My name is Lillian and I am a resident of Portland, Oregon. I have lived in the Portland Metro Area for the majority of the past 30 years. I’ve primarily lived on the East side in a variety of neighborhoods from Boise-Eliot all the way East through Parkrose, Rockwood, and into the cities of Gresham and Troutdale. I’ve lived in Southeast Portland in the Lents and Brentwood/Darlington neighborhoods on into North Clackamas County.
I’ve attended local schools and colleges, worked for a variety of employers in different industries, and parented my children in different school districts.
During my time in Portland I’ve had to learn to navigate and access many programs and services to meet the needs of my family and myself. I have also worked for a local social service agency serving teen parents, been employed as an assistant manager in affordable and subsidized housing offices, and provided customer service and support for an electricity service provider.
I have often witnessed and experienced the frustration and difficulty of navigating the different systems and accessing the various services administered through both community service organizations and government offices. I’ve seen, firsthand, people give up in frustration and overwhelm and/or fall through the gaping holes in the service systems in place.
It is my plan to share my personal knowledge and experiences in accessing services and navigating systems in order to provide resource and information which can help others meet the needs of their families and themselves.
The main reason for doing this is the realization and understanding that too many people feel isolated, overwhelmed, and alone when faced with personal and life crises which may necessitate the need to access the supports and navigate the systems. We need to reach out, back, and forward to help each other do more than survive. Together we can learn to thrive.