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COVID-19 Risk Level for Multnomah County: High Risk

CARES Act Community Programs

The City of Portland is using CARES Act funds to support or amplify the services provided City bureaus and community partners. Below are summaries of the programs related to the Portland CARES Act.

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Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS)

Digital Divide

The Tech for Transformation program recognizes the essential role of digital connectivity in our lives and how the COVID-19 pandemic is growing the digital divide. This program is solving two problems: Many communities have limited or no access to reliable Internet, devices and training, and frontline organizations need new digital tools to build community during the COVID-19 response. Tech for Transformation works with trusted community organizations to distribute devices to provide access to the Internet, and develop culturally specific trainings to individual community members. Organizations eligible to apply for the program must primarily serve Black people, Indigenous people, people of color and people with disabilities among other individuals lacking technology access. Individuals can reach out to participating organizations for their distribution criteria. The application is in development with Digital Divide Work Group members.

Approximate Launch Date: 

End of August

App-Based Community Care Project (ABC Care)    

The App-Based Community Care project (ABC Care) is a community outreach project that engages people with disabilities, youth, elders, and family caregivers, with a focus on immigrant and refugee communities.

Participants will work with Oregon-based nonprofit CareWheels and the CareBank app to increase awareness and understanding of remote peer-to-peer care, opportunities for interdependent distanced caregiving, and future time-banking activities. BPS and CareWheels staff will engage community members and grassroots organizations in an iterative and accessible community outreach effort to improve the effectiveness of the CareBank app. The goal is to both meet the need of vulnerable populations and to build on existing assets within the community to provide interdependent peer care.  

Eligibility Requirements:

The program has two sets of participants: (1) Community based organizations (CBOs) that are led by and focused on Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) and communities that support people with disabilities; and (2) Community members who identify as youth, elders, family caregivers, and/or people with disabilities from BIPOC communities.

Although this project will partner with Somali-focused community partners, it is open to members who identify as BIPOC.

Outreach will be conducted by a BPS staff member in addition to grassroots group, Somali Empowerment Circle. Effective communication approaches will be imbedded in community outreach to ensure that often excluded people with disabilities have opportunities to engage in the project (e.g., people with visual and hearing impairments). Outreach will be conducted via social media, email and phone communication, and through additional communication by CBOs, project staff, and community members.    

Approximate Launch Date:

September 1, 2020

For additional information, please contact:

Alan DeLaTorre

Phone: (503) 260-2672

Email: Alan.DeLaTorre@portlandoregon.gov

Portland Housing Bureau

Visit PHB’s page for the latest information on CARES Funding Housing Assistance Programs.

COVID-19 Household Assistance Program (Bank Card)

This fund will assist households who have experienced a loss of income or who have increased health risks/needs due to COVID-19 by providing a one-time $500 bank card to those households.

Approximate Launch date:

Late October 2020

COVID-19 Rent Relief Program

The Portland Housing Bureau, the Joint Office of Homeless Services, Multnomah County’s Department of County Human Services, and regional housing authority Home Forward have banded together to deploy rent assistance to COVID-impacted households throughout Multnomah County over the next several months. Those funds include $25 million from the federal CARES Act.

$6.75 million of City CARES Act funds will be made available to community organizations serving BIPOC communities that were selected through a Request for Interest process which closed in August 2020. More information is available on the webpage for COVID Rent Relief Program (CVRRP) Expanded Partners.

Launch date:

October 1, 2020

Homeowner Financial Assistance

This program will provide financial assistance to at least 230 homeowners to prevent involuntary displacement due to impacts of COVID-19, with direct payments made to the creditor for delinquent accounts. Eligible expenses include but are not limited to, delinquent mortgage payments to bank or lending institution, Homeowner Association dues, homeowner’s insurance, and some utilities.

Launch date:

October 1, 2020

Mortgage Counseling and Navigation Services

Low Income homeowners will receive financial and foreclosure prevention counseling, and/or support in navigating CARES Act Mortgage Relief options from one of the listed culturally specific non-profit community partners that serve BIPOC communities. Please refer to the program details for the list of agencies.

Launch Date:

September 2020

Prosper Portland

Business Assistance

Prosper Portland will distribute the $15 million designated for small business, guided by the City’s Equity Toolkit and the knowledge that Black people, Indigenous people and all people of color have experienced the greatest impacts from the pandemic and need the most support. Using lessons learned in our March rollout of the Small Business Relief Fund, we plan to offer a longer application window, broader outreach, and an expanded equity-focused committee to inform criteria development and selection. We will announce the application process and eligibility requirements in the coming weeks. 

Approximate Launch Date:

We anticipate applications will open on September 1, 2020.