09-30-2022  1:33 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 20 April 2022

Portland, Ore. – Latino Network, a Portland-based provider of culturally specific services in the Latinx community, has received the largest private contribution in its history with a $1.5 million grant commitment from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. The funding will support the construction of the organization’s planned new Metro Eastside facility, La Plaza Esperanza, which will be located at 312 SE 165th Ave. in Gresham.

“We are delighted and full of gratitude for this major grant from the Murdock Trust for La Plaza,” said Latino Network Executive Director Tony DeFalco. “Thanks to the Murdock Trust’s  commitment, and the generosity of other major funders, we are progressing rapidly toward our campaign goal, and our dream of building La Plaza will become a reality.”

The $1.5 million commitment comes with a challenge. It is a top-off grant that requires all additional funds to be raised. According to DeFalco, the Soñando Juntos Capital Campaign aims to raise an additional $4.5 million by 2024 when the La Plaza Esperanza is expected to open. “Soñando Juntos means ‘dreaming together.’ That’s what is happening when people and institutions like Murdock Trust support this project,” explains DeFalco.

A bustling hub

La Plaza Esperanza will provide an onsite culturally specific preschool and a hub of social services for East Multnomah County’s growing Latino population. More than 50,000 Latinx community members live within five miles of the site. “The impact will be huge,” says DeFalco. “For all ages, from pre-school children to teens, to whole families, La Plaza will be a second home, where people go to learn, celebrate, find friends, meet needs, get involved in the community, and promote change.”

“Community-focused organizations like Latino Network provide an invaluable service to our region,” said Steve Moore, executive director, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. “As a hub for community resources delivered in thoughtful and contextual ways, organizations like Latino Network help strengthen the city of Portland and the broader Pacific Northwest and we are grateful to play a small role in supporting their efforts.”

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