Give!Guide is Portland’s easiest path to end-of-year giving. The campaign begins on November 1 and closes at midnight December 31.

Give!Guide is Willamette Week’s annual effort to raise funds for — and draw attention to — the good works of local nonprofits. G!G has raised more than $56 million for hundreds of local nonprofits since inception in 2004.


Give $10 or more and get something in return for your giving, no matter how much or how little you can afford to donate. We’ve teamed up with a few awesome local businesses to give you exclusive freebies. Your donor goodies will arrive in your email inbox immediately following your gift, along with your donation receipt.

Give early! Incentives are only available while supplies last.

Here’s what you’ll get as a Give!Guide donor:

Free treat from Gluten Free Gem Pastry
Free taco from ¿Por Qué No? Taqueria
Free bagel with cream cheese at Henry Higgins Boiled Bagels


View All

Donate on a Big Give Day and you’ll be entered to win an exciting prize! This year we have a mix of getaways, shopping sprees, and cool products. Some BGDs have extra chances for donors 35 and younger to win! You’ll be entered for every donation you make and there’s no limit.

All winners will be notified immediately. Good luck and give big!





















Each year we connect with families we serve and collect information about each child’s age, gender, favorite color, favorite toys and hobbies.

We match donors with families of their requested size and let you do the shopping!

Sign up to adopt family here:

We ask that you select 1-3 gifts and plan to spend around $50-$70 per child. In the spirit of generosity, we know it can be tempting to go over the recommended budget, but in order to make things equitable between families, it’s important that you stick within our budget guidelines.
We have a goal of providing a $50 gift card for each of the moms, so if you wish to spend a little extra, a gift card to Fred Meyer or Target is always appreciated! And you can always donate directly to Rose Haven, in support of our family afternoons and programming.
Drop off for gift from 9 am – 6 pm on Monday, December 18th at The Eleanor in NW Portland, located at 1605 NW Everett St. WE CANNOT ACCEPT GIFTS BEFORE 12/18, AND THEY MUST BE DELIVERED TO THE ELEANOR, NOT OUR MAIN LOCATION. Please, do not sign up unless you are able to coordinate a delivery on December 18th.  We plan to begin matching families with donors beginning Nov 20th.
Instead of wrapping the gifts, please put them into festive gift bags, and label them with each child’s name. We will be asking families what holiday they celebrate, with a goal of being culturally sensitive and inclusive. Keep your family’s holiday in mind when you’re choosing gift bags and other festive items.
On behalf of Rose Haven and the 500+ children served through this program, we thank you so much for your support!

Sign up to adopt family here!

helping neighbor

helping neighbor

The Power of Community in Action

Ridwell helps reduce waste through recycling and reusing!

collectingSince 2020 Ridwell has helped Rose Haven by collecting needed items such as coats, purses, jewelry and hygiene products!

Check out this article and learn more about Ridwell and its impact on the Rose Haven community!

Thank you Ridwell !

Amplifying Survivor Voices: Stories on the Intersection of Poverty and Domestic Violence

Amplifying Survivor Voices: Stories on the Intersection of Poverty and Domestic Violence

Women experiencing poverty and domestic violence have long been made to feel invisible. They are constantly judged, treated differently and isolated from the rest of society. This project works to lift up the voices of these women—to finally give them a platform to share their stories. Through reading and learning from these narratives, I hope you will be inspired to take action in any and every way you can. Volunteer. Donate. Use your voice and privilege to advocate for change. Accept these folks as your neighbors, not as a problem, because you never know what someone may be going through. 



My name is Cate Bikales and I am a college sophomore at Northwestern University, where I am studying journalism and political science. Growing up in Portland, Oregon, I have seen firsthand how the city’s shortage of affordable housing has contributed to homelessness. I have also seen how the city has struggled to listen to the voices of those who are experiencing that homelessness. Decisions like the recent daytime camping ban, which went into effect on July 1, leave those experiencing homelessness with no place to go, especially when most shelters in the area are already at capacity. 

I am passionate about giving voice to the people who are being directly affected by these decisions—people who have long been overlooked and underserved by society. 

This is why I began volunteering with Rose Haven Day Shelter and Community Center in my first year of high school. Rose Haven is Portland’s only day shelter and community center that serves women, children, and gender-diverse people who have been most marginalized by homelessness and other intersecting traumas. Rose Haven serves an average of 150 guests per day, providing them with a safe, trauma-informed space and access to meals, fresh sets of clothes, financial help, laundry machines, showers, an onsite clinic and more. 

