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October 23, 2014     
hope. access. potential
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Michael BuonocoreMichael Buonocore

Our New Executive Director Steps into the Job

On October 1, Michael Buonocore became Home Forward's executive director, replacing Steve Rudman who early this year announced his retirement from the agency. The board of commissioners selected Michael, who had been the agency's deputy executive director since 2012, after a national search
Following is a message from Michael:


Those of you who know me know that I’m an awful lot like Steve Rudman, our former executive director, and nothing like him at the same time. We part ways on fashion sense, the introvert / extrovert scale, and interest in sports. We both love to laugh at ourselves, and we know the value of surrounding ourselves with smart, driven people.

Most important, we share a passion for this work. As we prepare to say so long to Steve after 13 years at the helm of Home Forward, I am already eager to see what's next for him. First, a well-deserved break and some traveling. After that, I know I'm one of many who hopes to welcome him back into the good fight for affordable housing and a better community for all.  Rest up, pal.

Meanwhile, I couldn’t be more honored and excited to be in my early days as the new executive director of Home Forward. If you’d like a sense of where I want to lead us, I’m proud to point you to where we’ve been: you can read our first report to the community on our strategic operations plan here. We’re just getting started.

A key dimension of this plan is our role in the community’s efforts to end homelessness. We’re proud to link arms with our jurisdictional and service partners to coordinate our resources better, to create goals we all focus on, and to advocate for the funding needed to end homelessness again. The desperate situation we see on the streets today hasn’t always existed in this country, and it doesn’t have to continue.  We can do better, and we will.

Thank you for all of your support in this transition. The board, staff and I are energized and hopeful for the future, and we look forward to shaping it with you. Roll up your sleeves with us, and let’s get started.

Learn more about Michael>
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Meyer Memorial Trust Grants Aid Housing Choice

Thanks to this Oregon trust and its refreshed focus on affordable housing, participants in the Housing Choice Voucher program across Oregon will have an easier time finding a home.  MMT recently awarded $308,781 in private housing grants to increase voucher holders’ access to private market rentals.  Home Forward, working on behalf of the Oregon Housing Authorities association, received $60,773 to assist in the creation of a toolkit and training series for housing authorities statewide.  The agency will collaborate with the other housing authorities receiving grants, as well as Multifamily NW and the Oregon Law Center, which also were funded for participation in the outreach and education efforts.  

"We are grateful for the scope of these grants from Meyer Memorial Trust.  They will go a long way in helping to ensure the success of the new state legislation that increases housing choice for our voucher holders,” said Jill Smith, Home Forward's chief operating officer.  The Oregon legislation requiring landlords to accept applications from persons receiving Housing Choice Voucher assistance went into effect in June of this year.

Learn more about the Meyer Memorial Trust awards>

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New Apartment Community Focused on Recovery

photo of Beech Street ApartmentsPhoto by Jeremy Bittermann

Strong Need for Beech Street Apartments in Northeast Portland

​This summer saw the joyful opening of our new apartment community dedicated to helping individuals and families in recovery.  The apartments, which were fully leased within two months of opening, are co-located with the Center for Hope and Recovery, a residential treatment facility owned and operated by LifeWorks NW.  Home Forward and the non-profit partnered on the development.

To be eligible for the alcohol and drug-free apartment community, residents must be actively participating in a substance abuse recovery program.  The 32 spacious one, two- and three-bedroom homes allow families to reunite in an environment that supports their continued health and success.  The community has a courtyard with a playground, computer lab, bike storage, and a meeting room for gatherings.

Learn more about the development>

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View the Dashboard Report here


PORTLAND TRIBUNE: Portland has a dream

THE OREGONIAN: Home Forward promotes deputy Michael Buonocore to executive director

THE OREGONIAN: New children's center in SW Portland designed to help area "reboot" relationship with poor residents


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