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North Clackamas Education Foundation solicits contributions to school district's Family Support Center

From Oct. 4 to Oct. 10, the North Clackamas Education Foundation will solicit contributions to the school district's Emergency Housing Fund.

COURTESY PHOTO - North Clackamas School District families can access the Emergency Housing Fund through the Family Support Center at the Wichita Center in Milwaukie. Families within the North Clackamas School District can access the fund through the Family Support Center at the Wichita Center in Milwaukie. Since 1992, NCEF has raised funds for programs benefiting NCSD students, teachers and families.

Each year, NCEF awards thousands of dollars in scholarships and enrichment project grants, as well as helping to subsidize the NCSD Family Support Center at Wichita's Food Pantry, Clothes Closet, Emergency Housing Fund and other services. However, the upheaval and economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have inspired NCEF leadership to change how they're executing their mission, both due to necessity and because they want to step up for the North Clackamas community during a time of extraordinary duress.

"The pandemic and wildfires have exacerbated the housing crisis we already had in Clackamas County," said NCEF Executive Director Stephanie Rose. "In order to truly be there for our students and their families, we're focusing on raising more money for the Emergency Housing Fund and Food Pantry at the Wichita Center, in addition to funding more distance learning projects and giving away larger scholarships."

The Emergency Housing Fund helps families who have students in North Clackamas schools with one-time rent and utility bill payments. Families who lack the money needed for a security deposit can also apply for assistance from the fund.

COVID-19-driven gaps in employment, combined with unemployment benefit shortfalls, have led to an increase in Emergency Housing Fund requests, Rose said. As Oregon reaches the end of its extended eviction moratorium, she expects that applications to the Emergency Housing Fund will become even more frequent.

"Beyond a doubt, we've got to refill the Emergency Housing Fund and ensure it's regularly replenished," Rose said. "We collect money for it year-round through our website, but we'll also be holding quarterly fundraisers for it, starting the week of Oct. 4."

In addition to promoting the Emergency Housing Fund through their usual channels, NCEF will use their newly awarded Google Ads Grant to reach new audiences in the Portland metro area. Potential donors will be encouraged to give through NCEF's online donation portal, as well as via Facebook.

"Between our annual gala on Oct. 29 and our upcoming fundraiser at Black Rock Coffee, NCEF is busier than ever," said Rose. "However, refilling the Emergency Housing Fund can't wait."

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