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Burnside Shelter

See lives transformed, join Portland Rescue Mission as a monthly supporter

Our dedicated staff and volunteers at Portland Rescue Mission love pouring out their hearts to serve men, women and children in need – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Each year, at the Burnside Shelter, we serve over 330,000 nutritious meals and offer over 80,000 safe nights of shelter, as well as other vital services, as part of our Hope Ministries and Pathway Ministries. This includes our Connect Ministry, which is a three month program that helps transition the homeless off the streets and into permanent housing and stable employment. Our New Life Ministries located at The Harbor (men) and Shepherd’s Door (women), in northeast Portland, are designed to serve individuals with recovery needs.

A special group of donors, our Circle of Friends, provide vital monthly support to keep these ministries running strong each day.

As a member of our Circle of Friends, you choose the amount of support you want to give each month, and it will be automatically deducted from your bank account or card. You’ll hear from us four times a year (which is less mail then most donors. So as a COF member, you help us save on postage and printing). You will receive a statement of your giving along with our latest Rescue Portland newsletter.


We are eternally grateful for your compassionate hearts.

On top of that, our Circle of Friends can feel confident knowing their money is going to help support stories like these …

Homeless women known at Burnside Shelter’s ‘Friday Flicks’

Mary at the Burnside Shelter.

Mary at the Burnside Shelter.

Every Friday, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., the Guest Care Center at the Burnside Shelter is reserved exclusively for female guests. Providing reprieve from living on the streets, “Friday Flicks” has become a time of rest and relaxation for the women that come and participate. “Friday Flicks” serves as another opportunity to hand out clothes, snacks, hygiene kits, and make known our services available via Portland Rescue Mission while providing an additional outlet for the women through relationship and connection.

“We use ‘Friday Flicks’ to build community and show the women that there really are people out there who care about them,” said Gina, a Connect participant. “And it is really not hard to care about these women because a lot of them are just real sweet people who were hit with bad luck.

New life, new journey for five women after Shepherd’s Door graduation

May at Portland Rescue Mission started out on a festive note with five women graduating from Shepherd’s Door: Taylor, Denise, Vivian, Kim and Jeanette. Joined by their mentors on stage and in front of a packed house on a warm Friday evening, all five shared stories of redemption, renewal and a brand new life centered on Jesus Christ. Read on to get a glimpse of what a few of the women had to say about their journeys over the last year. (See all of the photos from the event).

Vocational training, a focal point of recovery at The Harbor

Dwight (left), is a New Life Ministries graduate and a Mission Bar-B-Que Pit Master.

Dwight (left), is a New Life Ministries graduate and a Mission Bar-B-Que Pit Master.

One of the top goals of the Men’s New Life Ministry at The Harbor, specifically, according to Dallas Lange (Director of Men’s Ministry), is to train and prepare men for success in their future vocation. This is a focal point of the men’s New Life Ministry at The Harbor. Upon completion of the program, one of the biggest fears for many graduates is whether or not they will find work.

The vocational ministry at The Harbor seeks to do this by preparing men to serve the Lord through their work. During residents’ time at The Harbor, staff work closely alongside each of the men through a variety of service opportunities that can range anywhere from janitorial, to landscaping, to outreach and service, and much more. Through those opportunities, residents will receive the tools necessary to confidently walk into the next chapter of life after they complete the vocational ministry at The Harbor. Teamwork, responsibility, integrity and servanthood are just a few of the values that drive the vocational ministry.

Connect men give back to community, clean up Old Town Chinatown

A Connect participant helps clean up the sidewalks in Old Town Chinatown.

A Connect participant helps clean up the sidewalks in Old Town Chinatown.

Twice a year, the Old Town Chinatown Community Association spends a Saturday cleaning up the neighborhood streets. Whether through weeding, cleaning up the tree wells, laying down new bark or simply picking up litter and other garbage in the area, volunteers pitch in to increase the quality of life for everyone who lives and works in the area.

“The Old Town Chinatown neighborhood really wants this area to be a safe and beautiful place for the people here,” said Guest Services Manager Timothy Desper at our Burnside Shelter. “This is a time we can come together as a community, put some gloves on, get the shovels out and clean up our neighborhood.

For the men in Connect, helping clean up Old Town Chinatown is also another proactive way they can say thank you for the help and support they are receiving in Portland Rescue Mission’s Pathway Ministries.

In Service at Shepherd’s Door, Tiffany sees herself in Connect women

Service resident Tiffany

Service resident Tiffany

In Tiffany’s Service role at Connect, she builds relationships with the women in the program and serves in a discipleship and mentor role for them. She leads a life group, keeps the clothes closet organized, brings women to their meetings, and most importantly, she is available to be a listening ear and friend to the women in the program.

“I really enjoy my role here. … I’ve gotten something from each of them personally and I can see a lot of myself in everyone of these women,” Tiffany said. “I’ve been where they’ve been, and I know how hard it is to be out there.

“It takes a lot of courage to decide you want to change your life and get in a program. It’s not easy, but God makes it possible.”