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About Homelessness

How Important Is A Restroom?

Last December, Holly, a member of our staff, met Rick* sitting on the sidewalk outside the Burnside Shelter.  Rick hadn’t eaten all day.  He was exhausted and dehydrated.

Dinner was about to be served inside the Mission, so Holly invited Rick to stay and eat.  He declined.

Rick’s reason for not eating or drinking may seem ridiculous, but it’s practical.  Eating and drinking lead to the inevitable need for restrooms, which homeless men and women have limited access to.  Rick was more concerned about preserving his dignity than feeding his stomach.

Portland Rescue Mission is one of the few places downtown offering 24/7 access to safe, clean bathrooms for men and women.  It’s a vital resource that guests like Rick depend on and appreciate.

Since then, Rick has enjoyed many meals with us and is grateful for all the services we provide.  The recurring contact we’ve had with him has helped us build a relationship through which we can get him to the help he needs.  Currently, he’s on a waiting list for housing and hopes to have his own apartment soon.

Your support provides essential care to hurting men and women.  Thanks for helping us give more than a meal, more than a bed.  You give hope.

*Name has been changed.