A couple years ago, a few 211info staff members came together to form a Green Team. Here are some of their many accomplishments:

  • Gained certification with the City of Portland's Sustainability at Work program

  • Held 3 all staff training events with Genevieve from the City of Portland to learn about recycling

  • Moved pay stubs to a paperless system

  • Created a Green Team bulletin board with recycling information, wildlife sightings journal, bike map and other info for staff

  • Created a clearly labeled and monitored recycling station in the kitchen

  • Distributed under-desk recycling boxes throughout the office

  • Facilitated two Eco Challenge events in October 2016 and October 2017 to engage staff in changing small habits

  • Held two Earth Day events in April 2017 and April 2018 with prizes and fun activities (veggie potluck! "who gives a fork" silverware drive! wildflower seed bombs! reusable mugs for all)

  • Installed a faucet aerator in the kitchen to reduce water flow

  • Put together "cleaning caddies" for each work station pod with green cleaning solution and a reusable microfiber cloth as an alternative to Clorox wipes

  • Established a scratch paper area by the printer for unused single-sided paper

  • Purchased grabbers so that staff can safety pick up trash on daily walks

Posted on February 7, 2019 .

Here is this month’s Equity Topic Email: by Selina

What are your thoughts when you hear Diversity? What is Culture? How is Heritage part of the workplace? How do any of these fit in our work and/or our communities?  At the end of this email, there are definitions from the great vast knowledge of the internet. My understanding of these three words means something different than the defined web version.

 Before joining the Equity Team, I had no idea that I had a lack of understanding when it came to Diversity, or what work culture really is. Heritage I understood but even that has changed since being employed at 211. Honestly, I am still learning what Equity means, and with that comes hope and understanding my own background and upbringing has helped me tremendously. 

 Like Amelia Laytham who had moved to America at the age of 12 from Indonesia, whose heritage & culture become second to her need to fit in with “American Culture.” I have gone on a journey of losing myself to finding my own identity. (Learn more about Amelia here: TedTalk Video.)  During my teenage years, (the years when I thought I knew it all) I fit in most with what I thought was “Chicano” culture or more specifically, I thought I was a South Sider aka a Sureno (a Hispanic-American Gang Culture). They had the same skin tone and attitude that I understood but the language, I never caught onto. Having been unaware of the history of why many Native Americans chose not to identify as Native American because it wasn’t safe to identify as Native due to forced cultural assimilation. I thought it was normal that there weren't many Natives living off the reservations. Years later, I find out tens of thousands actually live within this tri-county area. During this phase of lost identity, I shaved my eyebrows and used eyeliner to fill them back in. I outlined my lips with dark, usually black eyeliner, paired with red lipstick for that deep maroon color. I wore Dickies and Ben Davis shirts. I rocked the old school Cortez’s, usually one of my friend's shoes. I listened to and still love “lowrider oldies.” I went to Hispanic dance clubs and danced the cumbia (not very well I might add, ) mainly I did the “gangsta-dance” (elbows up side-to-side, ha) because I fit in most with my "brown people" the dominant minority in that area at that time.

 Over the years, I have come to an understanding that I am not Chicano but that I have a connection with them because we have all called this continent home for thousands of years. I am super proud to be a Native American even more so learning my identity as an Indigenous WomanI am learning that even within my own tribe's traditions and culture, there are things I absolutely believe in and then some not so much. Being an individual and learning from other cultures I have come to understand my own identity.  I understand duality and while working here at 211info I come to terms with the fact I am not a "token native" and found my voice to speak up and say "I don't know everything about every Native American"  although, I am more than happy to give my perspective. 

 When I think about these in the workplace I think about the beautiful fact that 211 differs from many other organizations. We understand no two people are alike. We strive to understand rather than assume. We take pride in knowing we are all learning what it means to have a Diverse Work Culture that each and every person brings forth something from their own understanding. As I continue to grow and learn about my own identity, I hope to learn something about yours as well. If you are comfortable doing so, share some experiences or life lessons of your own?

 In our everyday lives, we have the chance to learn something new, whether it is about ourselves or about someone else. So, again, I ask: What are your thoughts when you hear Diversity? What is Culture? How is Heritage part of the workplace? How do any of these fit in our work and/or our communities?  


Thank you for taking the time to get to know a little bit more about me. Thank you for sharing this space of understanding with me.

As defined on the web (Webster or Google) :


1: the condition of having or being composed of differing elements: VARIETY

especially: the inclusion of different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization

programs intended to promote diversity in schools



1 a: the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group

also: the characteristic features of everyday existence (such as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time

popular culture

Southern culture

b: the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization

a corporate culture focused on the bottom line ....read more definitions here



1: property that descends to an heir

2a: something transmitted by or acquired from a predecessor: LEGACY, INHERITANCE

proud of her Chinese heritage....read more here

Selina is a Lead Community Information Center Specialist and a member of the 211info Equity Team.

