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Prosperity summit aims to reduce poverty


Donna M. Beegle may have a doctorate degree and a building at Portland State University named in her honor, but she grew up in Gresham’s Rockwood neighborhood living in poverty.

So when she speaks Monday, March 11, at a prosperity summit, it will be a homecoming of sorts.Donna Beegle

The summit at Rockwood Adventist Church is hosted by the newly formed Rockwood Community Development Corporation in partnership with Multnomah County, Community Action Partnership of Oregon and Beegle’s Communication Across Barriers program.

Brad Ketch, president of Rockwood Community Development Corporation, said the summit is intended to provide information to anyone who’s interested — leaders of East Multnomah County’s churches, businesses, medical facilities, governmental bodies, neighborhood associations and social service agencies — to launch effective one-on-one monitoring relationships between those who are thriving and those who are mired in poverty.

“It’s an opportunity for community leaders to learn about intergenerational poverty and how to rise out of it with help from key mentors in the community,” Ketch said.

An even more in-depth navigator training is scheduled for June 27.

The goal is to connect navigators with pre-screened families who are working to rise out of poverty, Ketch said.

The summit is part of an Opportunity Community project in Rockwood — one of three sites across the state selected as Opportunity Communities. Others are in Eugene and Klamath Falls.