Pathfinders of Oregon is saying goodbye to its founder, Sharon Darcy. Sharon started Pathfinders in 1993 to provide programming for adults incarcerated in Oregon’s prisons.
Sharon has launched numerous initiatives and filled multiple roles in her time at Pathfinders. In addition to her leadership role when Pathfinders first started, she worked with inmates in its cognitive behavioral program. When the evidence-based Parenting Inside Out program for incarcerated parents was developed by the Oregon Department of Corrections and the Oregon Social Learning Center, Pathfinders partnered with them to deliver the program.
Sharon has long been an advocate for children of incarcerated parents and participated in the early work done in Oregon to understand the issues and obstacles facing these often invisible children. Click here to read more about the wonderful work Sharon has done.
Pathfinders’ Executive Director, Dr. Joseph Tietz, expressed the sentiments of many in Portland’s social service community who have worked with Sharon over the years: “We thank Sharon for her amazing dedication and determination over the past twenty-three years. Under her leadership, Pathfinders grew from a tiny, two-staff person, grassroots effort into what it is today – a nationally recognized statewide organization.” Sharon plans to continue to advocate for children of incarcerated parents in her retirement.
Child Trends, an organization that works to improve the lives of children and youth through research, has just published a comprehensive report on how a parent’s incarceration impacts a child. As you might expect, these children face a range of obstacles. Children of ever incarcerated parents are at greater risk for having multiple adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) than their peers who have not had an incarcerated parent. The risks include living with substance abuse in the home, parental divorce, witnessing violence and living with someone who is mentally ill or suicidal. Having multiple ACEs increases the likelihood that a child will have difficulty in school and suffer from mental and physical health issues throughout his or her life.
Helping these children overcome the trauma of a parent’s incarceration and develop the resilience to lead healthy lives is important for our community. Child Trends recognized Pathfinders of Oregon as one of eight promising programs working with these children and families. Through our Center for Family Success and our Parenting Inside Out program, we help parents and children rebuild their families after incarceration.
Our partners at MetroEast Community Media recently produced a short video that highlights the important work of the Center for Family Success. The video gives an overview of the Center’s offerings and history, and features appearances by both staff and clients. We thank MetroEast for their collaboration and partnership!
Rock the Block – a free, fun, family-friendly festival – returns to Rockwood on Friday, June 27 and Saturday, June 28 to celebrate and strengthen this dense, diverse Gresham neighborhood.
Rock the Block was first held in May 2013 as a grassroots show of pride in Rockwood. After attracting more than 1,000 people last year, the event is back – and it’s bigger and better. More than 60 community agencies, 20 entertainment acts, and many sponsors will be represented at the two-day festival, to be held at the freshly painted Plaza del Sol at 18535 SE Stark Street in Gresham. The event is free and open to all.
Friday’s entertainment runs from 3-8 p.m., and features a free “Feast of Nations” community meal at 5:30 p.m.
Saturday’s activities run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will feature a kids’ parade at 11 a.m. and a free lunch that begins at 11:30 a.m.
Throughout the weekend, community members can make arts and crafts, play basketball, and enjoy acts that include stand-up comedy, soul music, and Aztec dance. Attendees can receive free health and dental screenings from Mobile Dental Clinic and The Wallace Medical Concern, and get plugged into free or low-cost services that range from bus passes to art classes. More than 60 government, non-profit, and business groups will provide giveaways, enroll residents in services, and answer questions about everything from how to find affordable housing to where to find the nearest farmer’s market.
“With exciting development and a lot of neighborhood pride, Rockwood is on the rise,” said Brooke Crews, who is planning the event for Pathfinders of Oregon. “The goal of Rock the Block is to bring neighbors together, get them connected to each other and to community resources, and celebrate a safe summer. The weekend is about fun.”
Rock the Block is organized by Pathfinders of Oregon, with sponsorship support from the City of Gresham, MetroEast Community Media, Multnomah County, SRM Architecture and Marketing, TriMet, and Wells Fargo. For more information, please see www.rockwoodnation.org.
ABOUT PATHFINDERS OF OREGON
Pathfinders of Oregon is a 501(c) 3 organization whose mission is to break the cycle of criminality. Pathfinders has taught programs within the Oregon Department of Corrections for more than 20 years. In the community it offers programs to families impacted by the criminal justice system and youth at risk for gang involvement through its Center for Family Success in Rockwood.
A recent Oregonian article detailed the results of a long-term study of Parenting Inside Out. Key findings are that after one year, PIO participants are less likely than non-participants to be re-arrested or to take part in criminal behavior. Participants display better attitudes than non-participants and are more likely to receive family visits.
