A Bold New Name and Vision for the Future
This is a big moment for us, friends. We are officially changing our name from Human Solutions to Our Just Future.
This change has been years in the making. Back in 2018, our team agreed to create a new name that more accurately reflects our beliefs and goals, one that inspires our work in the community and offers a vision to reach for. Internally, we began our directional shift years ago, readying ourselves for this day. We hope that means our news feels as right to you as it does for us: We intentionally center racial justice in all that we do, because our future depends on it.
And we invite you to join us.
Today, a Call to Action
We worked with our whole team and our broader community to decide what we wanted to convey in a new name, and how we wanted it to feel for our partners, especially the folks engaged in our programs. We wanted a name that matched our dreams, one that we could rise to, and one that would remind us to ask ourselves on the regular if the work we are doing, the way we are being, the people we are prioritizing, the decisions we are making, and the way we are making them, are the ones that lead toward justice.
How We Got Here
Back in 1988, when Human Solutions was created, we provided just a few community services, mainly home weatherization and utility assistance to seniors and people with low incomes. Since then, our programs have changed and expanded a great deal to meet evolving community needs and socio-economic challenges.
We opened emergency shelters for folks experiencing homelessness (with a network of community partners), developed our first affordable-housing community, and Jeff Merkley (yes, that Jeff Merkley) served as our first affordable-housing director. And we have continued to grow – offering employment programs to promote income security, developing more affordable housing (nearly 1,000 apartments today, with more in the works!), and adding a range of other supportive services to help people stay housed and enhance their wellbeing.
As we grew, we added an essential focus that extends beyond the “now” of helping people become or stay housed: We’re fighting for systemic change to address the problems our community faces at its core – drawing on our decades of experience helping people navigate this country’s long-failing housing and economic systems. This means we’re combating racist housing and economic policies, building climate-smart housing for the sake of our environmental future, and using our power to advocate for wider policy changes across our region and state.
In short, we’ve changed a lot since 1988. It’s time our name did too.
A New Logo to Convey our Dreams
With this new visual to accompany our brand, we honor our history as Human Solutions, confirm our commitment to our beloved service area of East Portland and wider East Multnomah County, and envision the future we want to build together with neighbors – including you! – for everyone in our community.
A New Tagline to Help Us Reach a Just Future
Our new tagline – “Working together for racial, housing, and economic justice in East Multnomah County, Oregon” – conveys our core values, guides our direction, and inspires us to get up and do this essential work every day.
This message calls out racial justice as essential to our work toward housing and economic justice, because there is no such thing as housing and economic justice without a solid foundation of racial justice. We operate from this baseline understanding: Since this country’s founding, and even before, white elites have intentionally excluded people of color, especially Black and Indigenous folks, from access to basic human needs such as housing – and then profited from that exclusion and passed these benefits to generations that followed.
As Our Just Future, we’re intentionally working to repair this history – it’s our responsibility as a land-owning organization with the power to decide how it is used and whom it benefits. And as an organization funded largely by public dollars, as people with relative power in our community (being a landowner, landlord, and employer), we are accountable to all of you for our decisions and our actions.
Working together is our only way forward, toward the future built on justice we know is possible.