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Oregon Energy Fund 111316

Nov 10, 2016|

AN INTERVIEW WITH BRIAN ALLBRITTON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OR OREGON ENERGY FUND ABOUT THE WORK THEY DO SUPPORTING ENERGY ASSISTANCE IN OUR AREA AND THEIR FUNDRAISING EFFORTS.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

This is microscope and Entercom radio Portland public affairs program under blocks of I'd like to welcome to the program the same Brian all Briton Brian is the executive director of org and energy fund O'Brien welcome to Mexico. Jerry white yeah so I think we better get started first off by explaining to everybody what origin energy fund is. Or community behind it an independent statewide nonprofit. We're committed to power the lives of oregonians and unexpected crisis. We do you gotta do an interview at citizens program that ensures that every 101000 of our neighbors each year and stay warm healthy and Al. 101000 that's that's a lot of people. 88 barely barely addresses the need an abortion. So no we are kind of like can we say we're in the winter months. We are definitely in the winner by October 1 actually is when these these certain programs actually care at all around the nation. So we just got finished our first program month of the year. OK so we know we can we can definitely see Europe programs coming in handy at this time. Yes no doubt no doubt big you know of the winter's storms that regard you have to have called values Alex's. Pretty intermediate prices that you didn't mean by. But if the temperatures already load the red ball authority is is going to be a winner looks like. How does some idea. Of give access and and help from the orient energy fund. We work through it series. 30 eastern U partners. Oh this state. Mostly third partners recover all 36 carries. And it's marketplace through a partnership inside a flagship community action agencies and social services organizations. Bed allow or anybody to reach out and serve all these cars occasionally and effectively. They get there based on market population rates before the program here is start my program team. Look that historical request for help I would look at food stamp usage a look at. The general economy. And put together you're an allocation per partners and they have how much money that they will have allocated to down in the program here. So we can plan for staff and for funding for services. And the partners but there's been directly interact with perspective apart look at. I review the request needs they determine eligibility and that is that a fair word of mouth. It at that point authority interleague starts then providers that are certain payback to the car's energy center. OK so how if if I won't say I need some assistance how to lie you can totally get that. Well they're going to do that immediately or wanted to take contact your your utility. They've they've never played together and you wanna go there as early as you think you need to even because the bonds are limited. They will run out soon if you think that you heard in are going to be in a crisis situation. I you wanna be aware certainly garnered utilities customer service department they'll be here to tell you exactly wish. Agency is responsible for the work and you're. In your county we owe her web site or an energy fund does or at the accounting listing. And you can then contact the agency that is responsible. For administering the award. So this is not only for her electric energy bill also for gas and oil. Yeah oil heaters and firewood. Anything that is going to eat your home we can help well now if you're going to talk with the utilities themselves. The federal and state programs that they run yet it is going to be natural gas is going to be electricity. But what organ energy finders are providing it and other way you're is that. The federal and state programs. Are available at very very strict. Income guidelines. You hear earned more than 60% of the State's median income which is very very. That not a lot of money. But even so there's so many people that it had that any. Our guidelines. Go another 10%. In addition we don't pay federal or state run is no governmental program. There's no government funds and our program which just doesn't added flexibility. City if you didn't make too much money last year under reported in. Which is what the guidelines are looking. It now this year you've got some sort of accident you can still come to us with the flexibility if we have our our thing we can help you at all. How big is the problem that you're seeing here an organ. Well if you go back to the latest numbers. Federal poverty. Almost one in six or going had lived below the federal poverty line. That is the basis sort of they climb but the problem. I do not asserting portability about it that are reported that 46% of voters responded. City's struggle and the emergency expenses of just 400 dollars. So they'll do that live below the poverty line that Olympic programs are fairly effective and held it down. But if we can you find yourself in some sort of financial crisis that that's who we're there for. In addition there's been. It or never got a rural urban divide it. It is important distinguishing factor first state particularly in terms of employment. And and and the economy in general. Nearly three quarters of Oregon itself is considered rural and despite a good recovery of the economy. Really had to happen evenly across the state wearied by talking good they've represented an excuse base. These edit her district is still incredibly. Been hit by this problem. So while they are reporter it is fire and a half