Tiny-house advocates honored with annual Spirit of Portland awards
The 2017 Spirit of Portland Award recipients include a handful of neighborhood activists and others who have tackled the tough challenge of services and help for homeless people.
This is the 33rd year of the awards, which honor those in the community who have contributed in a variety of ways. It culminates in a ceremony from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, at the IRCO (Immigrant and Refugee Community Center), 10301 N.E. Glisan St.
"This annual awards ceremony formally recognizes and honors some of Portland's most active and engaged community members for their outstanding contributions and hard work in the arts & culture, environmental, equity, and social justice issues. This year also we are recognizing those Standing Up for Love against Hate," Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said in a news release.
Winning the top award of Community Leader(s) of the Year was Terrance Moses, Lisha Shrestha, and Surya Joshi.
Moses is a 51-year-old retired military veteran living in North Portland's Kenton neighborhood who has been helping with operations at the tiny-home village for homeless women. There were 14 people living there but recently one woman left after finding permanent housing.
He's helped with insulating the pods ahead of winter as well as building other needed structures on the site, including a whole new office for a site manager.
He's built needed handrails, closed up an open common area so it can be used during winter and an addition for the women to have consultations with their case managers.
Going down there at least once a day every day for several hours depending on what needs done, Moses gets donations from the community to complete the projects, including funds from Catholic Charities, which manages the site, and Lowes, which donates material.
"I don't do it for any kind of accolade or award, but I will accept it," he said. "I do it because I have a passion for people and I always want to be mindful of that."
Also winning an award especially for work on neighborhood homeless issues was Jennifer Young of the Lents Neighborhood Association. Her Spirit Award came from Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
In the spring, Young helped organize a town hall where commissioners heard how the southeast neighborhood had been affected by homeless camps and RVs.
She recently testified in front of city council when they passed an ordinance banning the sale of derelict RVs.
Outstanding Individual and Organization Leadership Awards:
Community Leader of the Year: Terrance Moses, Lisha Shrestha, and Surya Joshi
Young Leader of the Year: Alisha Zhao
Elder Leader of the Year: Grace G.M. Eagle Reed
City Employee of the Year: Rick Best
Community Group/Organization of the Year: Trauma Intervention Program (T.I.P.)
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award: Rebekah Albert
Equity in Practice Partnership of the Year: EPNO Mobile Playgrounds Team
Access and Disability Justice Award: Cascade AIDS Project (CAP)
Sandy Diedrich Environmental Stewardship of the Year: Nestor Campos
Individual and Organization Awards from Council
Mayor Ted Wheeler: Rick Nitti and Unite Oregon
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly: Kathleen Saadat and The Raging Grannies
Commissioner Amanda Fritz: Katrina Holland and Good in the Hood
Commissioner Nick Fish: Wajdi Said and Rania Ayoub (Muslim Education Trust) and Sexual & Gender Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC)
Commissioner Dan Saltzman: Jennifer Young (Lents Neighborhood Association) and Oregon State Fire Marshall's Incident Management Team & Interagency groups deployed to contain and assist with the Eagle Creek Fire.