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Burnside Shelter

Join Circle of Friends at Portland Rescue Mission, transform lives

Giving hope and restoring life … it’s what we do at Portland Rescue Mission. And it’s made possible by our very special Circle of Friends.

Circle of Friends are monthly supporters of Portland Rescue Mission. They serve as the foundation for the work we do in our New Life Ministries at The Harbor (for men) and Shepherd’s Door (for women and children), and our Hope Ministries at the Burnside Shelter. As a non-profit organization that gets no government funding, we rely 100 percent on the compassion and generosity of our faithful champions. With the regular commitment of our Circle of Friends to the Mission, we are able to provide 80,000 safe nights of shelter, 330,000 warm and healthy meals, extensive and holistic recovery care in our yearlong program, spiritual growth and everything in between.

Your Circle of Friends membership will change lives. To show you what that looks like, please enjoy these “Stories of Hope,” and know that your financial support is what makes these possible.

John becomes a new kind of man at The Harbor

Hard was the only way John knew to do life. Growing up in a labor camp with an abusive home life and without a father, John looked to the tough migrant men around him as role models. “I thought being a man was to be macho, to cuss, to steal, and to belittle women. You don’t care and never show your feelings. And you sure don’t ever cry.”

Steeling himself against the world held John in a prison of his own making. To prevent himself from feeling, he numbed the pain of his crumbling marriage with alcohol and drugs. “After my divorce, alcohol was the only real companion I had for decades,” says John. “It meant more to me than my children and people I loved.” But the lonely consolation John sought in drinking threatened to kill him.

“If you keep living like this, you have less than a year to live,” a doctor told John. The shock was enough to push him toward help.

John entered The Harbor and has become the kind of man he knew he wanted to be.

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

Megan from our Connect program.

Megan from our Connect program.

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. (Read more of her story).

Dan desperately wanted help, and The Harbor answered

Dan at The Harbor

Dan at The Harbor

Dan never imagined the first sip of alcohol at age 10 would lead to decades of full-blown addiction. But as he lay shaking in a hospital bed, his body wracked with alcohol poisoning, Dan desperately wanted his life to change.

“My addiction was covering up all the hard stuff in my life,” says Dan. “From childhood experiences to a bad marriage, I tried to block them out with my alcohol abuse.” Life unraveled at a frightening pace. Finally, Dan fell to his knees and cried out to God for help.

Dan got his answer from God and a second chance at life at The Harbor. (Read more of his story).

After ‘dying,’ Christine lives again at Shepherd’s Door

The fact that Christine is here today is nothing short of a miracle.

“I’ve struggled with drug abuse and alcoholism most of my life along with the destruction that comes with that,” she said. “Jails, hospitals, psych wards, all of that. I’ve been suicidal most of my life.” But the pain Christine was feeling was not merely physical or emotional, it was spiritual.

“I took my life,” Christine said. “There is absolutely no reason why I should have walked out of that room except for the grace and the love and the mercy of God. He saved me in that moment. … and solidified my faith. I will never doubt him again.”