percent across the state roar areas is as much as 2% more nearly half again. This state employment. If you put it together. And they're about 600000. People who live in poverty. Across the state 600000 people. Twenty maybe 25%. A bit finding that it required visitors and about people actually available. Soon they need is much much greater than the resources available. We see so many people that are really just living on the edge. So 11. Some something goes wrong and they need a little extra money that sends them right over the edge into so real dire situation. Yet it exactly right. Yes sir that you're gonna that. Or gone in our living but he's a paycheck to paycheck they do just fine today but if car accident happens at the hospital they should have a long one. You know with a deductible being so high on your medical insurance that it is a tremendous amount of money out of pocket that most people don't have budget for. When that happens. That's exactly it sort of an area that we're here to help work. That's sort through and through financial storm. I can call the middle class couple the wind up defaulting on their bills to catch up retirement fund maybe even lose their home declare bankruptcy. That is what ordinary people on there or where there is stepping up and stop shut off notice from utility where there are injured at home if I've lost. And are quality people run from borrowing bankruptcy it took it very clear how much borrow these days the social safety net. I just isn't as strong used to it. Indeed and when we think about energy the especially this time of year we think the heats but there's a lot of other things in the household that. Require energy and that's merely there to help that out too. We are we army as they like the word of where the winners are are harsh and that covers well again they're getting pretty large. There are funds available or energy usage in general. But actually bring a another topic but I'd like that is god you know that you use of energy isn't just about eat. It is about making how our home. And if you don't have enough money to keep your own list. Very difficult for your jaws seven if you don't have enough. Finding you pay your energy bill is really hard to keep your duty fresh in the refrigerator. It makes life just that much more unbearable if you hear he's themselves. The other thing exactly that's they've done it many oregonians and we have no idea what it's like 22 had not have any electricity except maybe when a big storm blows through. And lows of power line down in the neighborhood. But so a lot of people lived like that. You're you're storm there is a great morning. And a perfect analogy for allowing people to relate to what it is like not have power. Mean just this weekend we get crazy when that we can before laughter we can part of that. It was a monster storm predicted for Portland which god because pretty pretty well. You know tornado near Bonita that. Shouldn't happen. But that's sort of the perfect analogy we all seen the trees come down. We're seeing our power at all and in most of our home when that happens you know we triple that handles regret a flashlight. Maybe if you're you hit it on the phone and you call or take out. If you you're your powers are going to be ultra low quality you gradually ice cream out of the brief period had a little party. Maybe it even part of being camp out and illiterate you know you're very good and I don't blame game is that going to save gas. But it hate. You know there is an out it is like what would you call that Alley is it injures sooner or else everybody has fond memories of opinion are mom and dad and the power without playing word games. I can be a lot of fun. Because you do that sometime soon after the lights go out the utility company is going to be there or here. You say earlier linemen ready to go to they're repairing. What are Lima down and you're gonna alike are gonna come on again and get it back to your favorite network series. You have an elevated venture. But it pursue many people actually life. Is not what storm that is happening. There and her life that the financial store. And we aren't anywhere or heavy storm comes if that much harder for them. They don't have. And I. The response. From this storm when the cloud are we got a beautiful day here in Portland but it caught part of our income bell. There's still without energy. But the harder our blood. And were really behind it is generous donors but individually incorporated that help support us. Actually come. We know people might expect. We know we're pretty. We keep it refresh. New website do you do you guys as recently re branded so we'll talk about that in just a second before so we get to ball kind of on this topic. Is meet your new web site poses the question is electricity and basic human rights. Explain that to us. Yeah you know we didn't spend the day you're bored of talking about it is she's my staff and I was sometime in the paper alliances and you know poverty cycle only to determine the hell. Like certain luxuries that you got. They're put it bluntly that. And our branding effort we're really felt it was important position ourselves concrete what the other champions are basic human needs. He you're the winner is not a luxury student when you're hungry at all watcher that it sent. Not a luxury when you're sick. And like that a person can even goes so far as according to these things should be basic human right. Pretty provocative question. It's just all want people would consider that it states but it is a word on where we have such a bounty of resources particularly for the government urging. No one should have to do