Creating a safe place for women in downtown Portland

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The expansion of the 2nd floor of the Burnside Shelter, operated by Portland Rescue Mission, added ten beds specifically for women experiencing homelessness who are in need of a place to stay as they wait for housing.  Portland and Multnomah County saw a 15 percent increase in the number of women on the streets. About 67 percent of women living on the streets or in shelters have reported having a disability, making them even more vulnerable to the dangers of not having a safe place to find rest. The additional beds are purposed to give hope and restore life to women in need.

“The Connect Program (which opened last year at Burnside) has met a unique set of needs for women in the community, yet Portland Rescue Mission recognized there is still a gap for women transitioning directly into housing,” said Deanne Gillock, Connect women’s program manager.  The addition of these 10 referral beds provides vulnerable women experiencing homelessness with a safe place at night while they receive help and support from their case managers.

The extensive remodeling work was coordinated internally by Dave Ketah, Facilities Manager for Portland Rescue Mission, and was funded by grants from the Home Builders Foundation (HBF), Boeing Employee Community Fund, and M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, as well as product donations and discounts from members of the Home Building Association and HBF supporters:  Caeserstone, California Closets, Contract Furnishings Mart, Craftwork Plumbing, Custom Stone Creations, Pacific Crest Cabinets,  Parr Cabinet Outlet, and RK Electric.

Portland Rescue Mission is the largest overnight shelter provider, with more than 200 people each night finding a hot meal and a bed.  Home Builders Foundation has partnered with Portland Rescue Mission on several projects in the past, including a large remodel of The Harbor, a men’s addiction recovery program.  The expansion led by HBF Builder Captain Nathan D. Young Construction,  ultimately opened up the space for the women’s shelter on the 2nd floor of the Burnside Shelter.

Check out additional photos of the completed project on our Facebook page!

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