Our women’s New Life Recovery program has some very exciting news – we have partnered with Cedar Mill Bible Church in west Portland to provide transitional housing to moms and their children.
Transitional Housing for Mothers with Children
Housing is a big need for women with children. Once our moms finish our New Life program they often struggle to find a place to live. Now, with our partnership with Cedar Mill Bible Church, we can provide transitional housing for mothers and their children, giving them the support they need to be successful. For women with children who are employed and graduated from our New Life program, this Community House is the final rung on the ladder in their journey.
Our first mom, Jade, and her kids moved into the new home June 22nd! It was a great day of celebration. Mission Barb-B-Que set up a beautiful catered lunch while members of Cedar Mill Bible church and Portland Rescue Mission staff, volunteers, and donors blended together to celebrate these women’s new step forward in life.
A Beautiful Partnership
The house has a large yard for the kids to play and run. The house is provided by Cedar Mill Bible as part of a partnership with Portland Rescue Mission to serve our Community Program participants. Cedar Mill Bible Church is built around missions and mercy. They provide homes that serve pregnant mothers, missionaries and refugees.
The church purchased furniture for the home and some of the men in our program came and put it together. Donors have filled in the gaps with patio furniture, BBQs and more. During the dedication, Portland Rescue Mission friends brought pans, cookbooks, and other items that will bring a homey feeling to the house.
God’s Full Circle of Grace
Between about age one and thirteen, Jade’s babysitter, a woman who saw the painful difficulties in her life, invested in Jade, loving her unconditionally and often taking her to church, Cedar Mill Bible. As Jade grew into an adult her attempts to cover her deep pain and struggle ended in homelessness and despair, shame isolating her from those who cared. Shepherd’s Door was life-changing for Jade, turning her life from hurt and loneliness to community and relationship.
When Jade was offered a place at the new Community House located on Cedar Mill Bible Church property, she immediately knew that she wanted to reach out to her childhood babysitter and reconnect. Connecting back with the woman who meant so much in her life was a beautiful moment of God’s orchestrating grace – it turns out the woman’s husband was a decision maker in partnering with Portland Rescue Mission on the Community House – a decision made not knowing Jade would be one of the mothers to benefit from this sanctuary.
Our next mom, Stephanie will be moving in soon. Stephanie thought, as she walked into Shepherd’s Door, that she had won the lottery. Born in Canada, she lost her mother at a young age. Her father, a pastor, remarried and the pain, betrayal and loss Stephanie felt became rebellion. Her history of running away, starting at age 13, became a pattern.
Ongoing trauma led her to treat her PTSD with drugs and alcohol. She lost everything – her home, her children, her dignity.
“I felt hopeless and alone. I no longer wanted a part of the secrets keeping me slave to sin. Since doing this program at Shepherd’s Door I have found real relationships. I have seen God replace my addictions to alcohol and drugs, my loneliness which was codependency, with love. His love. I can forgive myself because of His grace and by His mercy I have repented and have been made into a new creation.”
Reunified with her children and her father, Stephanie now has real relationships and a deep appreciation for the people who invested in her life. She says, “Now I live with purpose and with more blessings that I can count.”
You Make This Possible
Because of Portland Rescue Mission friends and partnerships with churches like Cedar Mill Bible we are able to provide a bright future of hope for vulnerable moms and their children.
Want to partner with Portland Rescue Mission and be a part of transforming lives? Contact us for opportunities to help transform lives.
In 2007, Aaron Plaat
lost his 51-year-old father to cancer. Though the pain remains, Aaron found
healing through painting. “I often feel his presence when I paint,” says Aaron,
“Which comes out through the artistic expression of each stroke.” In his
father’s memory, Aaron created 51movement,
where 51% of every painting sold goes to charities. He picks nonprofits like
Portland Rescue Mission that help people in the neighborhood who are struggling.
Aaron Plaat, artist and founder of 51movement, where 51% of every painting sold goes to charities.
