PORTLAND, Ore. — While producing the documentary “One Day,” KGW journalists met and talked with dozens of people, organizations and agencies to capture 24 hours of the street-level response to Portland’s homeless crisis.
Here are the organizations featured in our project, and ways you can donate or get involved:
A nonprofit organization operating in East Portland, Cultivate Initiatives provides a variety of services, from trash pickup to community health outreach to showers and laundry services. Ron Thompson, the man profiled in coordinating trash pickup from cleared homeless encampments, works with this organization. CI also provides mobile shower services that were highlighted in the One Day documentary
PDX Saints Love
Community care fairs are a priority for Saints Love, creating a one-stop-shop of resources and supplies for the houseless population in the city. Kristle Delihanty, featured in our vignette on haircut services, focuses on mentorships and connecting homeless people with housing, jobs, or volunteer/work positions. The organization, founded in 2017, says its team is filled with individuals who have experienced “homelessness, addiction, trauma and resource scarcity.”
Night Strike: Because People Matter
Volunteers can sign up to help at Night Strike here. It takes place each Thursday night under the Burnside Bridge. One of multiple programs offered by the organization Because People Matter - Night Strike also takes donations of food, clothing, and toiletries. Anthony Georgette, a volunteer featured in our documentary, said the organization tries to meet whatever needs arise.
Central City Concern
A part of the Portland community since 1979, Central City Concern helps provides housing and healthcare to thousands of homeless individuals each year. Dr. Richard Bruno, featured in our story, explained how the organization’s low barriers of entry for care helps expand the number of people who can receive treatment. Volunteering, donating, and advocacy are listed as ways you can help on CCC’s website.
Union Gospel Mission Portland
Another staple in the service community, Union Gospel Mission provides a cold weather shelter to homeless people, in addition to its large foodservice programs. The organization has links with volunteering and donating information on its website. UGM’s shelter for homeless individuals such as Daria is now closed for the warmer months.
A nonprofit organization in Portland’s Old Town neighborhood, Blanchet House recently reopened its doors to indoor dining following an extended period of window service due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chef April O’Connor is one of many preparing a variety of different meals each day, based on food donations received. After starting as a foodservice organization in the 1950s, Blanchet now offers clothing, hygiene products, and transitional recovery housing at its Old Town location.
Owner Chris Yen sells vintage sportswear and other merch at Laundry in Old Town Chinatown. He said each month, either he or an employee is a victim of an attempted assault. He recently cleaned up one of his store windows after it was broken, and he confiscated a machete that a houseless person had carried and left outside his store. Despite the issues, Yen explained that the Chinatown community is special, and he believes in the promise of the area.
The 18-year-old bar is a source of pride for owner Dan Lenzen. With a full-service kitchen, open late five days a week, Lenzen said there’s always something to smile about with rotating forms of entertainment at Dixie Tavern. He added that he and his staff value the role they play in responding to late-night in downtown Portland, which can often include drug or mental health crises among the area’s homeless population. “Homelessness in Portland is deep-rooted, clearly the system is not working, but these people are our neighbors, we have to help these people the best we can,” he said.