A Letter From Paul Solomon

Winter 2022

Dear Friends,

Over the last two years we have endured a global pandemic, the continued warming of our planet and catastrophic wildfires in the region. We also bore witness to the largest social justice uprising in a generation. Which shined a light on the institutional racism that has resulted in the death of and disproportionate incarceration of black and brown people in our country. As we turn the page on 2021, it is understandable that hopefulness may be in short supply.

However, as I look ahead to 2022 and beyond, I am encouraged by the many people we will serve in the coming year. These individuals have one thing in common, the day they walk out of prison, they are hopeful that they can have a better life. That hope and determination to rise above their circumstances, is supported by the services we offer.

In the last year, we served more than 600 people in our housing programs alone (over 1,500 served over all of our programs). With your help we provide the tools and support people need to be successful. Nevertheless, one of the biggest challenges we face is access to safe, permanent, affordable housing. Over the years, we have continued to build our stock of Permanent Supportive Housing to better meet the needs of individuals who successfully complete our transitional housing programs.

I am pleased to announce that Sponsors, in partnership with our friends at Homes for Good, has begun developing a new apartment community for people with conviction histories. The county granted us a piece of property directly across the street from our Roosevelt Crossing facility on Highway 99, next door to the new Parole and Probation campus. The community is named in honor of the late Dr. Edwin Coleman and his wife Charmaine.

Dr. Coleman, an African American English professor at the University of Oregon and founding Sponsors board member, with his wife Charmaine, have played an active role at Sponsors spanning five decades. The Colemans showed up in many ways, including performing music at fundraisers, attending bake sales (in the early days), public advocacy and hiring and mentoring Sponsors’ participants. I am absolutely thrilled to honor the Colemans’ legacy in this way.

The Coleman Details:
• A mixed-use four-story apartment with 52 units (including 4 ADA units)
• Community Kitchen, Laundry Facility and Fitness Room
• Case management, mental health and supportive services
• A large meeting room to host on-site parent/child visitation
• A new home for Sponsors’ Reentry Resource Center

Finally, I am excited to share that we are hard at work planning for an in-person event in October. Building Toward the Future will be a fun and festive evening offering guests the chance to learn more about The Coleman, connect with friends and celebrate our successes. We are optimistic that the COVID numbers will decline significantly between now and then and we will be able to safely gather again. Keep on the look out for more details as we get closer to October.

With all best wishes for a Happy New Year,

Paul Solomon