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Neighborhood Mediation Program
"The mediators helped to open the dialogue between my neighbor and me. I was very frustrated going into the meeting; however, now I feel my issues were heard and understood. Thank you."
Resolutions Northwest's Neighborhood Mediation Program provides neighbors and families in Portland with a confidential and compassionate process for resolving conflicts in a positive and personal way. Community mediation grew out of the social and political movements of the 1960s to empower community members to resolve their own disputes, rather than take it to the slow and expensive court system. There is no cost for Portland residents to use this service. Our program is funded primarily through a grant with the City of Portland's Office of Neighborhood Involvement but we also rely on donations for a portion of the program's expenses.
Our program uses trained community volunteer mediators who are coached and mentored by our staff of professional mediators. The mediators meet with both parties in the conflict and help the parties find their own solution. Over 94% of community members who have used our services report satisfaction with the mediation process and the agreements reached during mediation. Many common neighborhood disputes RNW's volunteer mediators have successfully helped Portland residents resolve are:
Neighborhood/Community: noise, pets, property maintenance, nuisances, boundary disputes
Interpersonal: harassment, threats, minor assaults
Landlord/Tenant: repairs, damages, public safety, evictions
Consumer/Merchant: refusal to honor sale price or warranty
How our mediation program works
The first step is to contact our office. Our front office staff will take a brief description of your problem, explain the mediation process, and schedule a convenient time for a mediator to call you back. If your concern is not appropriate for mediation, we will refer you to other resources. You can contact us by phone at 503-595-4890; or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or you can drop by our offices at: 1827 NE 44th Ave, Suite 300. Normal business hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
Following your initial call, you will receive a call from one of our volunteer mediators who will listen to your concerns, clarify information, discuss who is involved, and help identify the issues you would like to discuss with the other party. The mediator will assist you in two ways:
- The mediator can help you prepare for a successful discussion with the other party about your concern. You may find that with helpful information, support, and encouragement you can resolve the issue yourself, or,
- If you decide you would like to move forward with mediation, the mediator will contact the other party, listen to their concerns and invite them to mediation. If both parties agree to move forward with a face-to-face mediation, we will schedule a session date, place and time with you
Finally, it is important to remember that mediation is a voluntary process and that the mediators are impartial in the process. Mediators do not "represent" either side, and mediators do not act as a judge based on evidence. Mediators simply help the parties discuss the issues together and most often help the parties create an agreement that works for both sides.
Neighborhood Mediation services are provided in English and Spanish by bi-lingual staff and volunteers. We also offer our services with interpreters for all other languages in partnership with other community-based organizations who have additional language capacities.
For more information:
RNW Community Mediation Fact Sheet (PDF format)