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Burnside Shelter

Connect helps Robin get her faith back at our Burnside Shelter

Robin from Connect at the Burnside Shelter (Thomas Boyd, The Oregonian)

Robin from Connect at the Burnside Shelter (Thomas Boyd, The Oregonian)

Our Connect program for women at the Burnside Shelter hasn’t been around long (it started in 2014), but dozens of women’s lives have already been transformed. The Oregonian’s seven-week series on “Our Homeless Crisis” in Portland includes the life of Robin, one of our first residents to be a part of Connect.

In the story, Robin details a little bit about her past.

Starting with her daughter being murdered back in 2006, Robin’s life started to dramatically spiral downwards. “I was what you’d call a really normal person,” she told Anna Griffin of The Oregonian. “I raised kids. I was responsible and respectable. I never thought I could be homeless. That was somebody else.”

In 2010, Robin lost both her mother and mother-in-law. She eventually found herself homeless in 2011. By 2014, Robin was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance (meth). She ended up in Connect at our Burnside Shelter.

“A lot of what you do at Connect is just getting used to being indoors, to being safe,” Robin told Griffin. “When you’re homeless, you get so used to doing what you have to do to survive another day that you’re not thinking about getting up at a certain time or looking for work or taking care of yourself. Those are skills you have to re-learn.”

Robin’s life has started to get back on track as a result. “It was only 90 days … [but] I got my faith back,” she emphasized. (Read The Oregonian’s complete story here).

Since Portland Rescue Mission started Connect, 68 women have been participants in the program – 29 landed in housing.  The three-to-four month program is currently at capacity (16 women total).

Thanks to your generous donations, women who were once homeless, like Robin, continue to find hope and security at Connect along with our New Life Ministry program at Shepherd’s Door.

With your ongoing support and encouragement, we’ll continue to leverage what we’ve been entrusted with to help restore life and dignity to one of the most vulnerable demographics in the Portland area.