without. And a neighbor helping neighbor we can make sure that no one is in that situation. There are we here or not advocating that energy should be free for all it is of vital product we still you need to pay for it. And that can you imagine what the environmental impact of you know call Saturday and totally different situation. No what I'm saying is that. Simply no one should have to go without knowing you have to look at harsh Ortiz and Edinburgh is blocking. Rappers Z we've heard heard of that at all that he Gerke question. And that shouldn't be. And so many oregonians. Have to have faced that question. On a monthly basis. Yeah you know again with a poverty and those that are being watered sic below the poverty line. That are close to half a million people hurt in that situation regularly across our state. An amazing number four word order a better state that has so much into it resources. Or that many people choose to be in crisis. Weary people bureau our energy vulnerable. That is hard to imagine but is the reality. These organizations seeing things getting better or. Getting worse or staying the same how oh how are things looking up there. In any really hadn't changed. Over that it is 27 year history of the organization. So we are talking about the economy earlier. And unemployment. Unemployment is down overall and what it was yeah 2008 with the recession. But so much of that it down that their numbers down beat it and lower. Wage jobs people are working harder. Or the same. This thing right there working longer hours or working two jobs will be presented in need as it has ever there. But there are you one thing did you know that got a dollar about a dozen that are available. In our partner hey community action partnership or it. It is very few years ago is that we are only needing about 20% of any. So if you're easy if you are looking for a picture to this report. This is a great option sorted that is literally neighbor helping neighbor because it is your your neighbors. That are in need across the state. We're talking today with Brian all Britain executive director of Morgan energy fund now the organ energy fund used to be known as heats. He recently changed your Intel says he tells that story. Yeah we know like history that you Oregon game certain bit bittersweet to see ago. But the reason is simple we don't just tackle he. People like content it can do homework would make for the bridges are running their families can be safe and nutritious meals. And of course when the gap beyond city can't have a nice warm house we you'll all these things but when you are a lot more than that. We're looking take ad in the local partners. You are just supplement our current networking utility providers were looking at ways to create energy alternative energy and other sources of power play a role and a work. It is not just the utility that would wanted to working who are finding ways to invest our money complementary or profit and not for profit collaborations. There and it raises the level of sustainability at the hole. In our community. We weren't sure there are combined peppers to the back of the recall as a big issues like colleges and student security and energy vulnerability. Are as effective as possible. Now of course doing all that we still want to continue to work we've always done to serve or going to crisis. But every brand is there in order has been very clear message that is not just enough heat to about energy. We're not that your power furnace could power lines. And the organ energy fund is a nonprofit so that means your money has to come from other areas tell us about your donors and in who's involved. There are donors are great people. We get tendered 151000 donations every year. There are. Great stories about why people care. One donor was telling us that he recently moved from New Mexico with his wife. And figure that an organization. There now you know murder and elevations. And I figured can be quite brutal thirty you're exactly what. But we're facing. Now the other going through union is part of their vision is to give back to your community. He felt that he and his wife live. Incredible life blood but no major problems they're happy this year. What they had and others that he sit in the responsible thing to do. But there probably hit my voice and other donor. Royal assault it providing heat. Is that really important he get at all and they had and he went home and went home. And way to pay for any work supporting. She likes that ordinarily find basic very convenient to get we. We can take total funds over the phone. Through mail room our current donation requests are. Donors of all citizens give it as. All levels from five dollars a month of 500 dollars and aren't. Every dollar helps. Eight preventative context. We're about 25 dollars. You can provide will recall he for a week. I want that they average utility eating dole 25 dollars a month will provide deeper we do they have an organ. Do. Yes quite you think. I mentioned earlier we're still only meeting about a bit of the overall need. Do we you know a whole lot more viewers out there to help us with. The news that I see aliens and volunteer opportunities can you tells about the. Yeah you're actually something that I'm really excited about in terms of who ruined it goes opportunity. I don't. You know per result there are. Physical event for you. We have fundraising opportunities. We're bringing our message out onto the street at street fairs and other community organizing there. We're gonna get involved as a guerrilla marketing. You are making I'm overworked lately. We're gonna take some different attacks. In January