KOIN interview

Rose Haven has been operating in a basement of a church with about 3500 square feet.

But with the help of design company Gensler Portland, they’re repurposing what used to be a coffee shop and roasting facility, making use of 10,000 square feet. The renovated building will provide necessary services to Rose Haven’s guests and create a compassionate and safe environment where they can heal with respect and dignity.

Pro bono design work has been offered by Gensler Portland for the renovated building.

KOIN interview

Sun Joo Kim, the design manager for Gensler Portland, said the biggest driver behind the new design was the people who it will serve.

“It’s energizing and uplifting for myself and our team to be able to work on trauma-informed design in this real-time in this real space with the users who will use it,” Kim said. “Then, to get feedback and to see the impact that this space will have is invaluable,” Kim said.

Thank you, Elise Haas and the KOIN6 crew!

If you would like to contribute to the Home for the Haven campaign’s renovation.


OPB Think Out Loud- Organizations Urge Donors To Be Mindful About Reuse

Organizations that take in-kind donations are often in the awkward position of declining items that actually belong in the trash. Thrift stores and community centers want gently used items that they can feel good about passing along to new owners. And while some donors do their homework to find out what these organizations actually need, many are mainly focused on getting rid of stuff they’d rather not throw away. This means volunteers have to spend a lot of time sorting through donations and nonprofits have to spend money getting rid of large items they can’t use. We hear more about how to donate used goods responsibly from Community Warehouse program manager Joe GlodeMarie Ellsworth, in-kind donations coordinator for Rose Haven and Carrie Hoops, executive director of William Temple House.

Thank you OPB and Julie Sabatier!

Below is the podcast from OPB


Photo credits from Courtesy Goodwill / OPB and Good Housekeeping (google image)

2020 heatwave view

Rose Haven Day Center worked through the heatwave by providing water, tarps, and tents to the homeless, which impacted our Rose Haven guests.

Liz Starke was the final employee to leave Rose Haven last week when a woman who lives in a tent across the street rang the doorbell. The woman was “hysterical,” Starke recalled. In this case, the woman knew an ex-partner, who she said abused her, was getting released from prison soon — and she was worried about what services would be available. She was also worried about the pending heatwave.

2020 heatwave view

Research shows women and LGBTQ+ people are among the most vulnerable to housing insecurity and homelessness. That is particularly acute in Oregon, which has one of the highest rates of people who experience unsheltered homelessness, meaning they live outside, including in tents or in cars instead of in shelters or other housing.

In Multnomah County, data from 2019 shows the number of people experiencing homelessness who are gender non-conforming grew more than any other group. And still, the research acknowledges a potential undercounting because of factors like stigmatization and discrimination.



Photo credit to Southern Methodist University Geothermal Map of America

Rose Haven’s Back to School Drive brings backpacks, supplies to 400 kids

Rose Haven serves people experiencing homelessness and poverty in Portland.

Last year, the Oregon Department of Education tallied more than 21,000 homeless students between kindergarten and high school.

“This is an annual event for us that we’re just so excited to provide. This year, we have about 400 children signed up for brand new school supplies from about 100 different families,” said Liz Starke, Rose Haven’s Development Director. “So it’s a really exciting day for us because what we try to do is make sure that every single supply is brand new so we can promote dignity for these kids.”

All the students are pre-registered to pick up the supplies and can even handpick their own backpacks, Starke said.

Thank you KOIN6 and Danny Peterson!!

Photo credit to KOIN6

To reach the article: https://www.koin.com/news/education/rose-havens-back-to-school-drive-brings-backpacks-supplies-to-400-kids/

To watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbKIK_vy80Y


Rose Haven is seeking board members who can help speak to our mission of providing day shelter, resources, emotional support and community to women, children and marginalized genders experiencing homelessness and poverty.

Rose Haven’s board provides governance that has a dual focus of realizing the agency’s social mission while ensuring its viability. The Board of Directors are advocates and ambassadors fully engaged in providing guidance to the agency’s leadership, securing financial resources, strategic planning, human resources and partnerships necessary to advance its mission.

Rose Haven is looking for board members who have specific backgrounds, experiences, and abilities, those who are champions to the importance of exceptional leadership and believe each member contributes specific skills to fully realize Rose Haven’s potential. This includes:

  • Those with a legal background to help with policies, procedures, human resource support, etc.