His art began as a labor of love. Aaron was working in the
tech industry but felt pulled to help others while doing something he loved.
“I’ve worked with the homeless for several
years,” Aaron recalls. “Through firsthand experience of the work they do, I
recognized Portland Rescue Mission’s values align with my own and I wanted to
find some way to benefit them.”
Painting His Journey
Hardship is one thing that Aaron is familiar with. When
asked about his favorite paintings, Aaron told how his two favorites outline
his own journey from despair to hope.
“My favorite piece is actually a pair of paintings, which tell of
my own brush with suicide and the one person who made the difference in my life
to help; my brother, Steve.”
Aaron remembers the darkest day of his life.
“In 2015, I walked to the
front door of my house to grab a red dog leash. I was planning on hanging
myself that morning.”
“As I walked to my closet to commit the deed, I looked at my
kitchen counter and saw my phone there.” Aaron remembers. “A little voice screamed at me to call my
brother, Steve. For over two hours, Steve talked with me on the phone and
eventually asked me if I’d be willing to move to California and work with him.”
Aaron describes how these pieces of art captured that day, “Both
of these pieces capture the details that happened on that morning., The first
piece, Desiderata, represents the red dog leash on the top part of the
painting, while also displaying the beautiful new life that came after walking
through the day.”
“The second piece, Lifeline, is more reflective of the dark beauty
that comes when you descend into your own soul. That morning, Steve was there
to save my life and be very patient with me while I worked through decades of pent-up
Aaron explains the hope he has now, “Four years later, I now speak
freely about this experience after years of loving care, counseling, and simply
learning when to ask for help from others.”
Painting with Compassion
Through his own life lessons, Aaron has created a movement
that not only heals his heart but can help the people around him. Encountering struggling
people in the Portland area has changed his life. He remembers a recent
encounter with a pizza delivery woman who came to his home. Aaron invited her
to look at his work. She became emotional after he started talking about his
heart for the homeless.
“She shared that she was recently
homeless and had just moved into her first apartment after being homeless,”
Aaron says. He remembers immediately asking her to pick out her favorite piece
to take it home.
Encounters like these have allowed Aaron to heal and
in turn offer healing to others. Donating a portion of his proceeds to Portland
Rescue Mission allows Aaron to use his beautiful artwork to heal and spread gratitude
from his own heart into the heart of others.
Want to join Aaron on his mission to heal broken hearts in our community? Donate Today.
A gentleman suffering with homelessness on the streets of Portland.
Have you ever thought about how you cool down in the summer when the temperatures heat up?
When we get hot our bodies have a harder time cooling off. The longer we spend outside in the sun the more challenging it becomes for our bodies to regulate our internal temperature. And when the days and nights are hot continuously hot our internal temperature rises and can’t cool down – especially if we are dehydrated and don’t have enough fluid and salt in our bodies. If you have a medical condition heat can be even harder on you.
Life on the Streets in the Summer
Now imagine you don’t have access to water. Or access to areas that can shelter you from the heat. Or a place to bathe. Exposure to the elements. The struggle to keep clean. It degrades the soul. Angel, who found hope at Portland Rescue Mission, remembers how difficult it is to be homeless in the summer,
It is sweaty, lethargic and it felt even worse. It felt more hopeless. There’s no shelter. There is not really anywhere to go shower. Being homeless in the summertime, it’s rough and unpleasant.
Heat-Related Deaths in the U.S.
According to NOAA, heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States.
As the summer gets hotter people experiencing homelessness are at high risk for heat-related conditions such as sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. For those with medical conditions, the heat is even harder to take. High heat can make it difficult to breathe, compromising health and the ability to move from place to place. And in urban spaces, the heat can be even more extreme since asphalt and concrete absorb heat.
