Jobs/Economic Development

CommunityProjectsLiving Cully Plaza
For many years, the Sugar Shack Strip Club operated in Cully — across the street from the Ortiz Community Center, a health clinic, school bus stops, and four of Hacienda’s housing properties. Neighbors long hoped that this block-sized complex could be replaced by something that serves local families. In 2014, a For Sale sign appeared, and Living Cully made an offer. The seller accepted the offer, and the Living Cully partners acquired the site on June 30th, 2015. The partners now move forward by engaging the community in next steps for the redevelopment of the site to meet community needs. Interested in partnering on the project? Please contact Tony DeFalco,, or (503) 309-7385.


Living Cully Works
Living Cully Works is a program designed to connect low-income Cully residents, Hacienda clients and NAYA clients who need jobs, job training or contracting opportunities to opportunities on Living Cully Signature Projects. For example, 18% of wages paid to date on the Cully Park job site have been to people in the 97218 zip code (proxy for Cully neighborhood). Living Cully Works is also working to identify pathways to good paying jobs by working with private employers, public sector employers and organized labor. Living Cully Works is part of the Workforce Equity Coalition, a coalition seeking to increase hiring, retention and promotion of people of color in the area’s largest employers. Living Cully is part of the Cully Blvd Alliance, a city-designated Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative area designed to create local economic wealth through business development, storefront improvements and technical assistance. NAYA operates workforce training programs for youth and adults, for more info e-mail


Verde’s Social Enterprises
Verde Landscape In 2005, Verde launched Verde Landscape, a licensed landscape contractor and commercial pesticide operator that recruits Crew Members from Hacienda CDC’s affordable housing and other low-income communities. It commenced operations by providing landscape maintenance services to Hacienda CDC properties. Since that time, it has progressed to offer higher value, higher skilled services in and outside the Cully neighborhood. When Verde Landscape creates a regular position, it begins a deep investment in this new Crew Member by providing access to asset-building resources: good wages, health benefits, training. Each Crew Member develops an Individual Learning Plan, and receives 80 hours/year of paid classroom training per that plan. FY14-FY15, Verde Landscape paid $615,328 in wages and $84,173 in health insurance premiums, provided 945 paid training hours, and employed 15 unduplicated Crew Members.


Verde Builds. 2013, Verde launched Verde Builds, a licensed general contractor that develops environmental infrastructure. As a general contractor, Verde Builds focuses on creating subcontracting opportunities for target businesses on and working with subcontractors to create job opportunities for low-income people and people of color. Projects include Cully Park, where Verde Builds and Colas Construction (certified minority-owned contractor) convert a 25 acre former landfill into a new public park, and Nadaka Park, a community-led park project in Gresham.


Neighborhood Prosperity Initiatives
There are two Neighborhood Prosperity Initiatives located in the Cully Neighborhood, Our 42nd Ave and Cully Boulevard Alliance. Funded by the Portland Development Commission the NPI areas encourage small business development along Cully’s commercial corridors: 42nd Ave and Cully Blvd. Living Cully partners with both NPI’s and works to bring businesses opportunities to diverse neighborhood entrepreneurs.

Micro-enterprise Training
 Both NAYA and Hacienda operate micro-enterprise training programs to help small businesses grow. For more information, contact Caitlin Burke at or Mike Rasmussen at