After completing a year of college, I have realized I am interested in going into the field of law, with a focus on women’s rights. So, I rejoined the Rose Haven team this summer as an intern with a specific goal in mind: to speak to guests about their thoughts on and experiences regarding the intersection between poverty and domestic violence. Thus, this project was born. Through my writing, I hope to amplify the voices of those directly affected by poor policies, and inspire our community leaders to take action by prioritizing those who have been systematically marginalized.

“Domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness in the U.S. for women”

Methodology and Outline

This project is based on guest testimonials conducted at Rose Haven in July of 2023. Guests were informed about the project I was conducting and chose to participate. Over the course of two, three hour days, I spoke with eight women about their experiences with domestic violence and poverty. Guests shared their stories, as well as ideas for how policymakers can decrease rates of poverty and domestic violence in Portland. Interviews were conducted in person and recorded, with permission, in order to be referenced when putting this project together. 

Seven of the eight women I spoke with have asked for anonymity due to the nature of their stories; however, one guest, Heidi Zieser, is eager for people to hear her story and her plans going forward. 

Thus, I will begin by telling Heidi’s story in full, before going into a summary of the thoughts and opinions of the seven other guests I had the privilege of speaking with. I will end my project with a summary of my thoughts, and a call to action. 

Please note that domestic violence and poverty can impact all genders. Due to the nature of my interviews, I will be focusing on the impacts of domestic violence and poverty on women specifically. 

“I go day by day, and I try to make each day the best day I can make it because I’m still walking this earth. I’m spreading my happiness.”

Facts and Figures

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behavior used by people to control and maintain power over their intimate partners. It comes in many forms, either physical or psychological. Both can have lasting impacts.

According to a study conducted by Multnomah County in 2019, 1 of every 7 women aged 18-64 was physically abused by an intimate partner. This means that almost 28,000 women in Multnomah County (13.9%) were physically abused by their partners during the past year. Numbers likely rose during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Many are unaware that domestic violence and poverty are directly correlated. Experiencing both at the same time can exacerbate the impact of the abuse and cause an exceptional loss of resources for the survivor. Additionally, when women experiencing domestic violence flee their homes, they are often left with no place to go.  Domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness in the U.S. for women.

It is important to note the racial disparities. National poverty rates by race were highest for American Indians and Alaska Natives (27.0 percent), followed closely by Blacks or African Americans (25.8 percent). A 2022 study by the Institute of Women’s Policy Research showed that Black women experience higher rates of domestic violence than any other race. It is unsurprising, then, that Black and Indigenous Americans are far more likely to experience homelessness than other groups.

Guest Testimonial: Heidi Zieser


“I go day by day, and I try to make each day the best day I can make it because I’m still walking this earth. I’m spreading my happiness.”

Despite enduring almost eight years of ongoing domestic violence from her abuser, 43-year-old Heidi Zieser maintains a positive, kind-hearted attitude toward life.  

Zieser moved to Portland from Dubuque, Iowa in April of 2017 with hopes of starting a new, better life—of “seeing the world.” But this dream was quickly shattered. Zieser stayed one night at Willamette Center Shelter but immediately felt uncomfortable and out of place. She and her boyfriend at the time eventually found a room to stay in at the Westwind Apartments in Portland’s Old Town. The abuse started soon after.  

Zieser immediately moved to a makeshift, self-built home in Tigard to get away, but the abuse followed.

“This gentleman just wouldn’t leave me alone,” Zieser said.

Zieser said the police department did little to help her. Her abuser was brought in with 40 charges against him, but was only sentenced for two. Instead of spending the five years in prison that he would have spent if charged for all 40, he only spent nine months. 

“I was so mad and angry about it—with him just getting away with everything,” Zieser said. “That’s the justice system. It looks down upon domestic violence and abuse victims.” 

In December of 2021, while still in prison, Zieser’s abuser got someone to burn her Tigard home down. In February of the following year, right after getting out of prison, her abuser burned down the second self-built home she was living in on 15th and Burnside, almost killing her and her dog.

Rose Haven was one of the few places that was able to help Zieser during this time, providing her with resources, food, clothes and a safe space to escape the abuse. However, Zieser said that this kind of support can only really help with the emotional scars, not the physical ones.

“Everything is so much harder,” she said. “My teeth and my body look so bad because my abuser has beaten me up so bad. I have burn marks all over me. He knocked my teeth out. People just judge really quickly.”

It was not only people walking by on the street who were quick to look down on Zieser. Five months ago, Zieser found out she was pregnant. She said the hospital neither told her she was pregnant, nor adjusted her medications to ensure the safety of the baby.   

“Folks that are living outside just don’t get treated the same way,” Zieser said. “It’s so hard.”