Selina is a Lead Community Information Center Specialist and a member of the 211info Equity Team.

Posted on January 30, 2019 .

211info hires new Foster Parent Support Coordinator

211info recently hired a new Foster Parent Support Coordinator. We’re excited to welcome Don Sheets to our team!

The 211info Foster Parent Support Line is a dedicated line open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide support for Oregon DHS Foster Parents and their families.

 Don Sheets has started at 211info as our Foster Parent Support Coordinator. He is married to Susan Sheets and they will be celebrating their 45th anniversary in April. They have six children (three biological children and two adoptive children) who are all now adults. They also have a former foster son who continues to be a part of their family. This son has asked them to do an adult adoption. He is also grandpa to six grandchildren. After retiring from the United States Air Force as a master sergeant, Don moved to Portland to attend school and earned a MA in Pastoral Studies from Multnomah Biblical Seminary (now Multnomah University). It was at college when he and Susan began foster parenting; first as DHS Foster Parents and then they became Therapeutic Foster Parents. Don foster parented for about 22 years and feels comfortable saying over 50 children lived in his home (not at the same time!). Don pastored a church for about three years and then became involved in social services. He worked for a therapeutic foster care agency as a certifier/recruiter/trainer for foster care providers. He then worked as a permanency/adoption worker finding homes for special needs foster children. For the past several years, he has helped co-facilitate several domestic violence groups for men who are on probation or parole. In his spare time he and Susan enjoy visiting the many great wineries in Oregon. Don believes foster parents have a crucial role for the well-being of children and that it is important work to provide support to the providers.

Posted on January 24, 2019 .

Legal and Family Emergency Planning Clinic

A one day legal help and emergency family safety planning clinic offering appointments with volunteer lawyers to discuss family law, injury, housing, bankruptcy, workers rights, immigration, and criminal issues. Notary services will also be available on site.

The event will take place on Saturday, August 11, 2018 from 9am-1pm at the YWCA Clark County, 3609 Main Street in Vancouver. You can call for an appointment at 360-695-5313 or walk in no later than noon; first come, first served. 

Posted on August 6, 2018 .

Veteran Hiring Event

WorkSource Vancouver, Joint Service Support, and Work for Warriors is hosting a hiring event to help businesses connect with qualified veterans. Participants should dress professionally, bring copies of their resume, and be prepared to meet with company representatives.

The event will take place on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 4pm-6:30pm at the Armed Forces Reserve Center, 15005 NE 65th Street in Vancouver. The event is open to non-veterans beginning at 5:30pm. For more information, contact Monique Martin at 360-735-4985 or momartin@esd.wa.gov.

Posted on May 9, 2018 .

Clark County Legal Clinic/Ayuda Legal

Hosted by the Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program and the Latino Community Resource Group, this one day legal help and emergency family safety planning clinic will offer appointments with volunteer lawyers to discuss family law, injury, housing, bankruptcy, workers rights, immigration, and criminal issues. Notaries will also be available on-site to notarize documents. 

The clinic takes place Saturday, May 12, 2018 9am-1pm. Walk-ins are welcome until noon on a first-come, first-served basis. You can also make an appointment by calling 360-695-5313. 

Habla con Abogados Voluntarios Acerca de: Su Familia (Custodia, Divorcio, Planes de Crianza), Injuria Personal, Vivienda (Alquiler/Renta), Bancarrota, Derechos del Trabajo, Inmigración, y Cuestiones Criminales. Plan Para la Seguridad de su Familia y sus Bienes: Notarios Disponibles  notariar los documentos de inmediato. PARA HACER UNA CITA: LLAME AL 360-695-5313 Sábado, 12 de Mayo, 2018 9:00 am a 1:00 pm. Pueden ir sin cita hasta las 12pm Se llamaran por orden de llegada. 

Posted on April 25, 2018 .

Clark College Career Fair

Clark College in Vancouver is hosting a free career fair, open to all, on Thursday, May 3, 2018 11am-3pm at the O'Connell Sports Center, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way in Vancouver. Participants will learn about full and part-time career positions, internships, and career exploration. A separate job readiness clinic will be held Tuesday, May 1, 2018 4pm-7pm at the Penguin Union Building in room 002. At this clinic, participants can receive professional help with resumes, interviews, LinkedIn profile tips, and career fair tips. For more information, visit Clark's website or call 360-992-2902.

