October 10th marks the 5th annual World Homeless Action Day. Since it’s founding in 2010, this day has been observed in several dozen countries with the goal to raise awareness about homelessness as well as celebrate and support local efforts to care for men, women and children experiencing homelessness. At Portland Rescue Mission, we are committed to caring for people facing homelessness, celebrating their stories of hope and life transformation, and inviting the public to partner with us.
Here are some ways to inspire your community to champion the Mission and care for people who are without a home in our city.
1. (UPDATE: Project Sleep Safe is fully funded! Thanks to everyone who contributed). Project Sleep Safe launched this week. Cold weather is coming! We are replacing our sleeping mats at the Burnside Shelter. Our goal is 90 new mats before the cold and rainy season. During the winter months, the significance of a dry and warm place to sleep can’t be overemphasized.
2. Care Kits are a great way to engage with someone on the street. Download and print the PDF to pack a care kit and learn about 5 things a homeless person can use. Cut out and hand out our Burnside Shelter info cards that list the free services we offer downtown.
When you see someone on the street, tell them you are a friend of the Mission and refer them to us for a meal, shower, 24 hour restrooms and even a bed overnight. 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 now (opening this past week) up to 10 women. We house over 180 men total during the coldest time of the year.
3. Learn About Homelessness. Check out some of the resources on our website including “Myths About Homelessness,” “10 Causes of Homelessness” and “10 Places Homeless People Sleep.” Learn about homelessness and what resources are available.
Do you have more ideas for how to care for men, women and children experiencing homelessness in our community? Share your ideas and stories with us.
Thank you for helping us give hope and restore life. Happy World Action Homeless Day!