05-23-2018  3:38 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Lawmakers hold hearing to discuss Oregon dairy's downfall

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers are asking questions about what went wrong with a large dairy that is facing a lawsuit, regulatory problems and bankruptcy in an effort to find ways to prevent a similar situation in the future.The Senate Interim Committee on Environment and Natural...

Editorials from around Oregon

Selected editorials from Oregon newspapers:_____The Oregonian/OregonLive, May 23, on rebuilding faith in police oversight board:Derek Ashton, an attorney representing former Portland Police Chief Larry O'Dea, didn't mince words in criticizing a committee's recommendation that O'Dea lose his police...

Tanker spills 3,500 gallons of liquid asphalt near Cle Elum

CLE ELUM, Wash. (AP) — Officials say a tanker rolled spilling about 3,500 gallons of liquid asphalt as it was taking an exit off Interstate 90 near Cle Elum.KOMO-TV reports the incident happened Wednesday when the tanker took the exit and went off the shoulder.The Washington State Patrol...

Amazon, Starbucks pledge money to repeal Seattle head tax

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon, Starbucks, Vulcan and others have pledged more than 0,000 toward repealing Seattle's newly passed tax on large employers.The Seattle City Council on May 14 unanimously passed the so-called head tax that will charge businesses making at least million in gross...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Video of Bucks guard's arrest in Milwaukee to be released

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee police are poised to release body camera footage Wednesday from the officers who used a stun gun on NBA Bucks guard Sterling Brown during a January arrest.The release comes as city officials who've viewed the videos have expressed concern about how officers...

Offshore worker alleges bias in federal lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An African-American offshore oil worker has filed a federal lawsuit saying he was intimidated on the job by a supervisor who drew a picture of him dangling from a high rig structure while surrounded by co-workers in Ku Klux Klan hats.The lawsuit claims the worker was...

Comedian Josh Denny not sorry about N-word tweets

NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian and Food Network host Josh Denny has called his tweets using the N-word and comparing use of "straight white male" to the racial slur as "very incendiary," but he said he's not sorry.The host of "Ginormous Food" appeared on Van Lathan's podcast "The Red Pill" on...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Good Morning America' to expand; 'The Chew' canceled

NEW YORK (AP) — ABC's "Good Morning America" is expanding to a third hour — and swallowing "The Chew" to make room.The network said Wednesday the new third hour will air at 1 p.m. Eastern, which is often the spot for the cooking show. "GMA" starts at 7 a.m."The Chew" has aired for...

Deadliest Catch' star pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault

SEATTLE (AP) — Celebrity crab-boat captain Sig Hansen has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge that he spat on an Uber driver last year in Seattle.The Seattle Times reports (https://bit.ly/2s3scWE) the 52-year-old "Deadliest Catch" star pleaded guilty Wednesday.Under the plea deal, a...

Comedian Josh Denny not sorry about N-word tweets

NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian and Food Network host Josh Denny has called his tweets using the N-word and comparing use of "straight white male" to the racial slur as "very incendiary," but he said he's not sorry.The host of "Ginormous Food" appeared on Van Lathan's podcast "The Red Pill" on...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

BE MINE: Maker of candy hearts, Necco Wafers sold at auction

BOSTON (AP) — The bankrupt 171-year-old candy maker known for its chalky Necco Wafers and those little...

Estimated 7,000 bodies may be buried at former asylum

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Some of the boxes stacked inside anthropologist Molly Zuckerman's laboratory...

Stand or stay out of sight: NFL takes on anthem protesters

ATLANTA (AP) — NFL owners approved a new policy Wednesday aimed at quelling the firestorm over national...

French government orders evacuation of Paris migrant camps

PARIS (AP) — Police are preparing to dismantle makeshift camps holding close to 2,500 migrants in the...

2 patients who fled Ebola ward among the dead in Congo

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Two infected patients who fled from an Ebola treatment center in a Congo city of 1.2...

