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A local charity devoted to help making living in Portland better seems to be having an impact

ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF - Its actually required by law to remove graffiti vandalism like this from private property in Portland! (But photograph it first, for the police to use as evidence for future prosecution of the vandals.) Now, thanks to nonprofit AdoptOneBlock, small businesses can receive some free equipment to help get it off. Earlier this year THE BEE published an article about "AdoptOneBlock", a nonprofit organization created to help clean up Portland's neighborhoods.

In January of this year, the number of blocks adopted for cleanup by citizens was 700. Today the number of blocks being cleaned up by volunteer neighborhood individuals – called Block Ambassadors – is nearly 6,000.

Residents in neighborhoods throughout Portland can sign up to receive free trash grabber sticks, a trash bucket or garbage bags, gloves, and "sharps" medical containers, all at no cost.

"AdoptOneBlock" founder and native Portlander Frank Moscow is proud of the growth and partnerships that have been developed in the last few months. "As of November 1, we were at 4,955 Block Ambassadors committed to consistently cleaning up over 5,823 square blocks."

And beginning in mid-November the organization made it possible for small businesses in retail business districts to adopt their "linear block", rather than a square block. One example of a "linear" block would be one side of Woodstock Boulevard between S.E. 44th and 45th Avenues.

In addition to the normal supplies as mentioned above, these small businesses will receive a graffiti removal kit, paint, and a paint kit, all delivered to their front door for free. The supplies for the businesses as well as the neighborhood Block Ambassadors are funded by grants from a variety of sources. "We have received grants from many different charitable foundations, as well as civic minded corporations – like Brainium, PGE, NW Natural, Melvin Mark, Downtown Development Group, Navex Global, and others – and many individuals who are interested in supporting a unique scalable solution to make our city cleaner and happier," Moscow explains.

A recent unique feature of "AdoptOneBlock" is its partnership with "1-800-GOT-JUNK". A neighbor must have "adopted" his or her block(s) in order to qualify for a free 800-GOT-JUNK pickup. The gathered litter must be in a public space, and bagged up. A "before" photo with precise location and contact data, and an "after" photo sent once the litter is picked up, are required for the free service.

For hazardous waste, liquids, or more challenging situations, Metro RID now has more teams available, and has shortened their response times. They can be reached online – www.ridpatrol.oregonmetro.gov – but removal of personal property is not included, and will be left onsite. Further instructions are available to Block Ambassadors on the "AdoptOneBlock" website.

Anyone not already a Block Ambassador can sign up, and receive materials and instructions for free, by going online – www.adoptoneblock.org


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