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Burnside Shelter

Connect participant: ‘Portland Rescue Mission saved my life’

cornell, portland rescue mission, connect program, hope ministries, hope ministry

Cornell is an active member of our Connect program. One of his tasks has been to take care of the towels since he’s been in the program.

“Portland Rescue Mission pretty much saved my life,” said Cornell.

This summer marks a year since he became homeless.

“Every day that I woke up, I kept telling myself that ‘if you slept in the rain last night, and you survived sleeping in a wet sleeping bag, then obviously there is something out there for you.'”

Then he found Portland Rescue Mission.

“This place is the true definition of [the] hope that people out there need.”

Cornell is loving his experience in Connect, our 3-month program that helps men and women without a home transition quickly into stable housing and employment.

“Coming here I felt loved, I felt wanted,” he said. “I feel this space has given me the second chance I really needed and is the final step to me getting off the streets forever.”

He continued, “I also like how they have classes here.” One of Cornell’s favorites is the art workshop each Thursday in the Guest Care Center at the Burnside Shelter.

“I like how art gives you that freedom to expand and be as expressive as you can, because, eventually that expression touches someone in the world that can relate.”

Cornell dreams of creating a nonprofit someday where people of any age can create, share their work and feel welcomed in a community that teaches and encourages each other.

“If I could have a dream career, it would be to use art to bring the world together.” Every week, Cornell is eager to write something new, something that will encourage and inspire someone else. Here are some of his recent poems:



… is knowing I can do it.

Is saying the light isn’t at the end of the tunnel,

because the tunnel is an illusion.

I keep going because I have nothing to lose

And all to gain.

I keep going, because I want change for me.

I don’t look back because I’m not going that way.

I’m hopeful because God loves me

I’m going because he said, “You go boy!”

I only want to be better then the person

I was yesterday.


… is all around us.

Not just the standard of what we’re taught.

Beauty is inspiration or being a helping hand,

helping a family in need.

It’s being selfless, and believing in everyone

verses just yourself.

Its giving back,

even when nothing was received

Its showing …

True heart

True Christian love

A team member

A friend

It’s unconditional love

Beauty starts with you.


Thank you being a friend of the Mission. We couldn’t extend hope and restore lives without you. The art workshop is just one of the many ways we seek to build relationships with the men, women and children in our programs. Besides giving, if you’d like to get involved hands-on in this transformational work, apply today as a volunteer! Also, check out our employment page for the latest open positions.