If you need accommodations due to a disability in order to fully participate in the events, contact Clark College's Disability Support Services Office at 360-992-2314. 

Posted on April 25, 2018 .

Conversation about Opioids

Join the Battle Ground Prevention Alliance for a conversation about the Opioid Crisis on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:30pm-8pm at the Battle Ground Community Center, 912 E Main Street in Battle Ground. 

Small group conversations will take place and all participants are welcome; the forums work best when there are a diversity of opinions. Space is limited; register at this link.

Posted on April 4, 2018 .

Free Acupuncture for Veterans in the Portland Metro area

A partnership between Veterans & Families Resource Center of Oregon and TriOasis is offering free Acupuncture for Veterans in the Portland Metro area on Mondays 4:30-6:30pm. Available to all veterans of all eras and branches. Call TriOasis to schedule an appointment at 971-205-5593. Walk-ins may be taken on a space-available basis.

Appointments take place at:
5520 SW Macadam Avenue, Suite 150
Portland, OR 97239

Posted on March 21, 2018 .

Health & Safety Expo

Evergreen High School Health and Safety Committee invites you to the frree Health & Safety Expo, where you'll learn about the latest health trends and best safety practices, and receive information about local, state, and national health services and resources. 

Explore an AMR ambulance, witness the Vancouver Police K-9 unit in action, get a bicycle helmet fitted (bring your own from home or $5 to purchase), and visit over 30 additional service providers. 

The event takes place on Saturday, March 24, 2018 10am-2pm at Evergreen High School, 14300 NE 18th Street in Vancouver. 



Posted on March 21, 2018 .

Free Veteran's Dental Fair

Aspen Dental is teaming up with the Fort Kennedy Veteran Outreach Center in Clackamas County to coordinate a event for people to receive free dental care at Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland.

The mobile dental facility will be set up  Tuesday, April 3, 2018 9am-3pm at 701 SW Sixth Street in Portland. Fort Kennedy plans to run a 8:30 a.m. bus from its Outreach Center, 7300 SE Johnson Creek Blvd. in Milwaukie, to Pioneer Courthouse Square.

To request an appointment on April 3, contact 503-765-2661 or fortkennedy@gmail.com.

Posted on March 20, 2018 .

Your Money, Your Goals

Mid-Columbia Housing Authority is offering free financial education workshops to residents of the Columbia River Gorge. Class topics range from information on budgeting and saving money to dealing with debt and predatory lending. Classes will be held in Goldendale, Hood River, Stevenson, The Dalles, and White Salmon. For more information or to register, contact Sonia Chavez at 541-370-2291 or sonia@mid-columbiahousingauthority.org. 


Una serie de educación financiera; todas las clases son gratis. Contacte a Sonia Chavez para
registrarse y para informacion sobre el lugar en donde se llevara acavo las clases 541-370-2291 o por email soniac@mid-columbiahousingauthority.org. 


Posted on March 20, 2018 .

Poverty Immersion Event

Council for the Homeless is hosting a Poverty Immersion Event on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 9am-1pm ath St. Joe's Catholic Church, 400 Andresen Road in Vancouver. 

The poverty immersion is an interactive workshop that changes attitudes and challenges stereotypes about people who are poor - paving a pathway toward professional growth and organizational transformation. Participants assume the role of a family member living on limited resources. Aiding in the workshop are volunteers playing the roles of social service workers, bankers, school teachers, grocers, law enforcement, and health care, providing a 'community' with whom the participants interact. It sounds simple enough until attendees are faced with the impossible daily dilemmas that are common when resources are scarce and stress is high. The activity is followed by a facilitated debrief, customized for each organization. 

You can participate as an attendee. At least 40 attendees are needed to make this event a success. 

For further questions or if reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact Brenda Schallberger at bschallberger@councilforthehomeless.org. If a reasonable accommodation is needed please contact Brenda at least one week prior to the event.

Posted on March 14, 2018 .

Southern Oregon Veterans Stand Up & Employment Fair

Rogue Valley Veterans and Community Outreach is holding the annual Stand Up and Employment Fair. Vendors on site will assist with VA housing programs, VA benefits, medical services, mental health support, tools, clothing, DOD gear, personal hygiene items, mobile shower facility, mobile laundry service, pet food and supplies, haircuts, manicures, pedicures, community meal, job search assistance, and more.

The event takes place on Friday, March 16, 2018 10am-2pm at the Josephine County Fairgrounds, 1451 Fairgrounds Road in Grants Pass. Veterans and their families are eligible to attend. 

Posted on February 27, 2018 .