Summits give aged North Korean spies hope of returning home

GWANGJU, South Korea (AP) — He's spent nearly six decades trapped on enemy soil, surviving 29 years in a...

By Arashi Young | The Skanner News

While working as a family advocate in a homeless shelter, Tyrone Poole would help homeless families qualify for rent assistance. He would find families vouchers and write award letters that would pay the cost of rent for a year.

But again and again, these families would leave the shelter without housing because they could not find an apartment to rent. They would blindly apply to units to be disqualified for credit histories, criminal backgrounds or eviction records. All the while spending limited funds on housing application fees.

Poole – who won this summer’s Pitch Black event for African American entrepreneurs in the Portland area -- said this was devastating to those who were trying to get their lives in order.

“Housing is fundamental. You can't do anything before you are housed,” he said. “If you are homeless, that is like not having air, it’s like not having water.”  

One day, Poole had a revelation to build a system that would match renters with qualified housing. Out of this idea, NoAppFee was born.

NoAppFee has grown from a local creation into a national database and has been getting attention from the tech industry. On Feb. 4, NoAppFee won the regional 1776 Challenge Cup in San Francisco. The 1776 Challenge Cup seeks out promising and transformative technologies.

NoAppFee also won the Portland Development Commission’s 2014 Startup PDX Challenge for diverse entrepreneurs and the local 1776 Challenge cup for Portland.

The technology start-up will now advance to 1776 Challenge Global Cup which will be decided in June in Washington D.C. The winner of the global cup will receive $ 1 million, global brand exposure and support from a business incubator, according to Poole. 

Tyrone Poole

Housing is a very personal issue for Poole, who experienced homelessness after a work accident ended his career. During his training to be a firefighter, Poole suffered a fall which caused a debilitating injury. At a homeless shelter, he discovered how difficult it was for people to find housing, even if the rent was being subsidized.

“I lived at the YWCA homeless shelter and I couldn’t find a place to live -- even though I got a voucher from the YWCA to pay my rent for a year, I couldn't do it,” Poole said.

Poole developed NoAppFee to streamline the housing application process. Renters often have had to fill out applications for housing and then pay for a new background check for each application. With NoAppFee applicants pay for a single background check, then the site matches renters with the properties they qualify for.

Poole said getting housing quickly is especially important for those receiving rental assistance. Transitional housing time limits and rent voucher expirations necessitate a faster rental process. Poole would like to see needy renters matched up with apartments the same day they got their award letters.

On Feb. 11, Portland mayoral candidate Ted Wheeler issued a Tenants’ Bill of Rights as part of his campaign platform. In the text, Wheeler endorsed NoAppFee as a tool to promote fair rental practices. Wheeler also supported the creation of a standardized rental application and background check for renters and landlords.

“Portland entrepreneurs are already lending their talents to affordable housing and tenants’ issues. Tyrone Poole recently won the 1776 Challenge Cup Regional in San Francisco for his site NoAppFee.com, which utilizes data and technology to promote equal access to housing. The city should be capitalizing on these innovations,” Wheeler wrote.

Poole has plans to expand NoAppFee into the single-family home rentals. Currently, the database covers only property management companies. NoAppFee pays to prescreen these companies to qualify to list on the site. Poole said this is to protect the data of their renters.

Handling sensitive information like names, birthdates, credit histories, criminal background checks and eviction records leaves renters vulnerable to identity theft. NoAppFee had previously stayed away from listing independent landlords due to Craigslist housing scams.

The company is now developing a tool for these landlords – a new score card that would tell them if the renters qualified for their standards. Poole believes this would match renters with landlords without sending sensitive data.

He said this would be a necessary next step for NoAppFee to have a major effect on the rental market, where more than half of the available rentals are through small, independent landlords.

"Sixty percent of the national rental market is actually single-family owners -- Mom and Pop-owned. Even if we got every single management company in the United States, we would only have forty percent of the rental market, so we have to get them on there," Poole said.

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