Providing Shelter on Hot Days
When the summer sun gets over 90 degrees, Portland Rescue Mission opens our Old Town Burnside Shelter as a cooling area where men and women experiencing homelessness can find relief from the heat, water, and snacks. Our Burnside Shelter also provides showers and access to 24-hour bathrooms. With the generous support of our community, Portland Rescue Mission is able to provide dignity and hope to the hurting.
Having lived without, Angel knows the simple value of a shower and a clean pair of socks in the summer,
When you don’t have that stability, just having a shower or a clean pair of socks to put on, it means the world. It means the absolute world. It’s refreshing. It gives you hope too like it’s all right. You’re going to make it through.
You + Portland Rescue Mission = Lives Touched
While heat can bring more difficulties to those struggling on the streets it can also bring opportunities for outreach and engagement. A kind face and a smile, a cold bottle of water, snacks and a cool place for relief is the moment a life is touched. Who knows what that moment will bring? Restoration? A journey to on a new path?
Even as our donations go down during the summer, Portland Rescue Mission is still working to give hope and restoring hurting people’s lives.
Be part of touching a life. It is your donations that make a difference. Join with Portland Rescue Mission this summer.
Drive Away Hunger is located on 8301 NE Halsey St. Portland, OR 97220
How Bradley Moved Out of Homelessness to Hope
experienced it, Bradley always thought homelessness was rock bottom for
addicts. As his alcoholism spiraled into joblessness and then homelessness, he
realized his bottom was farther down.
For Bradley, a
Marine veteran, daily life on the streets was like preparing for war. Although he
never experienced combat, he utilized his military survival skills, struggling
on the streets, unsure of how to end his desperate isolation.
By the time Bradley
came to Portland Rescue Mission looking for food and warmth he was exhausted
and ready for a changed life. Bradley decided to enter Portland Rescue
Mission’s New Life Program, a long-term recovery program for men and women.
There Bradley found
support and community that moved him out of the addiction that isolated him
into relationships, restoration, and hope.
Drive Away Hunger Gives Hope
Drive Away Hunger, a
social enterprise run by Portland Rescue Mission played an essential part in
giving Bradley’s life direction into freedom.
Started 15 years ago
with the vision to help people like Bradley, Drive Away Hunger offers job
training so struggling people can get back on their feet with skills that
provide stability. It is part of Portland Rescue Mission’s goal to meet people
where they are at and walk with them at a pace they can sustain.
Cars donated to Drive Away Hunger go through a 70-point safety inspection.
This unique program
takes unwanted vehicles from individuals, businesses, and car dealers and puts
them through a 70-point safety inspection.
inspection and repair provides job training while the sale of the vehicles
funds Portland Rescue Mission’s homeless ministry to men, women, and children
that need food, shelter, and other vital services.
The average car
donation helps provide more than 580 meals or 100 nights of shelter for men,
women, and children at Portland Rescue Mission’s three locations: Burnside
Shelter, The Harbor and Shepherd’s Door.
Maximum Benefits for Donors and Buyers
Drive Away Hunger’s unique program has multiple benefits for both
individual donors and dealers looking to donate unsold fleet cars for a tax deduction.
Rather than selling the car at auction for a low price, Drive Away Hunger
potentially increases the tax deduction for the owner.
The IRS states that “the maximum amount you can deduct on your income
tax return is the fair market value of your car. Fair market value is the price
a willing buyer would pay and a willing seller would accept for the car.”
With the repairs done by Drive Away Hunger’s crew the vehicle’s market
value is increased, giving donors the maximum tax deduction from the sale.
And the 70-point safety inspection gives car buyers the assurance that
they are buying a car they can trust.
Additionally, both donors and buyers can feel good about being a part of
a program that provides vocational job training for men and women in Portland
Rescue Mission’s New Life program.
Bradley’s life has changed 180 degrees. He graduated from
the New Life program and is now employed at Drive Away Hunger as a mechanic.
Bradley got married and is a proud grandpa.