Taxonomy 101

It's Taxonomy 101 time! Last week we explored the definition of taxonomy and uncovered the ten service categories. Today we'll break it down and unravel a bit more behind the lexicon of taxonomy. 

According to the AIRS I&R Training Manual, every one of the 9.000+ taxonomy terms has a full definition and an alpha-numeric code that gives it a unique position within the hierarchy. There are six potential levels of hierarchy from the broadest to the narrowest concept. 

Maybe you're searching for "shelter"; what option may arise after you hit the search key, or one of our Community Information Specialists conduct a search? Here are some examples:

  • Animal Shelters
  • Bus Stop Shelters
  • Extreme Cold Weather Shelters
  • Immigrant/Refugee Shelters
  • Mass Care Shelters
  • Shelter Information Lines
  • Wildlife Shelters
  • ...and many more!

As you can see, all of these options contain the word "shelter", but it may not be exactly what you were seeking. The specific term of "shelter" can be found across the ten service categories. For example, "Wildlife Shelters" is under the branch of Environmental Quality and Public Health/Safety, while "Extreme Cold Weather Shelters" is housed under Basic Needs

WIth that, we'll show how a broad topic or service category is narrowed down: 

  1. Basic Needs - B
  2. Housing/Shelter - BH
  3. Emergency Shelter - BH-1800
  4. Homeless Shelter - BH-1800.8500
  5. Extreme Cold Weather Shelters - BH-1800.8500-185

What is an "Extreme Cold Weather Shelter"?: Programs that provide overnight accommodations during times of extreme cold for people who are temporarily at risk of exposure due to being homeless. 

AIRS provides seven other 5th level shelter terms including

  • Community Shelter
  • Day Shelter
  • Homeless Motel Vouchers
  • Homeless Safe Parking Programs
  • Missions
  • Urban Campsites
  • Wet Shelters

Each have their own unique definition and are authorized for our center to utilize when categorizing services and searching for resources. If any of these 5th level terms are authorized, we can use them all. Otherwise, we would attach the 4th level term - Homeless Shelter - to many, many records. This would slow down a search for you or our staff, and a very specific need may not be recorded for data and quality assurance purposes. 

Thank you for reading! We'll be back again next to uncover more within the world of taxonomy. 

Posted on February 13, 2018 and filed under taxonomy.

Advocacy Day in Washington

Last week, staff from 211info joined over 600 advocates in Olympia where we participated in Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day, sponsored by the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance. Statewide representatives from Washington 211 also provided support and sponsorship to the day's events.

As we convened on the capitol steps and in the offices of elected officials, we rallied support and brought our voices to the table in support of house and senate bills aimed to help find solutions to the affordable housing and homelessness crisis in Washington state. Advocates met respectively with representatives from the 17th, 18th, and 49th Legislative Districts which encompass Clark County. We'd like to share some of the images posted on our social media accounts including Instagram and Twitter


The day's agenda.

The day's agenda.

A few of the day's sponsors!

A few of the day's sponsors!

Our group of advocates from Clark County.

Our group of advocates from Clark County.

Representing the 17th Legislative District!

Representing the 17th Legislative District!

Washington 211 swag and information table. 

Washington 211 swag and information table. 

Time to gather on the steps for the noon rally! 

Time to gather on the steps for the noon rally! 

Representatives from the 18th Legislative District meeting with Representative Liz Pike's legislative aid. 

Representatives from the 18th Legislative District meeting with Representative Liz Pike's legislative aid. 

Representatives from the 18th Legislative District meeting with Representative Brandon Vick.

Representatives from the 18th Legislative District meeting with Representative Brandon Vick.

The evening wrapped up with a celebration at the Governor's Mansion. 

The evening wrapped up with a celebration at the Governor's Mansion. 

Advocates listen in to Governor Jay Inslee's speech. 

Advocates listen in to Governor Jay Inslee's speech. 

Posted on February 7, 2018 .

Taxonomy 101

It's time for Taxonomy 101! We're starting this new blog series to explore the wonderful and ever-changing world of taxonomy here at 211info. This week, we'll start with an overview of taxonomy and show you the ten service categories. In upcoming weeks, we'll highlight a new taxonomy term each week, and bring you information about how we can customize a search based on your needs.

So, what is taxonomy? The Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) provides this definition: "Taxonomies are sophisticated tools that help people find the information they need. They are a type of a controlled vocabulary, a standardized set of terms and phrases that are used to index and retrieve information about a particular subject in a systematic, unambiguous way. The AIRS/211 LA County Taxonomy of Human Services sets a standard for defining services and for indexing and accessing the wide variety of human services available in communities across North America."

