HELP!: Big Changes at HOMEpdx

Thank you all for your continued interest and support of our work creating community with our friends on the margins here in Portland. As clichéd as it might sound, we are busier than ever downtown.

On top of all of the busyness, it is with great sadness that we need to let our supporters know about a big change for us at HOMEpdx. Last week Pastor Garrett’s father passed away after being struck by a car while on his bicycle. While Garrett helps his family recover from this tragic loss he has also found himself in a position of needing to find a job that will provide more financially to allow him to help drag his family out from under the mountain of medical bills they now find themselves with.

Obviously, Garrett will always be a part of our community anytime he is willing and able to join us. However, his absence is going to leave a large hole in our staffing that will be difficult to fill. As we talk about our options for filling that hole, it seems like there are three possible options before us:

  1. We will need to hire someone new – this means finding someone with a similar philosophy toward the work we do and who values our friends in the same way we do. It also requires us to find someone who is willing to work erratic hours for what little pay we can afford.
  2. We will move Gus to full time – this has been and remains a goal of ours. But even having two full time staff members would be difficult to make work. When thinking about what happens when one of us gets sick or leaves town (even for a day or two), we realize that only two staff running our programs is not a sustainable set up. Adding to that the fact that Gus doesn’t have a vehicle and cares for his children during the day Monday-Friday, which makes things like transporting out friends places or trips to the food bank even more complicated.
  3. We will have to do less – this is obviously an ugly option that we don’t want to resort to but it is something we have to keep open as an option

There are a few things we need from you, our supporters and friends, during this season at HOMEpdx:

  1. Monthly recurring donations – if you are able to send us a monthly check or sign up via PayPal on our website we will be better able to add more staffing to fill the hole Garrett is leaving. Regular donations help us establish a budget and know what we can accomplish each month.
  2. Help supplying our friends with clothing/tarps/blankets for the cold weather ahead – winter is coming and if you have or are able to buy clothing that keeps our friends warm and dry, this will help keep our costs this winter down. Especially needed right now are warm gloves and hats.
  3. Become a food team – rally some friends and make one of our weekly meals happen on a Wednesday or a Sunday. We have food teams from local churches, a mosque, and even a book group. Each of these groups commits to providing a meal to serve about 200 once every other month. Contact us for details.
  4. In kind donations – perhaps you or your employer have a professional skill or product you’d like to donate . We’d love to help you find a way to put that skill to work for our friends or find a way to use your donation as part of an upcoming fundraiser. Some examples of skills we’d love to have donated to HOMEpdx include hairdressing, podiatrist care, accounting or bookkeeping.
  5. One time gifts – we need monthly donors to help make sure our bills get paid but one time gifts are the things that allow us to pay for an ID, get a cup of coffee for a friend, buy a used backpack for their stuff, etc. These gifts are essential in helping us build relationships.

We wish Garrett all the best as he moves on and we appreciate the way that you all have supported our work in the past. We know with your support and help we’re going to get through this together as well.

Thanks

3 wild and crazy guys: Gus, Garrett, and Bruce (L to R)

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