In the fall of 2010, AllOne Community Services surveyed more than 200 organizations in North Portland about services they offered. Over 100 agencies responded, and none were engaged in housing-related services. A few years later, a group of six churches from North Portland were able to open Community of Hope, a transitional housing program for single mothers and their children.
Now, with the help of organizations such as FamilyWorks! Ministries, RentWell, and Innovative Changes, in addition to many pastors and ministry leaders from the surrounding churches, we are able to have classes and mentoring to help the residents get their lives back on track. On a weekly basis, Community of Hope also has anywhere from 50 to 100 volunteers that help with childcare, meal preparation, and overnight coverage. With the ongoing support from our community, we will continue to grow and help more families find relief and stability.
In North Portland, many residents lack sufficient health coverage to obtain the care that they need on an ongoing or onetime basis. In late 2011, AllOne Community Services decided to partner with Compassion Connect in order to set up a one day clinic to provide medical, dental, and optical services to the North Portland community.
Since then, we have had four Compassion North Portland Clinics; all of which were completely run by approximately 250-350 volunteers. Every year, Compassion North Portland’s clinics are supported by countless local business, ministries, and schools who donate everything from medical equipment to food. Because of the generosity of our volunteers and donors, we are able to provide our services free of charge every year to hundreds of people in North Portland. We look forward to continuing these services to the North Portland community for many more years to come.
Vendors at local farmer’s markets often do not want to take unsold food items back to their farms when the market ends. Because of this, the Farmers Market started to have gleaners come in and collect the unsold food to give to the less fortunate in their communities. Starting in 2011, AllOne Community Services partnered with the Churches of North Portland to provide volunteers to do this job.
Now, we have gleaners provide support for both the St. Johns Farmer’s Market and the Village Garden’s Farmer’s Market every Saturday, May through October of every year. Volunteers are currently supplied by the following organizations: Golden Harvesters, the Micah Challenge, Community of Hope, and AllOne Community Services. The end result of program is that the homeless, low income housing residences, and transitional housing residences in our community are provided with fresh produce every week. It is the Church of North Portland’s desire to continue to provide these services as long as the Farmer’s Markets will allow us to.
In the spring of 2014, four North Portland churches reached out to the homeless in order to find what their primary unmet need was. In response, the churches found out that a place to wash their laundry was the number one unmet need for the homeless.
In order to meet this need, a church leader connected with the owner of the Blue Sky laundromat in St. Johns. Soon after, we were able to implement a laundry voucher program in which the homeless are able to do jobs such as cleaning and maintenance for the Churches of North Portland in exchange for a voucher. In turn, these vouchers are redeemable for one load of laundry at the Blue Sky. Typically, we are able to provide 20 voucher per month to the homeless. With the ongoing support of donated funds, we hope to continue this serve to the homeless.