Bradley is now employed at Drive Away Hunger as a mechanic.
Reflecting on his time in the New Life program, Bradley
remembers that when he came to train at Drive Away Hunger, “I couldn’t change
oil. Now I am a mechanic. This gave me what I needed to begin the journey out
of where I was.”
This spring Portland Rescue Mission got a chance to
participate in the inspiring CommuniCare
program of The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation.
Portland Rescue Mission Staf presents to Franklin High School CommuniCare
CommuniCare Makes Students the Grantmakers
This unique program takes place in local schools, making
students the grantmakers. Each student group works together, deciding what
their focus will be, writing their own mission statements, and working to raise
funds for grantmaking, which The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation
generously matches 10:1.
The students then review applications from nonprofits doing
work that aligns with their mission statements and interview them to learn more
about their impact in the community. Finally, the students get to decide the
best way to distribute the grants they have available in a given year in order
to make the greatest impact in their chosen focus area.
CommuniCare teens award Portland Rescue Mission
CommuniCare Engages Students in the Community
The program aims to create a lasting impact in both the
students’ lives and the community, as stated on their site: “By challenging
students to engage in the community service that is both rewarding and
educational, we hope to encourage them to become active adult citizens in their
Portland Rescue Mission Receives a CommuniCare Award
CommuniCare teens award Portland Rescue Mission with a $4,000 grant to fight hunger.
Portland Rescue Mission was honored to receive a grant from
the CommuniCare program this year alongside many other nonprofits doing
outstanding work in our community.
Spring is finally here and in Portland, the sun is out! Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming and everyone is spending as much of their time outside as they can. This means that grilling season is in full effect and the scent of juicy barbecue is filling the air.
Portland Pedal bikes have zero emissions
Mission Bar-B-Que Partners with Portland Pedal Power
Our catering service, Mission Bar-B-Que, is making their delicious food available to local businesses downtown, so they don’t have to miss out during their work days.
Because tasty barbecue is
We are partnering with
Portland Pedal Power, a sustainable food delivery and catering company who
offers a variety of food options for staff meals, meetings and events.
PPP partners with over 80
local restaurants to offer customers a variety of options for staff meals,
meetings and events, all in the central Portland area (downtown, NW, inner NE
Stacey, the owner and CEO
spoke about one of their busiest days, “On Pi Day, we delivered hundreds
of pies from Pacific Pie Co, HotLips Pizza, Pizza Schmizza, and Gluten Free
Gem. It was a Pi Extravaganza! We also delivered a few beanbag love seats from
Muji to their customers during their grand opening.”
There are 16 bikes in
Portland Pedal Power’s fleet and they can do events that serve 300 people or
more. Each bicycle can feed up to 100
people using one trailer. That is not only enough room to fit our delicious
barbecue but also tons of our amazing mac and cheese!
Mission Bar-B-Que’s tasty Mac & Cheese
Your Support Makes a Difference in Portland, Oregon
There are a lot of benefits
to order from Portland Pedal Power:
And when you order from
Mission Bar-B-Que you support:
Vocational training to Portland Rescue Mission’s long-term recovery program participants
Hot, nutritious meals to people experiencing homelessness
Human dignity by giving showers, 24-hour bathrooms and nights of safe shelter to people who are hurting
Portland Pedal Bikes ride through the streets to deliver great food
Portland Pedal Power Loves Portland Rescue Mission
Stacey explains why Portland Pedal
Power is excited to work with Portland Rescue Mission:
“We love the Portland Rescue Mission! We’ve been donating food to you for over a year now and are big supporters of the work you do in our community. When Hunter (Portland Rescue Mission’s sales representative) first connected with us about Mission BBQ, we were excited to support your work in another way. But then he brought us samples and we were blown away by the taste! Now we’re even more jazzed about getting the word about your food to businesses in central Portland. Just in time for BBQ month!”