  • Those with marketing and public relations backgrounds to be a voice in promoting our services to the community


  • Those who have experience and interest in promoting the ongoing financial health through fundraising, grants and events


  • Those with financial background, offering expertise in nonprofits budgeting as well as investment opportunities including endowments, planned giving, etc.


  • Those who represent major hospital or care settings, have understanding of the intersection of homelessness and health and are looking to address inequities within our systems


  • Those with city, county or government experience or policy work as it relates to our service and population served


  • Those with lived experience relevant to our work with people experiencing homelessness, housing insecurity, poverty, and domestic and sexual violence

If this sounds like you, we encourage you to carefully review Rose Haven’s mission, values and purpose. Contact Kathy Kelly, board president, at kelly221@att.net for an application and to begin the process.  All board appointments will be reviewed by a committee of the board and applicants will be moved forward by a simple majority.

Position: Advocate (Part-Time, Temporary*)

Report to: Advocacy & Operations Director

Schedule: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday (8am-2:30pm)

Hours: 24 hours per week

FSLA Status: Non-exempt

Primary Purpose: 

Rose Haven is seeking a passionate, dependable, relationship-builder and community connector to provide individual advocacy services to guests requesting support through our low-barrier, drop- in day shelter.  The Advocate will work directly with women and gender diverse people who may be experiencing homelessness, poverty, or other traumas, and are in need of connection to community resources, emotional support, and/or financial assistance.  


Primary Responsibilities:

  • Provide direct support for all new and returning guests through intake and advocacy meetings within a drop-in, first come-first served model of access
  • Offer active, supportive listening to guests’ needs
  • Share your knowledge of local resources with Rose Haven guests and make appropriate referrals/connections
  • Administer financial assistance aligned with organizational policies and processes 
  • Establish meaningful relationships with collaborating agencies
  • Maintain daily data entry of intake and advocacy meetings in guest management system
  • Set and hold professional boundaries and agency policies compassionately 
  • Respond to guests experiencing acute crisis or escalated/unregulated states through a strengths-based, non-judgmental approach
  • Serve as an active contributor to the Advocacy program, including developing and implementing advocacy services for guests
  • Participate in weekly staff meetings and Advocacy team meetings
  • Seek ongoing learning to strengthen knowledge of local resources, trauma-informed care, and serving people with barriers related to homelessness, mental health, and substance use
  • Serve guests in other program areas as needed
  • Support organizational special events
  • Other duties as assigned



  • Bachelor’s degree in social work or related field; or, two years experience working in a social service agency (paid or unpaid)
  • Knowledge of local resources to serve women, children and marginalized genders related to homelessness, domestic/sexual violence, physical/mental health and substance use 
  • Understand the effects of trauma and how trauma can impact homelessness and poverty
  • Understand and support the mission, values, principles and community agreements of Rose Haven
  • Demonstrate cultural humility toward diversity of human experience including race, religion, ethnicity, mental/physical abilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, education and cultural heritage
  • Communicate with intention, both in writing and verbally
  • Demonstrate attention to detail and time management
  • Possess strong interpersonal skills and enthusiasm for contributing to a team environment
  • Ability to manage conflict and provide crisis management 
  • Demonstrate an ability to handle multiple priorities simultaneously
  • Punctual and dependable
  • Demonstrate relevant computer/technology literacy and proficiency, including Microsoft Office and Google Drive


Preferred Skills:

  • Bilingual (Spanish) 
  • Previous experience working with vulnerable, marginalized and/or unhoused populations 
  • Non-Violent Crisis Intervention or De-Escalation skills/experience


*There may be an opportunity for permanent hire when Rose Haven moves to its new location in early 2022.  



Hourly rate of $18-20/ DOE


How to Apply:

Applications accepted until the position is filled. Please submit a cover letter and resume to resume@rosehaven.org by September 20, 2021 for priority consideration. No phone calls please. Only applicants who receive an interview will be contacted.


Equal Opportunity Employer: 

Rose Haven is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained staff.  Rose Haven believes that each individual is entitled to equal employment opportunity. Individuals who hold diverse and marginalized identities are strongly encouraged to apply. 


Download the job description here!

