We’re excited to introduce you to our new IDA Contracts Coordinator, Randy Lucas!
Randy joins Neighborhood Partnerships with seven years of experience managing Oregon IDAs at Save First Financial Wellness and Lutheran Community Services. As Program Manager with Save First, he advocated and developed privately funded match savings programs for transitional housing clients and established credit builder and small-dollar loans to meet the needs of credit-adverse participants. He has also worked to secure permanent housing for over 500 arriving refugees annually in the Portland area. As Enterprise Director at Community Warehouse, he founded the Furnishing Forward program, a mutually beneficial collaborative program that incentivizes in-kind donations from corporate donors and raises awareness for the local furniture bank. He looks forward to connecting with Oregon IDA Initiative partners across the state.
In his free time, you’ll find Randy treasure hunting at local thrift shops and garage sales. He also enjoys traveling, landscaping and gardening, and live music. He’s a big fan of college football and has been a Blazer fan since before moving to Oregon in 1997.
For starters, tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve been an Oregonian since 1997, after relocating from Florida. I am bi-racial, my mother is from Panama. My parents met while my father was stationed in the Marines in the Canal Zone, and I love going back to visit family and exploring areas I haven’t been to.
I have primarily worked in non-profit social services, focused on building community programs and development. I have 7 years experience managing IDA programs between two local organizations. I also owned a mid-century modern store in Portland for over 10 years.
What area of expertise and interest do you have?
My professional expertise has been building and improving programs that support underserved communities, particularly around financial education and asset building. I also have a strong interest in environmental causes including repurposing and reuse.
When I find time, I enjoy treasure hunting and restoring vintage goods in hopes of keeping things out of the landfill. I enjoy live music, landscaping/gardening, and exploring new places with my partner, Cindy and pup, Opal.
What does opportunity mean to you?
Opportunity is the seed for growth, hope and possibilities. Opportunity lays the foundation toward transformative change. It provides the possibility to develop skills, access resources, and thrive.
What difference can financial security make for individuals in communities?
Oh, this question hits so close to home. Many years ago, my finances were a wreck. The weight of debt and anxiety was awful. Looking back, the idea of financial security almost seemed impossible then. With the help of financial education and coaching, I overcame those challenges. It really took opening up to someone else who could help me organize, gain clarity and create a plan to get on track. Even though it felt insurmountable in the moment, it was just that – a moment. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing financial insecurity is forever when you can’t see a way out.
From my own experience and working with others, I found that the lack of financial security creates trauma. When we are in a state of trauma, our survival skills kick in, preventing us from thinking about anything else other than surviving in the moment. Financial security helps us gain a sense of confidence, resiliency, and the ability to focus and plan for the future. We become better prepared for life’s obstacles and use financial security to build and support the communities we are part of.
What’s your favorite quote?
Working directly with clients and program participants daily, I always tried to keep this quote by Maya Angelou in mind, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
What are you looking forward to most about this position?
I am looking forward to working and getting to know everyone at NP, as well as all the organizations that make up the IDA Initiative. I want to learn about what each does, what they like about the program and collaborate to find strategies that make the IDA Initiative even stronger.