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A Resource Fair like this one not only helps residents find services, but also sometimes find jobs

DAVID F. ASHTON - Nathaly Pretell, a Worksource Portland Metro Worksource Navigator, helps a guest learn about available employment programs. It isn't unusual for organizations to hold 'resource fairs' – but, holding such an event outdoors on a cold day on November 20, was a bold concept. Fortunately, it didn't rain; but the sun did little to warm the chilly breeze that swept through the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood.

The parking lot of the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) Outer Southeast Branch, just west of S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses, was closed off, and tables were set up for representatives from 22 State of Oregon and City of Portland agencies – as well as folks from local nonprofit organizations – all of them ready to provide information and referrals to services for attendees of the fair.

ODHS partnered with the newly-renamed Portland Office of Community & Civic Life, and the Portland Bureau of Transportation, in presenting the Resource Fair. However, when asked, lead representatives of all three host organizations declined to speak with THE BEE about the fair.

Several representatives of guest organizations at the event did speak with us, however, and agreed that they understood its purpose was to provide information and resources available to ODHS clients and neighbors, and were happy to be invited to present.

"This is great; I've gotten good information about getting a job, and being safe during an earthquake," said attendee Janelle Jackson. "I'm so glad I found out about this."

Although attendance at the fair appeared to be light, the word is – unofficially, you understand – that the organizers plan to hold another, similar event somewhere in the city in the late spring or early summer of 2020.


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