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Safer Together

SJNA is delighted to announce our new project, Safer Together. This is supported by the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) under its Community Resilience and Capacity Building program. 

Through Safer Together, SJNA will help organize about 30 block parties in different areas of St. Johns during the good weather months of 2023 - about April through October. The block parties will consist of the usual food (which the neighbors will bring), fun activities for adults and kids, and music. They will also feature a short presentation on safety and resilience, where we will invite folks in the neighborhood to create a phone list and a neighborhood map. 


Above all, we will encourage them to get to know each other better. Knowing neighbors has been shown to be one of the keys to getting through catastrophes like the threats we face of earthquake, fire, flood, and gas farm leakage. We are working closely with the St Johns NET (Neighborhood Emergency Team).  

BIG THANKS to our partners: 


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Portland Bureau of Emergency Management - PBEM - for supporting us (and ten other non-profits in Portland) to look for innovative ways to make our response to disasters more effective, inclusive and decentralized. Safer Together is supported by PBEM through its Community Resilience and Capacity Building program. 

The St Johns NET Team. Our city has some of the largest, most active and best organized Neighborhood Emergency Teams - NETs - in the country, made up of volunteers who are trained to respond to emergencies. St. Johns NET is working closely with us in planning and carrying out Safer Together. And, a number of people active in SJNA are also trained NETs, making everything easier.

Sometimes the city won't be able to help us and then we'll have to help ourselves.

Block parties are a place to meet new people.

We didn't used to have to worry about killer heat waves in Portland. Now we do.

Good food is a central element of any successful block party!

We might not think about fires spreading but St. Johns has a lot of trees and wooden houses.

All ages!

Everyone needs to be safe, and everyone needs human contact.

Safer Together will empower people to take care of people!

Find out about hosting a block party

To present 30 block parties, we will need 30 hosts. About ten people have volunteered already, and we're counting on St. Johnsians (like you!) to step forward and host the other 20. And we would love to do more than 30 - we would like to cover all of St. Johns.

What kind of people host block parties? Usually hosts are people who know some of their neighbors, though not all of them. Hosts like fun social occasions and good food and music. Finally, hosts are people who are willing to do a little extra to make their neighborhood an even better place to live. If that describes you, then please think about hosting a Safer Together block party!

We want to make it easy for you, and we have prepared a number of materials for hosts:

  • A short guide to hosting that covers everything you need to do, with a time line. 

  • Preprinted flyers that you can distribute to your neighbors telling them about the party and the date, time and location, and posters that you can put in public spaces so people will see them when they go to the store or walk their dogs.

  • Sound systems and tables, canopies, trash cans, and music (unless you or someone in your neighborhood wants to be responsible for the music!)

  • A simple form to get a street closure permit from PBOT. And, we will bring the barricades and signage needed.

  • A table where people can sign up for a phone tree and for the SJNA and StJohnsNET mailing lists.

  • We'll present a fun-but-serious fifteen minute talk on disaster resilience.

  • We will have a paid assistant who can help with canvassing and logistics, as each block party requires.

  • Finally, we'll work with you to understand your neighborhood and tailor the block party to the folks who are going to be there - we will have games for kids, and we can present in Spanish as well as English. It all depends on what you want and need.


Click on "I'd like to talk about hosting" below to leave your contact information and we'll get back to you.


Kick Off Meeting


We're holding a Kick Off Meeting, at 7 PM on Zoom on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. The meeting is a chance to hear more about Safer Together, ask any questions and make any suggestions you may have, and find out about hosting a block party. The meeting won't take more than one hour. Mark your calendars. You can find the link on the home page of this site, or on the calendar.

Read our contract & budget.                                        Read about NETs

Safer Together has been made possible in part by a grant from the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in Safer Together do not necessarily represent those of the City of Portland.

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