In April 2017, a team of HNA leaders brought us a productive conversation on being a welcoming and inclusive community. The discussion was well attended by both Hillsdale residents as well as folks from throughout SW Portland. Let me share a few items I heard.
The two most important issues facing our newer residents to the US that come to SW Portland are housing and health care. A part of the health care includes mental health care, at time brought on by the news and environment that the newcomers (and sometimes folks who have been here for years) face.
Opportunity for their children can represent the most important driving force for these newer residents. Working together with them towards success for their children is important in achieving successful inclusion. A strong helpful community can bring to the children special assistance in developmental school work, especially reading. Active participation in programs that provide male or female interaction with youth provides a strong male or female role model, should both role models not be present in the home life. Striving to be inclusive of your child’s fellow students in activities like play dates can enhance the acceptance by all. Looking for places to volunteer in these areas adds to the quality of life for all.
And most important, saying hello to newcomers in our community and making them a part of this community brings us all closer together.