In-person community event connects residents with county, city resources.

COURTESY PHOTO: WOOD VILLAGE - Wood Village's 24th annual City Nite Out will connect governement agencies to the community, provide free food and activities for kids. Wood Village's City Nite Out event that connects residents to Multnomah County resources returns to in person from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, July 15 at the Wood Village Baptist Church, 23601 N.E. Arata Road.

"This will be the city's first big in-person event," Wood Village City Manager Greg Dirks said.

The event's main purpose is to allow community members to learn about the different county organizations, what resources they provide and how to connect with them.

The 24th annual City Nite Out will have informational booths from over 25 different organizations and governmental agencies, including the Multnomah County Sheriff's Department, TriMet and Multnomah County Elections Division.

COURTESY PHOTO: WOOD VILLAGE  - The City Night Out event will have many activities for kids like tractor rides and bouncy houses. On top of connecting residents to various government agencies, the event will also feature activities for kids of all ages, such as tractor rides, bouncy houses and obstacle courses.

The event will also have free food, music and other activities for the entire family.

A change to this year's programing is how the County Sheriff's Department is presented.

"We wanted to show what the Sheriff's Department actually does as opposed to just focusing on the tactical things they do," Dirks said. "Instead, we want to focus on building a stronger connection between our public safety officers and the community."

For Dirks, the event couldn't have come at better time. The strain of the pandemic exacerbated challenges that some agencies faced in outreach and accessibility to underrepresented or disadvantaged community members.

"With COVID, many agencies have seen staffing challenges, cuts to hours or being limited to appointment only visits," Dirks said. "It is really important that we can bring these agencies to one location so people can make those connections."

Last year's version of the event had local departments handing out informational pamphlets to people in their cars. "I feel like residents appreciated (last year's) event, but you could tell people missed seeing their neighbors," Dirks said. "Being able to bring this event back to in-person is just a nice feeling."

Wood Village partnered with the Multnomah County Sheriff's Department, Wood Village Baptist Church and PlayEast! to sponsor the event.

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