PHA study centers

Originally established in 1992, the Portland Housing Authority runs study centers in three neighborhoods: Sagamore Village, Riverton Park and Kennedy Park.

The study centers perform the primary function of providing an atmosphere conducive to quiet study in addition to adult supervision and homework help. As many parents are not fluent in English, they have a difficult time assisting with homework.

The study centers also try to bridge the transitional gap for graduating high school seniors through designated “college hours.”

The centers’ collective goal is to help students become academically and socially successful and thus remain in school.

The Portland Housing Authority study centers are available to approximately 700 students who attend both public and private schools in Portland and live in public housing, about 10 percent of the total student population in Portland.

Two coordinators share the task of supervising each study center. Volunteers at the study centers give much- needed support to the study center coordinators in providing supplementary work, reading, or additional homework assistance for the kids.

Riverton Park

Built in 1972, Riverton Park makes up one of the most tightly knit communities Portland has to offer. As of October 2010, there were 625 people residing in 150 units at Riverton, 61percent of whom are under the age of 20 years old. This is due to the predominant Somali, Sudanese, Kenyan, Vietnamese and Cambodian communities within the Riverton neighborhood.

Many of these cultures tend to have stronger ties to their extended families than do many Americans, and thus large family sizes are common. This is what draws many families to Riverton, as affordable housing to accommodate a family of seven is rare elsewhere.

Sagamore Village

Sagamore Village originally was opened as a war housing project in 1943 and houses 555 residents in 200 units. Sagamore is comprised of both elderly and family housing units, which creates a unique community dynamic. 

The elders take on the responsibility of the food pantry, lunch program and tenant council. Sagamore is home to predominantly American-born families along with Iranian-, Somali- and Sudanese-born residents.

It is a common misconception that Portland Housing Authority public housing is only home to immigrants from exotic countries. Sagamore is home to many second-generation immigrants and refugees who are American citizens.

Many of these families are related and share responsibilities in taking care of their children.

Kennedy Park

Kennedy Park is actually comprised of several adjacent sites including Kennedy Park, Bayside East, Bayside Terrace and a few scattered sites for family and elderly housing.

Formerly known as Bayside Park, renovations to transform the area into Kennedy Park were completed in 1965.

Today, Kennedy Park houses 637 residents in 174 units. A little more than half of Kennedy Park residents are under the age of 20.

While the majority of Kennedy Park residents were born in the United States, there are large Somali, Sudanese and Cambodian communities in Kennedy Park.

– Portland Housing Authority