president and secretary

Dave Weaver, is a co-founder of WeShine, a web designer, digital resource specialist and neighborhood volunteer with Kerns Neighborhood Association and  SE Uplift district coalition board president   davew@weshinepdx.org

Bruce Murray

Retired real estate banker and business consultant, member of Social Venture Partners, instrumental in the development of CASHOregon, a free tax-preparation program for low-income Oregonians. Bruce has a interest in providing administrative support to WeShine in the area of contract management.