VAN Initiatives

VAN uses the LISTEN - FOCUS - ACT - RESULTS process to track progression of ideas into action. Each year we open our ears to "Listen" to a new set of community issues, "Focus" on those which are most pressing or which present opportunities for success, and in collaboration with other, plan and implement "Action" to achieve change. Success for the VAN is continuing to move projects through these steps toward solutions that are implemented in the community by partner agencies, "Results".
VAN's current initiatives are in various stages of this process and are described below.


Homeless Cost Study (FOCUS)

Vision Action Network and the Washington County Department of Housing Services are co-convening an Advisory Committee to direct the design and implementation of such a cost study to measure the financial impact of homelessness on the various systems in Washington County. The purpose of this study is to understand the amount of money various systems (hospitals, law enforcement, EMS, shelters, corrections, etc.) are currently spending on services that do not end homelessness permanently. It is assumed that identifying the major cost-drivers of this group and determining where resources are allocated will assist our community in effectively tailoring services for the chronically homeless and ultimately reducing the costs associated with their care. For more information click here .


Aging Initiative (FOCUS-ACT)

In 2006, almost 67,000 of Washington County's residents (13% of the population) were 60 or older. With the aging of the baby boomers, who began turning 60 in 2006, that number is expected to increase 75% to over 117,000 within the next 15 years. This growth presents a vast array of needs, challenges and opportunities for communities. The Vision Action Network has launched an Aging Initiative to support community planning to address these needs, challenges and opportunities. For more information, click here.


Washington County Thrives (ACT)

In the fall of 2010, VAN partnered with Community Action to convene a series of Community Conversations to address the widening holes in our community's safety net for an increasing number of county residents experiencing economic insecurity. These convenings led to the creation of Washington County Thrives, a cross sector collaborative focused on issues of economic security in Washington County. For more information, click here.


Washington County Nonprofit Network (ACT)

The Washington County Nonprofit Network grew out of the Philanthropy Exploration in Washington County study conducted by VAN in 2008. One of the major findings of this study was the limited capacity of Washington County nonprofits in the area of fund development. To address this finding the study's Advisory Committee started the Washington County Nonprofit Network to provide opportunities for local nonprofits to network, collaborate, develop skills and build capacity. For more information and the Network calendar, click here.


Inter-Religious Action Network (ACT)

The Inter-religious Action Network (IAN) of Washington County was formed in 2001 under the auspices of the VAN and remains as a thriving, independent program with VAN as its fiscal home. The IAN invites people from all faith communities to come together to build respect for our diversity and to provide leadership for the improvement of life in Washington County. For more information please visit IAN’s website –


RESULTS projects:

Results projects are those that VAN has incubated and now operate in the community independent of VAN.  Click on the links below to learn more about them.


Behavioral Health Crisis Response  
Community CASH Oregon (expansion to Washington County)
Community Housing Fund
Hands on Greater Portland (expansion to Washington County)
Human Rights Council of Washington County
Partners for a Sustainable Washington County
Project Access Washington County School Based Health Centers
Project Homeless Connect
School Based Health Centers

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