Eboni hails from sunny Orange County California and some how found herself in not so sunny Portland. A Project Manager turned Nonprofit Diva, Eboni spends her free time volunteering at a couple local organizations geared toward empowerment and radical change, travels every chance she gets, stirs up trouble with her daughter Olive, gets into anything to do with the beach or river, having a dance party, dressing up, and really enjoys meeting new folks. A lifer in the social service world and she can’t imagine working in any other field.
Director of Programming
Rich grew up in California, but spent time living in New Zealand, Alaska, and Colorado. He lead and participated in global outreach teams with YWAM to multiple countries, and for the past several years has put down roots in Portland, Oregon. With a background as a journalist correspondent and manager of major business accounts, he knows how to get to the heart of an issue and ask the right questions. He holds a degree in English with an emphasis in editing and writing, and has done patent design work. He has also participated in the development of customer service implementation and creative networking initiatives. Rich is a huge nerd and when he isn't dreaming about camping and Star Wars, he's playing games and planning adventures with his friends.
As an organization, we are focused on providing culturally specific services. Therefore, we strive to ensure that we connect participants in our program to existing services for specific communities.
We understand that the loudest voice in the room has historically drowned out the quieter ones; that there is a need to walk around the corner to find those quietly suffering. To that end, our outreach efforts have taken a boots-on-the-ground approach when it comes to connecting with individuals experiencing houselessness, taking services and supplies wherever we go. We refuse to wait on our phones to ring, but rather seek out opportunities to find, build trust, and serve people who have been historically relegated to the margins.
Our staffing model at GGNW includes DEI-oriented questions in the interview process, zero tolerance for racism/homophobia/bigotry, and puts the highest value possible on empathy and openness. We are proud to say that at the upper leadership level of our organization—our Director Team-- is comprised of 100% people of color. Our program staff are also comprised of 50% people of color - this diversity emboldens our ability to have needed conversations and gain trust within the BIPOC community. Greater Good understands that within Oregon in particular, severe discrimination has excluded people of color in the leasing and housing application process. As Housing Specialists, we advocate through assertive and no-nonsense conversations with leasing offices every day with an unwavering demand that equitable consideration be given to individuals in the BIPOC community who are in pursuit of housing. Additionally, we are proud to report that:
All of our staff are trained in DEI centered and the trauma informed care
Directorial Team is comprised of 100% people of color
Frontline staff are comprised of 50% people of color
Interview questions include direct screening criteria around equity and anti-racism
Outreach efforts go out into field to engage with BIPOC community
Currently, 15%+ of the participants in our shelter programs are non-white - this is quantifiable within HMIS
Anti-discrimination agreement that champions participant's rights is integral to our intake paperwork
Greater Good NW works with individuals experiencing houselessness and individuals seeking to access permanent supportive housing. Many of the individuals we work with have endured compounding traumas, in addition to experiencing significant mental and physical health issues. Some of these individuals cope with their trauma through unsafe use of alcohol and/or illegal drugs, resulting in compounding barriers to obtaining stable housing. Assertive Engagement is an evidence-based practice that incorporates many of the best practices that Greater Good NW utilizes when engaging with these individuals, particularly the person- centered approach.
We believe housing is a human right, and we are passionate about providing relevant, useful, and responsive support to participants as they contend with significant barriers to accessing and retaining housing. We believe that collaborative, relationship-focused interactions between staff and participants are the foundation of adequate support services. We reference trauma-informed care, intersectionality, assertive engagement approaches, the empowerment model, and the person-in-environmental approach in everything we do, from the design of our programming to the conversations we have with participants daily. We treat each participant with respect and acknowledge their inherent dignity. We understand participants to be the experts on their needs, and we consider them our most important stakeholders.
We believe that consistency is critical in supportive services. We ensure that each staff has a strong understanding of the modalities referenced above by providing new hires with comprehensive training on relevant theoretical frameworks and their applications. Trainings are conducted by one of our master's level social workers on an ongoing basis to ensure quality.
Greater Good NW serves very-low-income and houseless individuals in and around Clackamas County and Multnomah County. The needs of the individuals utilizing rapid rehousing dollars are consistent with the needs of individuals we serve at our shelters and permanent supportive housing locations; individualized support, outreach to programs with additional resources, financial support, and a fundamental understanding of the root causes of poverty in our region.
Greater Good NW works with all adult homeless households, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other identifier. When working with adult houseless individuals, we see to “meet them where they currently are,” which is reflected in our programs being “low-barrier.” Our low-barrier programs allow us to work with individuals that may be ineligible to work with other programs due to their barriers. At Greater Good NW, we understand that for many individuals, we may be their last chance, and we take that responsibility seriously as we attempt to serve individuals from an emergency capacity all the way to assist them in maintaining long-term stable and appropriate housing.