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Burnside Shelter

She’s Someone’s Daughter

Every Tuesday night, homeless women receive tender care — foot massages, snacks and conversation — from a team of loving staff and volunteers at our Burnside Shelter.

Jan, a member of our staff, shares about this week’s outreach:


Homeless women receive foot massages from loving volunteers each week at our Burnside Shelter.

Homeless women receive foot massages from loving volunteers each week at our Burnside Shelter.

As we drove to outreach last night, we all felt tired. This is not unusual. It’s the end of the day and we’ve all left work trying to switch gears in our minds, bodies and hearts. So, as we stood in the circle of prayer minutes before our homeless guests arrived, we prayed that we would put aside “us”, get out of the way, and let God work through us.

Two of us went to the front door of the Mission where seven women were waiting in a straight line, ready to enter. Before we could get even a word out, they joyfully lifted their arms and cheered — yes, cheered — hurried past us and headed right into the room… leaving us in the dust.

Throughout the next hour, eight others came. Several simply wanted coffee, cookies and a place to talk to someone who cared enough to be an active listener.

After I finished massaging a woman’s feet, I led her to the front of the dinner line where I saw Tanya. She is usually a regular, but had chosen not to come into the spa room last night. She looked bad. I asked Tanya how she was doing and her face fell, “Not good.” I touched her arm before she headed in to eat. All I could think was if that were my daughter, I would want someone to love her, care for her, direct her and stay the course so she could get help.

The women who come to us belong to someone. They are someone’s granddaughter, daughter, sister or niece. Someone worries about them. It’s a privilege to be the extended arms of Jesus on a weekly basis for these precious women and to trust that God will bring them out of despair into the beauty of a healed life.


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4 responses to “She’s Someone’s Daughter”

  1. mary says:

    I just wanted to say thanks to you and to God that there is somewhere for these folks to go for even just some brief respite from what can be a very lonely and sometimes terrifying and hopeless struggle to merely survive when out on the streets. I know for I’ve been there and but for the grace of God, I may be dead now had it not been for some caring and decent folks that reached out to me when I was at my lowest point. I am now sober for going on eight years and have my GED and I have a part time job and an apartment. I AM SO LUCKY to have found the mission, they were a step on the path that led me to recovery and back to an actual life that I thought impossible. So thank you so much and God bless you. There is hope and redemption and you make that gap seem less like an abyss. God speed!!

  2. PDXMission says:

    Mary,

    Thanks for your encouragement and for sharing a bit of your story. We celebrate with you!

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