[James] packed a bag and walked. He walked out on family, friends and the life that he built and headed south. He never really had a destination in mind. Few people in James’ place do. They just have to get away. It’s a common trend with addiction.
The length of his journey isn’t clear, but, after a while, he landed on a Portland sidewalk in Old Town. To him, it seemed like just another space on the game board that was his wayward journey to who-knows-where. But what James didn’t realize, is he’d actually reached the end of one chapter and was about to open a brand new book in his life. Read more...
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Jennifer from pdxmission on Vimeo.
Most of us can't imagine that kind of pain. But Jennifer didn't give up.
Thanks to you, Jennifer is finding help at Shepherd's Door, the women and children's ministry of Portland Rescue Mission. She's healing from her addiction and its root causes.
Your support gives hope when all seems lost. Donate online at www.PortlandRescueMission.org. Or call 503-MISSION (647-7466)
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
-- A park?
-- A bench?
-- A doorway?
Leo found out just how difficult--and illegal--it can be for a homeless person to get rest. Exhaustion just makes it that much harder to escape a tough situation.
From the Street Roots blog: http://streetroots.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/falling-asleep-unwanted-and-waking-up-a-wanted-man/
So I went looking for a covered area, to get out of the rain. I found a doorway and a bench on the corner of a building. A rent-a-cop told me I couldn’t sleep in the doorway. So I asked, “Where can I sleep?” He replied, “I don’t know, but you can’t sleep here.” I didn’t get much sleep that night.
I slept a few nights on the bench until another guard came and told me, “You can’t sleep here.” I looked at her and replied, “Geez, lady, it is 2 a.m. and it’s raining, where can I go?” “I don’t know but you can’t be here,” she said. I just looked up at her. Then she told me, “I’m leaving and if you’re still here when I come back, I’m going to call the police and they are going to take you to jail.” Read more...
Friday, January 15, 2010
Your financial support and donations of practical items makes this relationship-building possible.
Our list of most-needed donation items has been updated: http://www.portlandrescuemission.org/end-homelessness/donate-items/
-- Bibles (NLT)
-- New Undergarments (men and women)
-- Hooded Sweatshirts
-- Jeans (men)
-- Sleeping Bags
-- Twin Blankets
-- Disposable Razors
-- Travel-Size Toiletries
Bring donation items to the Burnside Shelter at:
111 W. Burnside Map ItShort-term street parking is usually available by our front door.
Portland, OR 97209
Thursday, January 14, 2010
She is neatly dressed, wearing a clean pair of jeans, a sweater, and raincoat. At 47 years, her short hair is streaked white.
Homeless for the first time in her life, C moved to Portland three years ago and worked for temping agencies hoping it would lead to a permanent job, which she says had worked for her in the past. She received less work as the recession deepened. She lived off her savings until it ran out, when she became homeless in April.
She describes the experience of being homeless “discombobulating” and “mind-blowing” and “overwhelming.”
“I’ve never used social services,” she says. “I don’t associate with people who use social services. I do what I need to do to get my needs met.”
“I’m one of those people who don’t fit in,” C continues. “I feel like such an outsider.”
It’s a way, says C, of self-preservation. “I’m making myself invisible to stay safe,” she says. “I feel like a target when I’m walking down the street."
Read more about the difficult circumstances of homeless women in Portland: http://streetroots.wordpress.com/2010/01/07/i-feel-like-a-target%E2%80%94assualts-on-women-run-through-portland/
We think of homelessness as primarily affecting middle-aged men. But women and children make up a large part of the "unseen homeless", trapped in difficult circumstances of fear, abuse and addiction.
Life on the streets for any woman has become incredibly dangerous. To survive, women stay in unhealthy relationships in exchange for at least some protection from theft, beatings, rape or murder.
Shepherd's Door, the women and children's ministry of Portland Rescue Mission, offers more than just a meal and shelter from danger. Inside our doors, up to 38 women and their children journey toward healing from the root causes of their homelessness and addiction.
Your support provides women a way out of overwhelming circumstances. You give more than a meal. More than a bed. You give HOPE.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I have been haunted by a conversation I had with one of our guests recently, as he thanked me for the Christmas decorations that made the Burnside Shelter feel like home.Every homeless person has a story. In these tough economic times, your support gives men like Steven hope of putting their lives back together. Thank you.
Steven, a successful investment banker, has been homeless for the last 13 months. In November 2008, his business partner became terrified at the stock market crash and stole all of their operating capital--hundreds of thousands of dollars--and left the business.
Steven was left penniless. He's now divorced and his children want nothing to to with him as they are ashamed of his condition.
He is a young, nice looking man. Steven has no issues with drugs or alcohol and is always clean and well-groomed, but just can't find a job. He has lost his home, his car, his family and is just holding onto hope that his luck will change soon.
That is truly what we give, hope--at the very end of a frazzled rope. I am so blessed and honored to be part of this wonderful ministry. Pray for Steven, that he will find a job and all the other things that he needs to rebuild his life.
Monday, January 11, 2010
-- Portland's Largest Garage Sale
-- 500 vendors under one roof
-- Over 5000 shoppers
-- Saturday, April 17th
-- 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
-- 7:00 AM Early Bird Tickets available
-- Portland EXPO Center
-- 2060 N. Marine Dr, Portland, OR 97217
-- Adults, $3.00 (Half of proceeds go to Portland Rescue Mission)
-- Kids, FREE
Vendor Space: $45.00 for 10' x 10' area
For more information and to reserve your vendor space, visit www.portlandgsale.com
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
They gave socks.
Not to each other. To homeless people.
Bashing the notion that teens are self-absorbed, students from Mosaic church demonstrated true giving and Christmas spirit by collecting 235 pairs of socks for Portland Rescue Mission to give to hurting men, women and children.
Compared to the overwhelming problem of homelessness, 235 pairs of socks may not seem like much. But IT IS.
It’s 235 interactions our staff and volunteers will have with homeless men and women as we hand out the socks. 235 moments of grace in which God's love is present in a practical way. 235 bits of comfort for tired, wet and cold feet. 235 deeply hurting souls who will know kindness.
Out of those 235 interactions, relationships will develop. Trust will build. Many will come back for more help. Some will choose to enter our recovery program. Some will escape the life of homelessness, addiction and abuse they've been trapped in.
Thanks, Mosaic students, for 235 more opportunities to reach out to hurting people.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
- Discover our approach to ending homelessness by healing its root causes
- Learn more about the emergency services and long-term recovery programs we provide
- Hear stories from the men and women we serve about how their lives are changing
- Find out the many ways you can help as a volunteer
When you invest your time in the men, women and children at Portland Rescue Mission, you give something more. More than a meal. More than a bed. You give hope.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Damien from pdxmission on Vimeo.
In our recovery program, Damien has found the structure, guidance and healing he needed to break free from addiction. And very soon, he'll complete that college degree.
Your support gives young men like Damien a chance to escape a lifetime of homelessness. Donate online at www.PortlandRescueMission.org. Or call 503-MISSION (647-7466)
Friday, January 1, 2010
Mike DesCamp paid a homeless man $10 just to sit and talk with him for half an hour. What he discovered made him uncomfortable.
Read the full Oregonian article "At Street Level With Portland's Homeless".