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social services | sustainability

Community Organization and Local Business Team Up to Promote Sustainability

Humans Solutions Inc, a non-profit in outer SE collaborates with Bamboo Lifesytles of annual fundraising gala.
Portland, OR—On February 24th at Human Solutions 8th Annual Gala guests will be whisked away on a international journey with the help of Robbe Hardnette and his African Drumming Group. The evening will consist of music, entertainment, four markets from around the world and international cuisine.

Much more than an event needing great music, the partnership was formed based on common visions for the community and goals of sustainability. At Bamboo Lifestyles located on 3321 SE Hawthorne Blvd, owner Robbe Hardnette, prides himself on promoting a sustainable way of life. He defines this into four categories "sustainability of the spirit, of community, of the environment and of one's finances" While the store's mainstay is selling bamboo flooring Robbe's real passion is his alliance with the community. He has created what he calls a "hybrid station within Bamboo Lifestyles for individuals who want their own business but don't have the resources." Local entrepreneurs whose business philosophies align with his own sell their products out of the store. This includes everything from clothing to coffee to greeting cards.

For Robbe when it comes to truly living a sustainable life, "education is key," which explains one of his newest initiatives to mentor students at Cleveland and Franklin High Schools to teach them not only about the music and entertainment industry but also about living a holistic lifestyle.

While Human Solutions isn't musically inclined, the organization promotes sustainability to the thousands of low income and homeless families they serve each year. "Our goal through our many services and programs is to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty by educating and empowering families," said Human Solutions' Executive Director Jean DeMaster. Through skill building classes, such as Budgeting, Parenting, Eating Healthy for Less, and Ready to Rent the organization strives for each family to become self sufficient and be able to sustain themselves and their loved ones without the need of public assistance. "Our commitment to self sufficiency for our families begins with education and is then complemented by other services such as affordable housing, homelessness prevention, employment training and our Children's Program, "said Jean.

Similar to Robbe's mentoring of high school kids, Human Solutions' Children's Program relies on mentors to provide a positive role model in the lives of thousands of children, working closely with them to instill confidence, self-worth and to dare them to dream. The program which features field trips, after school programs, homework clubs and community activities "works to break the cycle of poverty by giving children a solid foundation, exposing them to experiences they wouldn't otherwise have had and by giving them the tools they need to be both sustainable and successful," said Resident Services Coordinator Fran Weick.

Though the drumming is slated to last from 6:30-9:30 pm on February 24th, the rhythm of sustainability is sure to resonate throughout the community long after the event is over.

Human Solutions is a non-profit organization that has served the low-income and homeless in Multnomah County for nearly two decades. In the last year we have assisted 71,000 families with affordable housing, skill development and family support services. Two thirds of those we help are children. We offer a continuum of programs designed to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty and ensure that each family becomes self sufficient.

Contact: Kristin Pimlott

homepage: homepage: http://humansolutions.org
phone: phone: 503-548-0227