Alberta Alive Naming Dedication honors esteemed community leaders

Portland, Ore., February 26, 2024 — The Alberta Alive Naming Dedication commemorated the outstanding community contributions of Mr. Ronnie Herndon and Mr. Paul Knauls, while also marking the opening of the first two buildings under the Alberta Alive umbrella. Mr. Herndon and Mr. Knauls’ unwavering dedication and passion have touched countless lives, making a lasting impact. The project team honored their legacy by naming the first two Alberta Alive buildings in their honor.

The ceremony included key remarks from Mr. Ronnie Herndon, Mr. Paul Knauls, Mr. Tony Hopson, Sr, CEO and President of SEI, Eric Paine, CEO of CDP, and Nancy Harris Alexander, VP, Client Management, Public & Labor, NW/MTN at Aetna, a CVS Health Company, as well as a poetry reading by Dr. S. Renee Mitchell.

The Ronnie Herndon Building offers 21 units of affordable housing tailored to residents earning 30% and 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Comprising a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, this project prioritizes family housing, with 90% of the units being two- or three-bedrooms. The Paul & Geneva Knauls Building provides 31 units, offering a combination of studios and one-bedrooms. The Knauls Building also includes 25 VASH housing voucher units and wraparound case management services.

The Herndon and Knauls Buildings fall under the shared Alberta Alive vision, a collaboration between Community Development Partners (CDP) and Self Enhancement, Inc. (SEI) that represents a beacon of celebration and empowerment in Portland’s historically Black North/Northeast neighborhoods. By providing affordable housing, culturally responsive support services, and fostering a shared sense of community, the Ronnie Herndon and Paul & Geneva Knauls Buildings, situated just two blocks apart on NE Alberta, mark the inaugural properties under the Alberta Alive initiative.

All Alberta Alive communities offer culturally responsive resident programs and services tailored by SEI. SEI will provide onsite events as well as connections to its many programs at their Center for Self Enhancement, less than a mile from the buildings. SEI’s programming includes after-school youth activities and financial management, credit repair, and homeownership education for parents. In addition to services and programming provided by SEI, residents of the Knauls will receive wraparound supportive services from Do Good Multnomah—a nonprofit organization that partners with the community to provide housing, emergency shelter, and services to houseless Veterans. Veterans Affairs will provide case management services to residents living in the 25 VASH units offered at the Knauls as well.

The Herndon and Knauls Buildings serve as vibrant hubs designed to empower residents with the necessary tools and resources to flourish. The projects foster an atmosphere of support and growth, where individuals can harness their potential and contribute meaningfully to the collective fabric of the neighborhood.


About Community Development Partners

Founded in 2011, Community Development Partners develops and operates sustainable, life-enhancing affordable housing with a focus on long term community engagement and innovative design. As a mission-driven, forward-thinking organization, CDP is focused exclusively on creating vibrant affordable housing communities that incorporate art, public parks, gardens, fresh food, and cultural and social programming. Today, CDP has successfully built or preserved 45 unique projects comprising over 3,700 units throughout Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona.

About Self Enhancement, Inc. 

Founded in 1981, Self Enhancement Inc. is dedicated to guiding underserved youth to realize their full potential. Working with schools, families, and partner community organizations, SEI provides support, guidance, and opportunities to achieve personal and academic success. SEI brings hope to individual young people and enhances the quality of community life by being a comprehensive, one-stop resource for African-American youth and families and others living in poverty and seeking culturally responsive services. Today, SEI is Oregon’s largest African American-led nonprofit multi-service organization, and second-largest minority-operated employer.