Jump into community – it needs you!

Hi Friends,

Once upon a time, a long, long few weeks ago (or was it a decade?), we were putting the finishing touches on an exciting gala and auction for our strong community to come together and support Human Solutions by raising their paddles and purchasing auction packages, mostly donated by generous local business partners (restaurants, hotels, etc…). As you might imagine, none of this is possible now. We’re all staying home to stay healthy as best we can (while still operating our programs!), which means no fun nights out on the town with 350 friends (for now!).

We Had to Postpone Our Biggest Fundraiser of the Year

To adapt to this strange and ever-changing new landscape, we have rescheduled our gala for Spring 2021, when a return to normal social distancing and a functioning economy feels more certain. We hope you’ll join us then! In the meantime, we invite you to give now to help us raise the funds we would have raised at our postponed gala – funds we’re counting on to fuel our work this year. We need your help to meet a $25,000 matching donation from a local donor – just click here to give now – any amount helps!

Human Solutions Remains Open for Business

In “normal” times, Human Solutions’ team works passionately to help community members have the economic and housing justice we all deserve, with a focus on those who face the greatest barriers. In these most unusual times, our team is working around the clock to keep our emergency shelters up and running and to meet public health directives to practice social distancing. We’re retooling, as we know you are.

Can you help us stay strong to meet our community’s needs right now? Make a gift today – we’ll put it right to work where it is needed most.

Every one of our programs is still running, some with modifications and others with full pivots to do the more pressing work of the moment. A few examples:

  • Our after-school program cannot meet in person but is supporting parents with virtual learning tools and distributing food (which is especially important withn schools out).
  • Our career coaches are adding unemployment navigation to their toolbox to support those who have lost jobs in recent weeks to understand and access benefits.
  • Our emergency shelters – where 200+ women and families stay every night – are tracking residents’ health and relocating folks when needed, cleaning to new standards, and still working actively with participants to find permanent housing.We are tracking and interpreting the new
  • renter protections and federal assistance programs to share with residents of our 17 affordable housing communities.

The world may feel as if it has stopped, but Human Solutions hasn’t. We are standing strong for the community because the community needs us. Thank you in advance for investing in our community right now by making a donation to Human Solutions. Our initial goal is to raise $25,000 to earn a matching donation of the same amount from the generous Ed Cauduro Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation.

Any amount you can contribute counts – truly. As we are seeing more and more every day, community well being rests with all of us. You can make a donation here.

THANK YOU for all you do – for Human Solutions, for your community, for our shared health and prosperity. The truth that we are interdependent couldn’t be clearer.

Stay well,

 

 

Andy Miller, Executive Director

PS – Your opportunity to invest in our community (and help us meet our $25,000 match) is right here. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO!

This is what community can look like.

I hope this message finds you well – physically and mentally – in this unprecedented moment. I am writing to share with you some impacts we are feeling from COVID-19 and how we are handling them. We have been working very closely with Multnomah County’s public health and homeless services teams and other local service providers to determine the best path forward to protect and meet the needs of our staff, program participants, housing and shelter residents and our community at large.

At Human Solutions we often say “this is what community looks like” when we see our community come together to support each other. It is that same empathy, strength and sense of one-ness that we are drawing on as we face this global pandemic together.

Update on Our Services

Many in the community depend on Human Solutions to meet their needs, including emergency shelter, housing, rent assistance, after-school learning, and much more. We are working around the clock to keep our essential services available (and identify those we can put on hold), while also adjusting our programming and administration to meet local and state public health requirements to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Top on our minds is how to balance the urgent needs of our neighbors with very low incomes and insecure or no housing with the also urgent need to practice social distancing. As you know, this is a rapidly evolving situation, so our response is likely to evolve, too, over the coming weeks and months.

If you need to reach our staff, please know that any whose jobs allow it will be working remotely, so business may not be “as usual” but it is continuing. Our leadership team is mostly working remotely and participating in virtual meetings.

Our Emergency Shelters

Both our shelters for people experiencing homelessness remain open at this time, though we have stopped taking in new residents for the moment to create space for social distancing among beds and in daily living. Our women’s shelter is a congregate setting, where people share close sleeping quarters, while our family shelter is a former motel, so families have private rooms, requiring less adjustment in this moment. Our goal is the same as yours, I bet: to support our community when it needs us most. And sometimes supporting each other looks like staying six feet apart!

How You Can Help Now

  • Donate funds. Our biggest fundraiser of the year, our annual auction and gala, was planned for May 2, so we have postponed it (stay tuned for a new date soon). To make up for that critical funding loss, we are asking our community to step in now as they are able and make a gift – maybe the one you would have made had you been able to attend. Just click here to help us reach the $25,000 goal that will earn us an equal match. Contact Sherri with ideas to help: sphillips@humansolutions.org or 503.548.0224. We are turning lemons into lemonade.
  • Donate key items. We rely on community donations to ensure shelter residents have what they need to feel at home while staying with us, including food. Delivering hot dinners or sack lunches right now is most welcome. You can also shop this Amazon Wishlist while maintaining social distance; whatever you order will, be delivered to our 24/7 shelter.
  • Got Other Ideas? Great, we’re all ears. This is very much a team effort!
  • Get in touch to help! Contact Shawna, our terrific volunteer & donations coordinator, to get the details and dive in (maybe you are home from work with some unexpected time on your hands?): 503.278.1637 or volunteer@humansolutions.org.

However you can support our work and our community as a whole at this time, we are grateful. Thank you, thank you for being part of the Human Solutions extended family: together, WE are what community looks like.

In solidarity,

 

 

Andy Miller, Executive Director, and the whole team at Human Solutions