HCDC photo
A housing project by Hacienda Community Development Corporation.
HCDC photo
A housing project by Hacienda Community Development Corporation.
The Archdiocese of Portland has announced that three local programs have been awarded national Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) grants totaling $165,000. The archdiocese also announced that local CCHD grants were awarded to seven programs totaling $30,500.

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development was established by the United States Catholic Bishops in 1970. The CCHD assists local anti-poverty groups in organizing programs by and for poor and marginalized people, which work to find solutions to local problems and to improve local economic conditions. The CCHD funds programs in communities across the United States to find ways to improve their lives and neighborhoods. The Campaign also provides for economic development initiatives, which assist poor and low-income people develop new businesses and develop assets that are owned by families and communities. The Campaign is supported by a special collection taken in Catholic parishes in November each year.

National CCHD Grants were awarded to:

• Hacienda Community Development Corporation: Mercado $65,000
Hacienda Community Development Corporation is working with a group of low-income Latino entrepreneurs to develop metro Portland's first Latino Public Market (the Mercado), owned and operated by a cooperative of the market vendors themselves. The Market is currently in a start-up phase.

Hacienda CDC's Micro-enterprise training program was founded with the support of two Catholic churches in Portland, St. Andrews and Holy Redeemer.

• Community Alliance of Tenants:
Housing Justice Program $55,000
Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT) is Oregon's only grassroots, tenant-led, tenant-rights organization. CAT educates, organizes and develops low-income tenants into community leaders to challenge unjust housing policies and practices and obtain safe, stable and affordable housing.

This CCHD grant will fund the Housing Justice Program's efforts to mobilize and empower low-income tenants in buildings with serious repair problems to win immediate improvements; work for long-term funding for affordable housing; developing leaders to initiate campaigns for improved protections for tenants; and develop a comprehensive response to unsafe housing.

CAT is important because it is the only organization focused on tenants’ rights, not leader-directed but a grassroots, membership-controlled, organization. It is the epitome of CCHD and Catholic principles of listening to the cries of the poor and empowering them.

• MACG Vision: Latino Organizing Project $45,000
MACG Vision is a subsidiary of Metropolitan Alliance for Common Good (MACG) and is charged with helping to diversify the membership base of MACG by identifying and recruiting potential member institutions that represent a majority of low income, minority, or otherwise underserved populations.

This CCHD grant will fund a Latino organizer, who will organize Latino members of current and prospective member institutions. This grant will also fund outreach efforts to current and prospective member institutions with low-income and/or minority populations, focusing especially on the diverse, low-income East Portland/East Multnomah County areas.

MACG Vision is the only established community organization with an identifiable faith-based‚ Catholic‚ element. Its organizing efforts are in the Latino communities of Catholic parishes.

MACG Vision applies the tools learned through training to change the culture of their parishes to ones that are based in strong relationships, shared leadership, and accountability among members. Routinely in Catholic churches, skills learned through leadership training are used to share stories and strengthen community relationships during Lenten Listening seasons, stewardship campaigns, and annual parish retreats.

Those receiving local CCHD grants are:

• Madonna's Center:
Teen Parents Finding Housing Solutions $5,500
This CCHD grant funds the teen parents' efforts to mobilize and to advocate for changes in public laws/policies regarding housing solutions for teen parents.

Madonna's Center is a uniquely-designed response in Clackamas County serving Madonna's Center serves teens (age19 and under) who are, "with child‚" and without essential family/financial support or not eligible for government-funded programs because of age/circumstances, and are assuming primary responsibility for parenting their children (age 3 and under) while also working towards self-sufficiency.

• Salem-Keizer Coalition for Equality:
Leyendo Avanzamos (Reading Together We Advance) $5,000
This CCHD grant will partially fund Leyendo Avanzamos, a parent-led, outcome-based family literacy project empowering low-income, Spanish-speaking parents of struggling or at risk pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first-, or second-grade students to become engaged in their children's school.

SKCE is located in Salem, with workshops in Corvallis and Southern Oregon.
Voz: Save the Center Campaign $5,000
CCHD funds will support Voz's efforts in its "Save the Center Campaign," mobilizing day laborers and community members to advocate the City of Portland government for a permanent solution for a Worker Center.

• OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon:
Bus Riders Unite $5,000
CCHD funds will support OPAL’s Bus Riders Unite (BRU) membership program, focusing on developing BRU's core leadership, membership retention, and membership-driven campaign work. This project seeks to educate and mobilize transit-dependent riders in East Portland to engage in a community-driven project to increase the accessibility, safety and connectivity of transit, and to build awareness of the connections between transit and positive health outcomes.

• Huerto de la Familia: $5,000
Cambios Micro Development Program
Thirty-percent of Oregon Latinos live below the Federal Poverty Level. The Cambios Micro Development Program offers business training and business counseling to Spanish-speaking individuals who want to create or enhance food and farm businesses and transition from laborers to business owners. Specifically, the program supports individuals in developing business plans, financial literacy, and marketing skills.

• NOWIA/Unete, Center for Farm
Worker Advocacy:
Latino Parent Education Project $5,000
The CCHD funds Unete's organizing efforts to improve educational outcomes for Latino students in the Medford School district. This program includes Parent Education, Peer Tutoring for Elementary through High school students, and parent leadership development, which gives parents the tools to advocate for their children in the public school setting.