AIRS standards state that I&R (information and referral) services may adapt taxonomy to the community's size, nature, and organizational needs. 211info uses the AIRS/211 LA County Taxonomy of Human Services to index and facilitate retrieval of resource information, and our Resource Team documents the customization rules to ensure ongoing consistency. 

As librarians help you use the Dewey Decimal System to find your favorite book, think of 211info's I&R Specialists using taxonomy to help you find your favorite community resource. As for the ten service categories, they look something like this: 

  • Basic Needs
  • Consumer Services
  • Criminal Justice and Legal Services
  • Education
  • Environmental Quality and Public Health/Safety
  • Health Care
  • Income Support and Employment
  • Individual and Family Life
  • Mental Health Care and Substance Abuse Services
  • Organizational/Community/International Services
  • Target Populations - wait, that's 11! Don't worry; we'll cover this one, too!

Within these categories there are over 9,000 taxonomy terms! WOW! But don't worry: not every single term is activated at any given time. This is where our Resource Team cultivates the appropriate taxonomy term for the service provided, based on the definition, and helps narrow down the specific service, even for target populations. Whew! 

Next week we'll be back and start our discussion on specific taxonomy terms. 

Posted on February 6, 2018 and filed under taxonomy.

Project Homeless Connect

Project Homeless Connect, a one day event, provides free services and resources for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Services vary by location and may include dental care, vision care, healthcare screening, housing resources, employment resources, haircuts, foot washing, a free meal, and other services. 

Upcoming dates and locations throughout Oregon include: 

January 26, 2018

  • Sonrise Church, 6701 NE Campus Way, HIllsboro 9am-3pm
  • Church of the Nazarene, 227 NW 12th Street, Newport 10am-3pm

January 31, 2018

  • Josephine County Fairgrounds, 1451 Fairgrounds Road, Grants Pass 10am-3pm
  • Immanuel United Methodist Church, 200 West Watkins, Cave Junction 9am-4pm
  • Roseburg Presbyterian Church, 823 Lane Street Roseburg 10am-2pm
  • Christian Assembly Church, 195 Birch Street Yoncalla noon-3pm
  • Helping Hands Pantry, 19085 North Umpqua Hwy, Glide 10am-2pm
Posted on January 19, 2018 .

Yamhill County Point in Time Homeless Count

Yamhill County's Point In Time (PIT) Homeless Count will take place on Wednesday, January 31, 2018. This effort offers a snapshot of homelessness by recording the number of people in an emergency shelter or who are unsheltered on a single night of the year.

The surveys are completed with those who are living outside, with more than one family in a household, in a vehicle, in shelters, or motels. YCAP additionally counts those couch surfing, and living with family or friends in a temporary status. This information is used to plan local and national service delivery to at-risk populations.

Free countywide transporation provided by Yamhill County Transit Area. Snacks and/or meals will be available at all sites. To be counted, visit one of the thirteen drop-in locations: 

  • Amity Assembly of God, 310 Getchell Ave, Amity 11am-3pm
  • Carlton First Baptist Church Annex, 500 W Main St, Carlton 9am-1pm
  • Dayton City Hall Annex, 408 Ferry St, Dayton 9am-1pm
  • Dundee Community Center, 1026 Hwy 99W, Dundee 9am-1pm
  • Lafayette Community Center, 133 Adams St, Lafayette 9am-1pm
  • McMinnville First Presbyterian Church, 390 NE 2nd St, McMinnville 9am-1pm
  • McMinnville St. Barnabas Church, 822 SW 2nd St, McMinnville 2pm-6pm
  • McMinnville First Baptist Church, 125 SE Cowls, McMinnville 9am-1pm (Veteran site)
  • Newberg Youth Outreach, 719 E 1st St, Newberg 8am-2pm
  • Newberg Zion Lutheran Church, 301 S River St, Newberg noon-4pm
  • Newberg River Street Church, 715 S River St, Newberg 5pm-7:30pm
  • Sheridan Grand Sheramina, 120 North Bridge St, Sheridan 11am-3pm
  • Willamina Public Library, 382 NE C St, Willamina 11am-3pm


Posted on January 18, 2018 .

Cowlitz County Project Homeless Connect

Project Homeless Connect is a one day, one stop event designed to provide essential services to those in the community experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of becoming homeless. Services offered include a resource fair, housing search assistance, identification assistance, medical/dental/vision screenings, haircuts, a meal, winter clothing, and more. 

The event takes places on Thursday, January 25, 2018 10am-3pm at 951 Delaware Street in Longview. RiverCities Transit is also offering free transportation to the event. For more information please call Evelyn at 360-414-5599, ext 6458. 

Posted on January 10, 2018 .