New Rose Haven Building

Maggie Vespa of KGW Showcases New Rose Haven Building


Maggie Vespa of KGW stopped by to see the new Rose Haven building and interviewed our Executive Director Katie O’Brien and former Rose Haven guest Cody Jane Baker. The interview took place at Rose Haven’s new home, what was formerly known as World Cup Coffee (1740 NW Glisan St,97209) Fundraising and construction will take place this year, and we hope to move into our new home in 2022.

Since 2014, Rose Haven’s signature event, the Reigning Roses Walk, has brought together our community of dedicated donors, volunteers, and guests to raise funds and awareness for our organization each Mother’s Day. The 2021 event will be a hybrid of virtual and in-person experiences, fundraising for renovations to Rose Haven’s new facility, which will triple our existing footprint and allow us to resume services indoors and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Limited time slots available 10 am-2 pm for households to participate at the in-person, covid-safe event, which will include a tour of our newly leased space! Register at makeitreign.org.

Our goal is to raise $200,000 by Mothers Day. By registering at makeitreign.org participants will also be automatically entered into weekly giveaways and a grand prize (more information about the giveaways can be found on our Instagram page @rosehaven_pdx or rosehaven.org ). This campaign keeps our support services for women, children, and marginalized genders experiencing homelessness in the familiar neighborhood of NW Portland, yet provides us with sufficient space to meet current and anticipated demand for services.

Learn more and watch the interview here:


Annual Report 2020

It’s impossible to capture the entirety of our guests’ experiences and how Rose Haven services have impacted them, but to give you some insight into the work here’s our 2020 Annual Report!

Guest receiving services

If you find that the $600 stimulus check isn’t needed, maybe turn it over to someone who really does.

Looking Back and Moving Forward

A typical Rose Haven January is spent collecting our year-end data to summarize the work we accomplished over the previous year together. The numbers are never reflective of the impact we’ve truly made….this is especially so in 2020. While our service statistics are phenomenal, they are a small part of the story. They don’t tell us how many lives we’ve saved by providing essential supplies to the chronically homeless who have not been indoors anywhere in nearly a year. They don’t enumerate how many people we educated about the pandemic and the importance of wearing masks, washing hands, seeking medical attention, and knowing protocols during this new and scary epidemic. They don’t indicate how many phones we charged, people we gave voter ballots to, or stimulus checks distributed through our mail program. Nor do they don’t quantify the guests we have laughed with, those we have shed tears beside, or the souls we nourished over the course of our work in 2020. They are countless.

The last year was one of dizzying pivots. Adjusting our service model to accommodate new COVID-19 safety protocols, raging wildfires, social unrest, and ever-changing weather conditions was a daily practice. Everyone was so brave and creative and dogged in their pursuit of helping. Without question, our bold staff continued to show up at Rose Haven every day, setting aside personal fears and prioritizing service to others. Their work was supplemented by a small core group of volunteers who arrived during uncertain times and changing circumstances to help on-site with direct services. Many volunteers picked up take-home projects, while others collected needed items. Amazon packages arrived by the dozens each day! Our 575 volunteers found avenues to support our guests. And, thousands of donors, some long-time friends and others brand new, shared their financial resources and stimulus checks with us!

Genuine love and support were abundant in 2020, helping us navigate these rough waters alongside 2,500 Rose Haven guests. 

And during all this, we somehow managed to tackle some immense agency priorities. Bracing ourselves for the inevitable reality that more women and families will need our help over the coming years, our Board of Directors focused on the future of Rose Haven. We updated our Mission and Values to reflect our guiding principles and essential work more accurately. To better clarify our governance, we established new bylaws.

Strategic Priorities were defined to direct our agency efforts over the next three years:

• Build diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices into all aspects of our work

• Secure new service space that advances our ability to deliver our mission

• Build meaningful, inclusive, sustainable, and consistent programs

• Ensure our human resources model promotes a positive and sustainable employee, volunteer, and board experience

• Raise sufficient funds to execute our strategic priorities


Big things are on the horizon, and we are preparing. Our staff is getting their 2nd round of vaccinations next week, and optimism is our mantra for 2021. Thank you for being with us on this unique and unpredictable journey. Our work is far from done, but together we are making a marked difference in women and children’s lives in our community.


Katie O’Brien
Executive Director