Regional United Way gets $700,000 Gates grant
Focus is ending intergenerational poverty
Originally published June 5, 2012 at 12:34 p.m., updated June 5, 2012 at 6:20 p.m.
United Way of the Columbia-Willamette will receive a $700,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to reduce intergenerational poverty in the Portland-Vancouver area.
More than 550,000 people live in poverty in its four-county area (Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties in Oregon and Clark County), according to a news release from the Portland-based organization.
About two weeks ago, the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington received a similar four-year, $700,000 grant from the Gates Foundation.
Rick Melching, Community Foundation executive director, said he has talked with Keith Thomajan, president/CEO of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, but neither organization is far enough down the road to know whether their plans might intersect.
They are among nine philanthropic partners in the Pacific Northwest that will distribute a total of $5 million from the Gates Foundation. United Way of the Columbia-Willamette is the only one in Oregon.
The recipients will research local needs and work with community leaders to determine the best use of the grant funds.