To read the full article, please click this link: http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/05/post_149.html
Payless GivesTM Shoes 4 Kids, an annual giving program from Payless ShoeSource honored Pathfinders of Oregon with a grant for the second year. Pathfinders is among multiple charitable non-profit organizations representing all 50 US states, as well as Canada, Puerto Rico and 11 Latin American countries who received grants to help families buy new shoes for their children.
The Payless GivesTM Shoes 4 Kids grant has helped families throughout the year at several family shopping events. Many families chose to shop during the holiday season and participated in a group shopping trip to the Lloyd Center Payless ShoeSource store in Portland. Children ranging in age from tots to young teens enjoyed picking out new shoes. Choices ranged from boots for older children to tiny tennis shoes for toddlers. Grateful parents appreciated the opportunity to do something fun and good for their kids. For some families it was the first time every child in the family had new shoes at the same time.
In addition to the holiday shopping trip, other group shopping events for families were held during the year. In total, 100 $20 vouchers were given to families to purchase shoes for their children.
Pathfinders’ Center for Family Success operates in three locations in the Rockwood neighborhood of East Multnomah County. The Center has been providing services to families impacted by the criminal justice system since 2005. Services include helping families meet immediate needs for food and housing, parenting and early childhood support programs, employment assistance, family activities and advocacy. The Center works with families who have a parent in prison, jail or on parole or probation, helping them reunite and build successful lives.
In 2013, the Center for Family Success started its Rockwood Intercultural Student Experience (RISE) program for youth at risk for gang involvement. RISE students receive tutoring, homework support and participate in arts and sports activities after school.
2013 is the sixth year of the Payless GivesTM Shoes 4 Kids program. Although studies show that properly fitting shoes are important for children’s health and development, a striking number of children don’t own a pair of shoes that fit. Payless ShoeSource is working to remedy that problem here in Oregon.
RISE staff recently sat down with Community Hotline, a program of MetroEast Community Media, to discuss the program as well as the Center For Family Success and Pathfinders’ overall work in Rockwood.
Located at Plaza Del Sol (18535 SE Stark St., Portland, OR, 97233) on June 27th (3pm -8pm) and June 28th (10am – 4pm), Rock the Block is an engaging, family-oriented community celebration that shines a much-needed spotlight on the vibrant and diverse neighborhood of Rockwood for one jam-packed weekend. This is not your average festival! Rock the Block enables neighborhood residents to enjoy safe family fun, nutritious food, access and enroll in needed services, and change their environment for the better via positive social engagement, all in one space. Rock the Block provides a forum for the community to connect to youth activity and resource providers in the area and thrive on an ongoing basis.
We’re currently looking for volunteers to work two-hour shifts, entertainers to perform at the event, event sponsors, and in-kind donations! Whether you are from a social service organization, a small business or you’re a Rockwood parent interested in getting your children involved, there are many opportunities to be a part of this community celebration!
For more information, please check out RockwoodNation.org.
Please join us for the first annual “Safe Summer Rockwood” event to kick off the summer with a vibrant celebration of all that Rockwood has to offer! Pathfinders of Oregon is sponsoring this event in conjunction with I Have a Dream Foundation/Alder Elementary and the Maurice Lucas Foundation and with the the support of Reynolds School District, City of Gresham, and the Gresham Police Department.
Held on June 1, this will be a dynamic event featuring youth activities, entertainment, and community resources. We hope you will attend!
WHO: You! This event is open to all community members. Social service agencies, private businesses, Gresham Police and Fire Departments, Reynolds School District, faith-based community, Rockwood Neighborhood Association, etc. will all be in attendance.
WHAT: The “Safe Summer Rockwood Kick-Off Event” is a celebration of the community of Rockwood and will include various forms of entertainment, food, youth and family activities, health and resource information, opportunities for enrollment in ongoing activities and services, and more!
WHERE: Plaza Del Sol (18535 SE Stark Street Portland, OR 97233)
WHEN: Saturday, June 1st all day
WHY: To come together as a community to celebrate the beginning of a safe, active summer and to connect with ongoing positive activities, services and resources.
Pathfinders of Oregon is partnering with Black United Fund of Oregon to offer five college scholarships for youths whose parents are or have been involved with the criminal justice system. These scholarships are made possible by a special donation to Pathfinders and are available to Oregon and SW Washington students who will be college freshmen in the 2013-2014 academic year. Applications are due on March 22. Please visit Black United Fund’s scholarship info page for more details.