We are so excited to be
partnering with Portland Pedal Power to get Mission Bar-B-Que’s delicious food
into the hands of hungry Portlanders.
This month, five amazing women walked down the isle at ___, signifying their walk with Christ and their path towards a new life. After struggling with homelessness, drugs, and addiction, all hope seemed to be lost. At Portland Rescue Mission’s New Life program at Shepherd’s Door, our recovery program for women and children, all five women began their journey of change.
Amanda, one of the graduating women, spoke a few truths about life she came from,
“I hope that most people here will never ever understand that depth of darkness. The darkness that I have been rescued from. But if you do know that depth then you will understand the love that I have for Jesus who has saved me. For whom much has been forgiven. That is me.”
Amanda and her son before graduating
The journey was not easy. “This year I have come face to face with the darkest parts of myself and I did not run,” Amanda said. “I grabbed hold of the armor. That inner strength that Jesus says that I have, and I watched the old me walk away in defeat, and for the first time I let her.
Through the 12 month New Life program, Amanda was able to deal with the pain that came from her past choices. She can now say that she is living in freedom and has learned to love the people around her, her Savior and most importantly, she has learned to love herself, “I have watched the reflection in the mirror literally transform I can now look at not only you, but myself in the eye. I can truthfully say that I love me. I had never loved me.”
All five women at the Shephard’s Door graduation in April
As Amanda looks towards her future, she leaves us all with a poem, reflecting on where she came from and who she has become,
“I feel the storm blow, it touches my cheek, it presses in. The fire that I’m following forces fear back inside of my veins. I am human, I am just like you, and there are things that I’ve been through, things that may happen to you. My secret weapon is found in a secret place. I will not taste defeat, nor will I retreat. In my fear it would appear that I have become unafraid. I lay my head alongside the thorns that crowned upon His head and I found a bed of comfort there. He will take any tears, and all the years behind me don’t cause one look of disgrace upon His face to find me. In His eyes I am new. In His resurrected life I am one of the few to find mine. Yes the storm is coming but there is a shadow inside of every darkness, a shadow where I am safe. So as the last leaf falls from this broken branch onto this frozen ground it is here that I am free. It is here that I am found.“
We are so proud of our amazing Assistant Director, Andrew Hall, who won the award for Safety/ Health/ Wellness Advocate at last month Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health (GOSH) Conference. OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, held their annual conference, the largest safety and health conference in the Northwest, which honored fourteen people within the state who make safety a priority within the workplace.
Andrew has been with the Mission since 2015 and since that time, has served on the safety committee, created a violence-prevention policy and has provided the training to his staff. He recognizes the importance of safety and health within his work place,
“Everything we do hinges upon safety. What we do at Portland Rescue Mission is unique and vastly important… We would not be able to serve our guests unless we first established a safe environment through which we can then offer holistic services.”
This can only be accomplished through the training of all staff.
“We must train our staff to make wise decisions that will set the tone for our facility and assist in mitigating potentially dangerous situations, and in turn, we must guide out guests toward engaging with us on safe terms so that all can receive the services we wish to offer.”
Our Burnside Shelter provides 75,000 nights of safe shelter each year, as well as food, showers and clothing to thousands of people who are suffering with homelessness in the Portland area. Andrew understands that it not only takes work, but love, to create an environment that is safe enough for any person who walks through our doors, no matter where they are in life.
“Invest in safety,” Andrew says, “not because it is important or expected, but because you genuinely care about your co-workers and clients. When the holistic well-being of your peers and clients is the center of your work, safety becomes automatic.”
Thank you, Andrew, for all of your hard work at our Burnside Shelter and for providing a safe environment for our neighbors in need!
March 22 was an extremely important day for four of our fellow residents here at The Harbor, Portland Rescue Mission’s long-term recovery program. After a year-long program of discovery, healing and support, graduation day had finally come. For John, Jason, Mike and Bart, March 22 signified a new beginning. It was four men stepping away from homelessness and addiction and stepping into recovery, love, faithfulness and a brand new life.
