New addition to Meyer’s housing team

After 12 years of working with homeless and low-income families in the Pacific Northwest, I am excited to join the Housing Opportunities portfolio team as the Philanthropy Northwest Momentum Fellow. The fellowship, developed by Philanthropy Northwest, is designed to prepare professionals from underrepresented communities for successful careers in the philanthropic sector. Over the next two years, I will be collaborating with and learning from my portfolio teammates through every aspect of the grantmaking process, and I look forward to meeting with many of the grantees and community partners along the way.

I am also excited to bring my experience and perspective as a direct service provider. I have managed a wide array of programs for low-income and homeless families and individuals. I began my career as a counselor at a shelter for homeless and refugee youths. Most recently, I managed several site-based and scattered-site transitional housing and rent assistance programs, established a resource center for the homeless community in Southwest Portland, and oversaw the conversion of a 20-year housing program from transitional to permanent supportive housing. I have also developed trainings on housing market navigation and landlord/tenant rights, collaborated with community agencies to provide Rent Well education, and advocated for low-income renters in both private market and governmental settings.

The challenges that low-income and homeless families face in Portland’s housing market have left an indelible mark on me, and I look forward to giving a voice to that experience as we work toward more equitable housing together.  

When I’m not working, I volunteer with the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) and various community art projects in Portland. I also love to travel, read, watch hummingbirds in my backyard, hike, forage for mushrooms, explore the Oregon outdoors and bake when I can. So please share your favorite recipes or hiking spots when you see me!

— Lauren