THE LONDER CENTER AND ITS PARTNERS
Since it was established in 1993, the Londer Center has expanded its reach and impact. It has strengthened its relationships with other DCJ programs and staff and established partnerships with a number of community organizations. For example, the Londer Center has a unique relationship with Portland Community College. Although PCC is one of the area's main providers of adult basic education and English literacy instruction, the Londer Center and PCC have agreed not to compete over limited adult education funds. Rather, offenders with higher literacy skills and lower risk to the community are generally steered to PCC; those with lower literacy skills or a higher risk of re-offending are sent to Londer.
The Londer Center also contracts with PCC to provide instructional support technician positions. To help Londer's students make the transition to further education, PCC pays for one semester of college for any offender who graduates from Londer. In addition, the two organizations have recently collaborated on a grant proposal aimed at reducing recidivism among young serious offenders (The Going Home Initiative is described later).
The Londer Center has joined with the Multnomah County Library to encourage its adult learners to use the local library for additional resources and to participate in Everybody Reads (http://www.multcolib.org/reads/), a community-wide book discussion. Last year was the first time the Londer Center, its students and their families, POs, and other DCJ staff participated in the event, but Londer staff hope to continue its involvement. One PO reported that participation in this event marked the first time that some of her clients had ever read a book. The Londer Center has joined with the library and Oregon Public Broadcasting's "Ready to Learn" initiative to provide parent and child literacy workshops for its clients.
Some of the Londer Center's community partnerships are small, such as its partnership with Write Around Portland (WRAP), a nonprofit organization that deploys volunteers to offer creative writing workshops to low-income and isolated members of the Portland community. By invitation, WRAP volunteers have conducted several workshops at the Londer Center. More information about WRAP is available at http://www.writearound.org. Other Londer Center partnerships are more extensive, such as those with community drug abuse treatment providers and the local One-Stop Centers. Those partnerships, as well as those that the Londer Center has with other DCJ programs, are described below.