Glenn and John – 2019 Harbor Graduation
Mike, one of the graduating residents, spoke about this journey to The Harbor,
“I had my four bags packed with all my belongings unable to carry them too far because they were a little bit too heavy. I found the first shopping cart I could find, and low and behold it did have three wheels. Determined as I was to get to Harbor, I asked God if this is his will let it be so. So, I fought and I pushed, and I went through it and arrived the front bench after walking the distance of 102nd Avenue, crying, again not knowing what to expect.”
Graduates and guests during worship.
The journey proved difficult but rewarding. “God brought me here to find a better way of life. Living in complete honesty and to appreciate the growth in my spirituality with him and with others. I thank God for the chance that I have in this new life ministry program, and it has been the most difficult and rewarding thing I’ve ever done thus far in my 50 years.”
Mike at his graduation
Jason, John and Bart also spoke about their difficulties during the process and the complete change they have seen within themselves.
“It was never good when the sun came. It does something to a man’s heart to have to commit crimes to survive. It’s humiliating and degrading. Like I said before, the only thing my heart had was the terrible things that I was doing. Now, I love watching the sun come up. The sun reminds me of how far God has brought me. There always seems to be a moment in that time of rising when all things are thankful, when peace is abundant, almost like God is looking directly at us. It is rejuvenating. It gives energy to the day, it gives energy to us and puts warmth over you. Even when it’s cloudy and rainy there is still a tangible power that separates the dark from the light.” – Jason
Jason with Glenn, Eric and Dallas
“I’m a child of God. I am grateful for my freedom, grace and mercy. Giving my life to Christ. Soon after, I was baptized with my family by my side, and the Lord, my God, continue to have peace, love and joy in my life. I have now the tools to continue building on that foundation. Staying on the path with God by my side each and every day. I’m continuing to pray for the community sharing and testimony, and God’s word, and hope to make the world a better place for all.” – Bart
Bart saying his graduation speech
“Truth for me was learning how to live sober and, getting at the root. I knew there was more going on than what I could make sense of, and I was surrounded by these people who … you know, they had no reason to love me and care for me other than the fact that they believed that in loving God and loving other people and being that light is how we realize about a world, is how we reap heaven on earth. That became the truth that I discerned from them, and committed to binding myself to that truth.” -John
Glenn, The Harbor Growth Manager, said it best. “This is what it’s all about. It’s about transforming, and restoration.”
God is doing amazing things in the lives of the residents here at Portland Rescue Mission! At The Harbor, our community of men overcoming homelessness and addiction, so many are seeing God’s work first-hand. Here are some ways the men have recognized God’s love in their lives.
“I told God that if he would take my life and make it worth living and give me a future and hope, I would give it to Him. Apparently, He took me up on my offer. Praise God. I love Him and hope my life will honor Him.” -Gordon
“God reunited me with my father an my sister! AND I got the chance to meet my 15 month old nephew, Bruce! So humble that we serve a God who is in the restoration business!” -Anonymous
“He brought me to the Rescue Mission and taught me that I have always been his first love. So I need to make Him my first love His loving kindness endures forever”.-Johnny
“I got to go to the movies with my daughter. I hadn’t seen her for 8 years. Praise God. She told me she is going to come to my graduation.” -Gordon
“My family is talking to me again and now has accepted me back into the family. They are behind me 100% and they are very happy.” -Randy
“God has shown his Glimmer towards me in a way that he has lead me to this Harbor program. I had no direction – no where to go and one that accepted me but he lead me to The Harbor where Ive been welcomed with greatness.” – Fernando
“I heard how God lead a brother to The Harbor. It came down to one phone call just in time. 30 minutes later and our brother would not be here at The Harbor.” – Brandon
Through prayer, fellowship and community, lives are changed. Thank you for making recovery happen for so many men and women in our programs!