(UPDATE: PROJECT SLEEP SAFE IS FULLY FUNDED! Thanks to everyone who contributed).
Portland is known to be one of the wettest places in the country over the fall and winter months. Coupled with stretches of very cold temperatures, the Portland area can become miserable for people experiencing homelessness and living on the streets. That is why we are launching PROJECT SLEEP SAFE at Portland Rescue Mission and want you to join in our efforts.
“By providing winter shelter mats from November through March, we are offering 90 more men the opportunity to seek safe haven during our region’s most frigid and dangerous months,” said Andrew Hall, Guest Care Specialist down at our Burnside Shelter. “A mat is more than just a bed, it’s a refuge upon which men and women from our community can lay their heads and worries down for a night, wake up and start life anew the next morning.
“Beds are a warm ending to a long day, and a refreshing beginning to another.”Nightly, the Burnside Shelter offers safe shelter for up to 52 men and women through our Connect Ministry. It also offers extended shelter through our referral beds for up to 20 men, and as of last week, 10 women. Including the 90 new, comfortable and clean mats, we’re also able to house upwards of around 150 men total during the coldest time of the year.
Besides the warmth, our shelter also offers a place of safety from the dangers of the streets.
“We are most vulnerable when we sleep,” Andrew stated. “When someone is sleeping on the streets, under bridges, or in the gutters, it can leave any man, woman or child susceptible to dangers we can’t even think about or imagine.
“It is why a safe, clean and comfortable environment for our brothers and sisters to sleep each night cannot be overstated. … These mats are not intended to serve as a long-term solution, but they allow for the men of our community to feel the warmth of a bed and hospitality in what is a dark and lonely season in their lives.”
Contribute to PROJECT SLEEP SAFE today and help us provide 90 people the opportunity to stay safe, dry and warm as they sleep on comfortable mats. It takes only $75 to provide months of safe rest and shelter from Portland’s cold and rainy weather.
Thanks for helping us continue to give hope and restore life for men, women and children suffering from homelessness and addiction. Your compassionate and generous gift of a mat will be put to good use at our Burnside Shelter this fall and winter season.
Many guests are tearfully grateful for a bed each night, but it is the reaction from the caseworkers and families who work on behalf of our guests that can be most memorable. Just last week, a woman called from one of our local hospitals asking if we could temporarily house one of her patients who is homeless, recently injured and had no place to stay. She had tried desperately to find him housing, even if it was just for a few nights, and could not locate a bed for this man leaving the hospital. Her search ended when she called Portland Rescue Mission.
We were able to designate one of our beds for this man as he begins his path to recovery. Her gratitude was indescribable as she laughed and tripped over her words, humbled and joyful to know that this man, for whom she had grown fond and protective of, would have a warm bed to sleep in for the next week. We partner together with many people, facilities, and resources from around the region to serve our brothers and sisters in need. A good night’s sleep allowed for this man’s physical, mental, and emotional healing to begin. This one bed united two community resources committed to loving people we serve.