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Burnside Shelter

From Hawaii to Portland with nowhere to go, Megan finds safety at Connect

Megan from our Connect program.

Megan from our Connect program.

Little things make a huge difference for the women in our Connect program. Often coming from very difficult situations, and incredibly challenging circumstances, the women at our Burnside Shelter find blessings in the unlikeliest of places.

“Just sitting on a couch compared to a hard chair is a luxury,” Megan described. “A hot shower is a luxury. A microwave is a luxury. Toilet paper is a luxury. All the simple things.”

Before coming to Portland, Megan found herself in Hawaii and in a very unsafe and dangerous situation. Consequently, she was forced to island-hop until she ran out of islands to go to. She finally had to leave, and had just enough money to get as far as Portland.

“When the plane landed at the airport, I had flip-flops and a pair of shorts on, and a swimsuit in my backpack. I was scared to leave the airport and ended up staying behind the security gates to take a three-hour nap in one of the empty gates.”

With only 35 dollars left and nowhere to go, she eventually found Portland Rescue Mission. The Connect program was exactly what she so desperately needed.

“I love this place,” Megan said.  “From the moment I walked into the building, I felt at peace. … Connect has given me hope. It has given me stability and it has given me the option to not be scared for awhile.”

And a big reason for that is because of you and your generous donations.

“The Mission has given me everything I needed,” Megan said. “From underwear, to hats, to gloves, to toothbrushes, to soaps and shampoos, to perfume, to makeup, to nail polish and food.”

It’s also given her a second chance at a new and better life. Thanks to you, the staff at the Burnside Shelter and the help of our Connect program, Megan is safe and will be starting a new job soon.

Connect is a key element of our Hope Ministries. It’s designed to be a three-to-four month program that helps women transition quickly off of the streets and into a stable job or permanent housing. At capacity, our Connect program can house 16 women and 36 men. We also have 10 additional referral beds for women specifically.

For women like Megan, your gift of new and/or gently used clothing items, food, hygiene items and the like go a long ways toward giving hope and restoring life to our guests and residents of our programs. In the immediate, this also includes needs we have for bras, underwear, shoes and other women’s clothing items, specifically, for our Women’s Connect program.