News from the President

Hi Neighbors! I’m writing this in the aftermath of the big February snowstorm. Sunnyside looks beautiful with the sun shining off the fresh snow. Hopefully, when you read this, spring will be showing its green face again!

During the February board meeting we focused on land use — specifically revitalizing our Land Use and Transportation Committee. We had several folks join us who are interested in this important work and we voted to create a committee. We are moving forward with choosing a chair and establishing some priorities for Sunnyside. If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact us at [email protected].

We are still searching for new board members and officers for the SNA. Elections will be held in May. Please contact us at [email protected] if you’d like to learn more.

We look forward to seeing you in March at our next general meeting on March 9th at 7:00 p.m. Keep an eye on the website ( for agenda details. As always, if you have something you’d like to discuss or learn more about, we’d love to hear from you!

What’s Your Preparedness Story?

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a Sunnyside Neighborhood Emergency Team (aka NET) member and I’m tasked with encouraging all Sunnysiders to be prepared, not scared.

I’m shifting the focus of my news articles for the rest of 2023 to hearing and sharing your efforts, successes, and even frustrations with preparedness within your own families and blocks. We learn best from stories, so think about sharing yours with me. The best way to reach me is via email at [email protected]. 

Once you’ve emailed me, I will reply with a series of questions assessing where you are in your efforts to be prepared. I would also be willing to meet in person or via Zoom to chat once you have answered my follow-up questions. Then I will write an article for the newsletter, which, depending on space limitations, would be published sometime in 2023.

Looking forward to hearing from you and sharing your stories. Happy 2023.

Sunnyside Neighborhood Community Cares (SNACC) Committee Updates

We had a strong turnout at our February meeting, where we discussed the Sunnyside Shower Project’s (SSP) protocols on how to deal with guests who exhibit harmful or dangerous behaviors. Special guest Sandra Comstock, from Hygiene4All, shared some ideas on how they deal with harm to their community. The SSP has a “Code of Conduct” that we hang in our space at the Groves but we have not yet written down a policy for “incident protocols.” We hope to do that in the coming weeks. One helpful tidbit
that Comstock shared is to come at the incident with curiosity. If a person who is houseless is acting out, there is usually something going on for them and finding out what that is and (if possible) helping them solve that issue is a good place to start. 

We also discussed the possibility of the SSP becoming its own nonprofit, separate from the SNA. There are pros and cons to this—one pro being that we would be eligible for a wider variety of grants and funding. On the other hand, many of us like the fact that we’re showing that Neighborhood Associations can be a force for good in their communities. We don’t want to lose the grassroots nature of the SSP, which is one of the qualities that makes it so special. Matt Lembo offered to help with this process, if the SSP decides to become its own nonprofit. 

Finally, we are hoping to off-load the furniture that’s in our storage unit on 82nd St. If anyone needs bookshelves, lamps, or other household items, let us know. We are willing to give these items away in exchange for a donation to the SSP! Contact Emily at [email protected] if you’re interested. 

As always, if you’re interested in supporting the SSP, either financially or by joining our growing volunteer pool, please email [email protected] to learn more. 

Sunnyside Neighborhood: Getting to Know Your Neighbors

Q&A with Reverend Leroy Barber

The Rev. Leroy Barber wears many hats. Formerly Director of Innovation at the Oregon-Idaho Conference of the United Methodist Church, Barber is currently the associate pastor at the Groves Church in Sunnyside and the Executive Director of a North Carolina-based nonprofit called Neighborhood Economics, which supports entrepreneurs in disenfranchised neighborhoods. He’s also Black Santa PDX. Finally, as if that weren’t enough to keep him busy, he just opened a coffee shop, Grinds & Vines, in the basement of the Sunnyside Methodist Church. Barber also loves to wear actual hats—including this red fedora. Stop by to have a latte or pour-over, and give him and his daughter Jessica a big welcome!  

How long have you been in Portland? 

Leroy: I’m from Atlanta. I came here about ten years ago for a job with a non-governmental organization called Word Made Flesh, but they’ve since moved. They work in nine different countries. I’ve done a lot of work with missions, and international and community development. 

Do you live in Sunnyside?   

Leroy: No. I live in Southeast Portland but further out, towards Gresham.  

Why did you start your business in Sunnyside? 

Leroy: I worked for the Methodist Conference for about five years and I invited Sunia [Gibbs, pastor at The Groves Church] and the Groves to be part of this building [the old Sunnyside Methodist Church]—to help renovate it and run it as a community center. A few years ago, we found old pictures—like, twenty years old—showing that there used to be a coffee shop in the basement. So that’s what gave me the idea. And I just think Sunnyside is a good neighborhood. It’s a close-knit community.

Continue reading our Q&A with Reverend Leroy Barber

Critic’s Corner: Tabor Bread

Review by Katherine Crosato, age 10, SES student 

Tabor Bread is a great local bakery that recently moved to Belmont and 44th from its original location on Hawthorne. Everything is carefully made and always fresh. Everybody there is welcoming and kind. They recently downsized so there is less seating, but this new location is more convenient for my family and still cozy. We always get bread there and we love it. Last Sunday I ordered a croissant sandwich with ham, cheese, aioli and sprouts and to top it off a very good quality mustard. It was great and I would recommend it to anyone. It was crispy and the inside was soft. I loved it! We had only planned to get a few things but ended up getting so many items. All of it smelled and looked amazing. The interior was very nice and comfortable to eat in. The customer service was great and they got things done fast. 

I do wish they had more food options. They used to have a huge variety to choose from and I feel like I didn’t have much to pick from but I’m sure that will come later. I’m excited for the future outdoor seating which will be a great thing to add considering I couldn’t bring my dog inside. I will definitely go back and this is a great local bakery if you’re looking for something fresh to eat. That’s why I recommend Tabor Bread as your local bakery. 

Tabor Bread, 4438 SE Belmont St.; see for their weekly bread schedule.  Open every day from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Please submit ideas for Critics Corner to Hannah at [email protected]