Zieser is currently living in Wisconsin, where she moved to once again get away from her abuser. Moving away has not made Zieser’s life any easier.

It was there that her neighbors tried to destroy her camper. It was there that she found out she had had a miscarriage. She had planned to name the baby Heavenly Rose, after Rose Haven.

Now, Zieser plans to return home to Portland. She has big plans for when she returns. 

“I want to make a GoFundMe and try to raise the money to get some innovations around Portland,” she said. “Enough money where I can go down and buy a big piece of property and put laundry [machines], showers, bathrooms, mental health support. A place where people can go and be safe and camp without getting messed around with by police officers.”

She plans to name the space Heavenly Rose PDX Foundation, in honor of her lost baby.

“This foundation will mean so much to me,” she said. “My unhoused friends and my unhoused community and family will finally have a safe place with access to a whole bunch of services.”

This is not the first time Zieser has worked to help her community. In August of 2022, Zieser helped arrange a street cleanup through We Heart Portland, a nonprofit that “organizes trash cleanups in our public spaces and offers resources to those in need,” according to their website. 

Through this organization, Zieser has also helped get homeless people off of the streets.

Zieser has faced massive hardship, but she said all she really wants is to help others, and to encourage people to listen to her story, and other stories like hers, before passing judgment.

“We are judged and treated differently from everybody else in the community,” she said. “But for a lot of us, it’s not our fault that we’re out there: domestic violence, evictions, criminal records, etc. People need to stop and realize that they can’t judge somebody before they know the real story.”

Additional Testimonials

blankHeidi Zieser is one of over 4000 guests who utilize Rose Haven’s services every year. Other guests shared their ideas with me about ways Portland can help both the homeless population, and the large number of people facing domestic violence. Many also shared with me why they believe it is so important for people to hear their stories.


Some guests offered solutions more directed towards domestic violence, while others discussed ways to fix Portland’s homelessness crisis.

Guest Testimonial #2


“Being able to come here is so helpful,” she said. “It’s nice just having the ability to come in and eat somewhere without having to watch your back—a safe space.”

One guest I spoke to told me about the 11 years of abuse she experienced. She said she tried to report the violence to the police, but they never listened.

“Even though there was evidence—it looked like there was a softball sticking out of my head from him hitting me—they didn’t do anything,” she said. “It’s just one of those things in life. His family had money and I didn’t have money, so they didn’t take me seriously.”

She said this intersection between poverty and domestic violence is far too common. She said the justice system should start taking domestic violence victims more seriously.

“Our lives should matter just as much as a man’s life matters,” she said.

She also said experiencing domestic violence, such as hitting or harassment, can make things like keeping a job extremely difficult. This makes it difficult to be financially independent. She said that, as someone already experiencing financial instability, that makes life just that much harder.

One solution she suggested was for the city to build and fund more domestic violence shelters where women can access resources, get help and “wind down.” She noted that Rose Haven is one of the few places that have given her that space.

“Being able to come here is so helpful,” she said. “It’s nice just having the ability to come in and eat somewhere without having to watch your back—a safe space.”

Guest Testimonial #3

Another guest talked to me about her experience with PTSD following an abusive first relationship and watching her mother experience 30 years of battering.

She said this trauma is directly related to the poverty she experiences.

“The long term effects of my PTSD have directly inhibited me—I’ve had to leave employment because of triggers,” she said. “I’ve been adversely affected by [my violent relationship] for decades. I’m 55 and it happened to me when I was 28, and I’m still affected by it.”

She said that one way domestic violence shelters and women’s shelters could help domestic violence victims would be to educate their guests about PTSD, and to provide services to help women experiencing it. She said getting an education about PTSD has helped her to adapt to living with it.

She said the biggest way community members can help people experiencing domestic violence is by understanding their misconceptions related to abuse. 

“A lot of [people] view women that stay in relationships as unwilling to get out of it. They don’t understand that usually a batterer makes you think that you need them to survive,” she said. “People need to be educated about that and not be as judgmental towards their peers that are trapped in those situations.”

Guest Testimonial #4


“There’s a lot of people that I know would be able to help but don’t because they think that they need to do something big, but it doesn’t have to be. I appreciate even a smile.”


The next guest I spoke to discussed how her experiences with her abusive girlfriend have led her to where she is now: living with her elementary-age son in a shelter and struggling to keep her job.

She said she believes it is extremely important for people to hear stories like hers.

“Some people may not ever experienced [homelessness or domestic violence], but they’re still able to help,” she said. “There’s a lot of people that I know would be able to help but don’t because they think that they need to do something big, but it doesn’t have to be. I appreciate even a smile.”

She said Portland’s top officials can help to serve domestic violence victims and people experiencing homelessness by asking them directly what they need, not by deciding on solutions on their own.

