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.
WE SHINE was particularly motivated to organize in response to the Joint Office Of Homeless Services Request for Programmatic Qualifications in February of 2021.
Jan is a retired licensed (LMSW) social worker with over 45 years experience working with seniors and adults with disabilities as well as in creating a variety of affordable housing for special needs populations. She has developed single room occupancy hotel apartments, an assisted living center, an HIV care home and adult foster homes to serve those with long term care needs. She has lived in the Laurelhurst Neighborhood for decades and currently serves on the Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association’s Board of Directors.
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Dave is the vice chair of the Kerns Neighborhood Association and is on the board of SE Uplift as the Kerns representative. He runs a small web agency that builds websites and digital resources for nonprofits and small businesses.
Jennifer Coon is a Peer Support Specialist at Blanchet House, an active member of St Francis of Assisi Parish, and a neighborhood activist. Jenn has lived experience of addiction and being unhoused.
Andrew is working on his PhD in nursing at OHSU. He has worked at Hooper Detox as a treatment RN and with Portland Street Medicine. He also worked for a year in a long term care facility with behavioral health beds. He has personally experienced housing instability/homelessness as a child and young adult.
Randolph is the founder and associate director of the Eastern Educational Resource Collaborative. While at the National Association of Independent Schools he directed their equity programming and founded two of their signature projects. Randolph is involved in numerous other projects, boards and committees.
JoAnn is a 28 year resident of the Laurelhurst neighborhood. Recently retired, her background is in urban planning, project management and advocacy for older adults.
Daniel “DJ” Heffernan is a retired land use planner and management consultant. He chairs the Sullivan’s Gulch Land Use and Transportation Committee and authored the neighborhood plan. DJ is an avid cyclist, cross country skier, and fly fisherman.
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 formerly served as Chair of the Sullivan’s Gulch Neighborhood Association and currently serves as WeShine’s treasurer and chair of the Neighborhood Engagement and Outreach Committee.
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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.
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.
Retired attorney, Cindy literally co-wrote the book on forming and operating nonprofit organizations in Oregon, “The Oregon Nonprofit Corporation”. She is also a board member of the First Unitarian Church of Portland.
Director of the Oregon Center of Excellence for Assertive Community Treatment (OCEACT) and Director of Research and Evaluation, Options for Southern Oregon
Dave Brook is a retired transportation consultant, responsible for bringing carsharing to the US from Europe in 1998. Since moving to NE Portland in the 1990s he has been active in the affordable housing, low income energy and neighborhood associations. He is a long time Board member and is Chair of the Sullivan’s Gulch Neighborhood Association. He is also a member of the NE Coalition of Neighborhoods Board of Directors
Raven moved to Portland in December of 2019 and went to work with Street Roots as a vendor. In March 2020,she developed and ran their coronavirus action team. After writing the C3PO camp proposal with Kaia Sands, she became the camp’s medical program coordinator in its first few months of operation. She returned to Street Roots in September 2020 to develop the Ambassador Program. Raven spends most of her free time writing and planning new ways to advocate for those living out on the streets. As someone who lived through houselessness herself, she holds a passion for this work.
Martha is a long time resident and business owner in inner eastside Portland. She is a retired architect and is the co-owner of Ardea Corner, a small commercial development in Kerns.