we got a bad plan in pioneer square. They're typical ways of opening even coming into the office and helping us you know. Mail newsletters. Folding. You're open newsletters is a pretty huge job. And you need all the help we can get every few months with that. But it is off route skills and in other leadership characteristics they were looking for the community. Online. You yours if you're an advocate for us on FaceBook and Twitter running aground in getting the message at all. And then what I'm really hoping that we can find today are some very energized board members and committee members. I've got a great board. That is quite active in our work. And we are always looking for work specific skill set help augment that. A lawyer CPA. So when did you have a lot of energy balance interviews. I'd love to talk to them. If someone listening wants to boot. It started on this track in helping us out where where's the best place for them to go for information. Online at or an energy bond out of work. We're really what actually did you regulatory branch days there is a completely new look and feel. It's very easy to use than scored self explanatory there about how to get in touch with us. What are the plans for the future for the organ energy fund. So this year marked and Israelis or as we mentioned about the reaper and we also have a very ambitious energy plan to certain war guardians. When you are looking forward significant group. There have been individual donations. And in corporate partnerships. I personally am very recent addition the name I'm about six months and myself. And so stat except for my my my one deputy director. He's got thirteen years under her belt if your organization sees big institutional knowledge. Except for Marietta we're basically just 27 year old startup. Then. We can't we we know that we've got a lot of work to do what we know that we got just incredible foundation to build. Certainly mentioned earlier most are funding comes through our utility partners at all because they're their residential customer's billing campaign it's. I didn't matter that you're PG and customer you're next bill probably what are envelopes and head. But PGA Pacific power twice a year send out what they call built stopper campaigns force. And it it's PG turn this my. So you get one of those envelopes shall see if they get there. And the great opportunity to give voice but you know in addition to noted that this sort of cramped space. It is envelopes that is newsletters. We're really trying to branch out into the into new areas. To reach more donors more businesses. Regarding the wire the business world I'm putting up a big focus on connecting went well although the beauty ecosystem and Oregon. Yeah utilities have been great partners for us but Oregon State has blessed with a wealth of resources and had a very robust energy sector. That attracted a very diverse blend of businesses but I coach Leggett the energy and alternatives. Yes solar and that is a big piece of the energy sector out here that just didn't existing units. Same scale and size twenty years ago. But in addition to those there's providers. There's also a supply chain of partners and heavy industry consumers. All these companies benefit from being located organs are higher and it comes to help share some of that benefit with their neighbors in need. In our energy from the great conduit for these businesses to positively impact their neighbors. And in on the individual side we're putting much more purposes only channel of communication and ways of interacting directly let us. My new development director as totally reinvigorated. Our social media presence. We're much more active minds and then on FaceBook and mr. brown if we've ever been before a great way of connecting with the president and learning about us and they're under sharing that need out there. O'Brien in the last minute or so we have here let's give us some information on where people can get information if they want to help out. And also where people can get information if they need assistance. Do if you want more information about prevention or any energy fund dot work is probably the primary place to go. You guardian contact with the community action agency is guardian contact your local social services agencies. They know how to get in touch with this too. I think there's there's thirty partners or crawl this state we literally could do you could not do what we do it now down. That they are very well versed in getting to us. Or you can give us a call you know we're are our phones or man in our port Wentworth but we're here. 971386. She wants people were Fergie. 97136212. Or. We're here for all oregonians. Great you'd you're doing good work. I I really believe we are going to seven years as organization. Has surged. Hundreds of thousands of oregonians. Creating upward of 25 million dollars. These people I signed. To keep their homes or he could be fresh. Brian all Britain you're the executive director of the organ energy fund and I like to thank you for me how much scope today. And thank you very very much Gary ain't gonna put. Microscope is an Entercom radio Portland public affairs program on your clocks. If you have a nonprofit or public affairs organization that you'd like to let others know about you can email me my email address is microscope that inter com dot com. Remember enter column start to the and he did you can always go to this station's website and click on the community link and submit your information there. If you'd like to hear this program again you can visit our website at metro scope. Thanks for listening to go and enjoy the rest of your weekend.