Six months ago, Stewart was homeless, lost and hurting. He came to our Burnside Shelter for meals and was grateful for everything the Mission provided – restrooms, shelter, socks, toiletries and mail service.
But he didn’t expect an art class.
Every Thursday afternoon, our Guest Care Center offers an open workshop with free art supplies to anyone who would like to join in. It’s just one example of the intentional programming offered at the Burnside Shelter to provide men and women refuge from life on the street. It’s a safe place to engage in positive relationships and regain a sense of normalcy in their otherwise difficult and chaotic lives.
For Stewart, the art class became a foundation to start a new life. He learned about our 3-month Connect program that helps men and women without a home transition to stable housing and employment. The friendships he developed with our staff at the art class helped Stewart trust that the Mission could help him move forward in life.
Today, Stewart is using his time in Connect to search for a job, reconnect with his son and, of course, attend the art workshop each week. “I really want to have an art studio one day … have people look at my story and see where I came from,” he says.
He points to a recent painting of his and says, “The lighthouse, it resembles here, actually. Without Portland Rescue Mission, I’d probably still be lost out there and I’d probably still be doing drugs and not be thinking about changing my life.”
Your gift today will help men and women like Stewart feel welcome, and offer them a variety of ways to start their journey toward a life free from homelessness and addiction.
“Hope to me means it’s not over,” says Stewart. “You can always start new.”
Have a passion for building relationships through art? Volunteer at www.PortlandRescueMission.org/Volunteer.