Hi Everyone --
Here we are in the holiday season! While we prepare for celebrations, we can also feel the colder weather that makes life that much harder for those on the streets to survive. December is always a mix of heartbreak and joy, struggle and generosity, challenge and celebration. At Human Solutions, we do our best every day to meet people where they are with the programming they need to get back on their feet and, most importantly, to find warm and stable housing they can afford to call home.
I hope you’ll take a moment to peruse our updates because there is so much exciting stuff happening here at Human Solutions!
‘TIS THE SEASON: INVEST IN YOUR COMMUNITY
As you consider your charitable giving this season, we invite you to invest in Human Solutions. We are addressing the critical issue facing our community right now: despite a growing economy, too many families still experience homelessness and poverty. We have been building affordable housing, providing job training and creating real pathways out of poverty for East Multnomah County families for 30 years – and continue to find new ways to respond to our local housing crisis. Contributions from members of our community, like you, enable us to meet the challenges confronting low-income families head on – which is certainly needed right now.
We welcome your gift online or by mail to: 12350 SE Powell Blvd., Portland, OR 97215. Every gift matters.
CANDY’S STORY: FROM THE STREETS TO STABLE HOUSING
It’s a real gift to be part of people’s triumphs as they work hard to find stability in a society that throws up so many barriers. We see our share of triumph every day in Human Solutions’ emergency shelters, affordable housing communities and service centers. But if you don’t get to witness these triumphs, as we do, the heartbreak on our streets can too often feel like all there is to this story.
Candy’s story is a wonderful example of a triumph that we are proud to have played a role in:
In 2013, an eviction left Candy and her children without a place of their own. Candy did what any of us would do: she sought a safe place to stay while she gathered the resources needed to return to stable housing. That meant living with relatives which often doesn’t last – especially with kids in the mix. When that situation broke down, Candy and her kids unfortunately landed on the streets.
When they arrived in our emergency shelter program, we did what we do best: we helped Candy meet her family’s immediate needs while simultaneously working with Candy to find a path back to stable housing. In early 2016, Candy’s family moved into one of Human Solutions’ 720 affordable apartments, where she and her kids live today. Thanks to her hard work to access the right supports, Candy now has a stable home where she is raising her children – a place to be warm when it’s cold and wet, to cook chicken noodle soup and to host the next birthday party. On-site supports like energy and rent assistance, parenting classes and a supportive community played key roles in Candy’s journey out of homelessness and chaos – a journey Candy guided herself with the support and partnership we offer at Human Solutions.
TOY DRIVE & HOLIDAY STORE
‘Tis the season for our annual Holiday Toy Drive, a joyful tradition at Human Solutions! Every year, we partner with volunteers and organizations across our community to collect gifts and essential items for kids who need them and invite their parents to “shop” (for free, of course!) for the holidays. The event serves low- and very low-income families who live in our affordable housing communities or are participating in our programs. You can help by:
- hosting a collection bin in your community, church or office space, you can deliver gifts to our two office locations (12350 SE Powell Blvd. and 124 NE 181st),
- shopping for gifts on our Amazon Wish List (they send things right to us!),
- volunteering your time, and
- your business or organization can sponsor the event.
Find details and volunteer sign-ups on our web page.
THANKSGIVING MEAL AT OUR WOMEN’S SHELTER
Members of Good Shepherd Community Church in Boring, Oregon prepared and served an amazing meal – turkey, all the fixins’ and countless pies - for the folks living in our Gresham Women’s Shelter and our for the families in our family shelter program – that’s a LOT of meals! We are incredibly grateful for their generosity and commitment to those experiencing homelessness in our community. They invited us to speak about Human Solutions’ work at a service this summer in an effort to get more involved in their community through action. Their initiative is called “Love Rockwood,” so our incredible shelter volunteer and donations coordinator Christina (email her here to get involved!) talked about ways we can “Love the Hungry.” We are deeply grateful for the Good Shepherd community’s partnership with Human Solutions.
Have a group that would enjoy hearing about Human Solutions and the issues of poverty and homelessness that we are working to solve? Contact Lisa to learn more and get us out where you are!
OUR 30TH ANNIVERARY GALA WAS A HUGE SUCCESS
What a night! If you were with us to celebrate in November, you know what a fun time we had (live salsa music and dance lessons, folks!). But it was more than a great time: we raised $175,000 to fuel our work into the future, thanks to our generous event sponsors, guests, and the many business partners who shared their products and experiences with us to create fun silent and live auction packages.
For those who couldn’t join us on that special evening, I invite you to take a moment to watch the short video we previewed there. In it you’ll meet Ayan (pictured here) and learn more about her story of courage.
Thank you, as always, for being part of the Human Solutions family. Together we are creating the kind of community where everyone has an affordable place to call home.
Please consider making a year-end gift to sustain our work today! Contribute how it works best for you: online or by mail to: 12350 SE Powell Blvd., Portland, OR 97215. We are grateful for each and every gift.
Sincerely and gratefully,
Andy Miller, Executive Director