Thanks to YOU, 2015 has been a banner year for Portland Rescue Mission. Your generosity in action has made it possible for us to serve more men, women and children than ever before. Without your compassion and kindness, our accomplishments over the last year would not have been possible.
Every gift you give before the ball drops at midnight New Year’s Eve will count toward your 2015 taxes. (CLICK HERE if you want to make a last-minute contribution). And there are just TWO DAYS LEFT until the deadline!
Take a look at some of the highlights from 2015:
Street life is dangerous for anyone, but much more so for women. For the first time in our 65-year history, we now provide short-term residential programming for homeless women at our Burnside Shelter. Connect for women provides up to 16 ladies with relational support and stability through meals, a bed, and assistance toward employment and housing. So far, 44 women have participated, with most completing the program in about three months.
New! Construction just finished for 10 referral beds for women who need less support. We can now provide a 1-6 week stay for women who are on waiting lists for housing elsewhere. Meeting this critical need protects women from slipping into chronic homelessness or other dangers in a fragile time as they start a new life.
The number of men, women and children coming to us for help continues to rise. This year, we’re serving more than 30% more meals than just three years ago. That’s more than 340,000 meals a year – our highest number ever.
Food and shelter is a constant year-round need. The meals we offer give us a chance to reach our guests at their greatest point of need, allowing us the opportunity to direct them toward more vital resources like our Connect program and New Life Ministries.
New efforts throughout the Mission have increased career readiness for graduates of our New Life Ministries. We’re pursuing social enterprise and business partnership options that will give men and women real-life work experience.
Our new Mission Bar-B-Que catering business and our Drive Away Hunger vehicle donation and restoration program provide job experience while also raising funds to support our ministries. The hands-on training and relational support men and women receive helps propel them into job success and financial stability.
For the first time in our 65-year history, all of our brand new thick and comfortable mats provided by you through Project Sleep Safe (90 total) were filled on the first day our winter shelter opened (on November 1). The Burnside Shelter has since been at capacity every single night. (We add 10 more in our lobby when the temperature drops below 35 degrees).
If you’ve lived in Oregon for any extended amount of time outside our summer months, you know how wet and cold it can get. Portland is one of the rainiest places in the United States. Every night one of our guests can spend out of the elements, and in somewhere warm and comfortable with a healthy meal is another day filled with hope and possibility.
Thanks again for being so integral to our work at the Mission. The work may not always be easy, but it’s rewarding and so incredibly worth it. Since we do not receive any government funds, this means we are 100 percent supported by generous donors just like you. Thanks for not only allowing us to give hope and restore life over these last 65 years we’ve been an organization, but for the countless amount of years ahead God graciously allows for us to continue our work.