“It would be helpful [for Portland’s leaders] to create partnerships with places like Rose Haven,” she said. “Then they could ask people like me directly, ‘What can we do to help?’”

Guest Testimonial #5

I spoke to a guest who said she has been “violated” in many ways, including suffering through two abusive relationships and finding out five of her family members had been killed.

She said people should hear her story “so they don’t have to suffer what I suffered.”

She said she has taken the trauma from these experiences and channeled them into doing good for the world. She encourages other survivors to do the same.

“If you are abused and violated by your parents…you do one of three things,” she said. “(i) You become a drug addict, (ii) you become a perpetrator of domestic violence and child abuse yourself, or (iii) you do what I did: you become a human rights activist; you become a humanitarian.”

Guest Testimonial #6

One guest told me that she had to leave Portland because the domestic violence she was facing was so bad. She said that people tend to turn a blind eye to those that need help.

“I had a gun to my head. People were around—they saw me. They didn’t do anything,” she said. 

While she struggled to come up with a solution to the domestic violence issue, she offered a solution to Portland’s homelessness issue.

“The community thinks they’re creating change by putting all this money and everything into creating more committees, more departments, etc,” she said. “But the money is not going to affordable housing, and if it’s not going to housing, it’s not going to be successful.”


Guest Testimonial #7

The next guest I spoke to said she did not get justice when she brought her abuser to court. 

She said she feels it is important for people to hear the opinions of those experiencing domestic violence and homelessness firsthand. She said she hopes it will influence local government officials to make real, positive change.

One suggestion she gave that she hopes Portland City Council will take into consideration is providing a space for people to camp if they are not allowed to camp on the streets during the day. She also suggested offering domestic violence victims more easy access to resources.

“Offering people services is the first step,” she said. “I mean, you can’t force someone to take help, but they might accept it.”

Guest Testimonial #8

The final guest I spoke to cried as she exclaimed her thoughts on the abuse domestic violence victims face: “They’re hopeless. They should be able to get the help they need before it gets to that.”

She said that abuse victims and those experiencing homelessness are at a severe disadvantage to those who have food, water and a safe space to live readily available to them. 

“The city needs to be providing people equal access to what they need—transportation, housing, etc.,” she said. “They need to help people take that step to get where they need to be.”

She also said how important she thinks it is for regular people, not just people holding powerful positions in government, to withhold judgment against those who may not look perfect, or those who are living outside.

“People should keep looking for the good in people, and I think all of us should feel happy if we help someone,” she said. “Even by doing something small. Sometimes the small things get overlooked. You never know what someone is going through.”


I came into this project hoping to hear the stories of those who have experienced domestic violence and/or homelessness. I got that, and so much more.

Each guest I spoke to was so kind and passionate about their ideas, and so interested in telling me their story. When I began conducting interviews, I thought I would be lucky if I was able to get even two people to speak with me. I was able to speak to eight. This was not just luck. These women were eager and willing to share their stories.

They want people to know their stories so that these people can understand what domestic violence victims and unhoused people go through.

They want people to know their stories in hopes that people will withhold judgments before hearing the whole story.

They want people to know their stories so that people can use them to develop solutions that will actually help, not harm, unhoused folks like them.

After hearing these guest’s various struggles, from not being taken seriously by the institutions and systems they put their trust into (i.e., police, hospitals) to simply feeling like they are not being seen or heard, I have come to realize just how important this project really is. 

I want people to read these stories and take what they have learned to heart—to implement it in a positive way.

To those who may pass someone struggling on the street, do not be so quick to judge. Oftentimes, it is not the person’s fault that they are where they are. And remember, small acts of kindness mean a lot. You never know what these people have gone, and continue to, go through.


To Portland’s city leaders, listen to these stories and remember them. Keep them in mind when you are making decisions that might affect these people. Help create more spaces where domestic violence victims and unhoused people feel safe. And provide more funding and resources for spaces like that that already exist. Places like Rose Haven.

Rose Haven helped save Heidi Zieser’s life, and it continues to do so today. Rose Haven is helping the seven other people I spoke to for this project, and so many more. Domestic violence and homelessness are rampant in Portland, but places like Rose Haven mean so much to those going through tough times.

If you would like to make a donation in honor of Heidi and the 4000 guests Rose Haven serves each year, please visit Rose Haven’s donation page.  

I would like to end this project with a few quotes from the guests I spoke to about what Rose Haven means to them. I hope you will be inspired to create more safe spaces in Portland for women like Heidi and the others to feel safe and welcome.


“[Rose Haven] has saved my life—having a safe place where women can meet without threat. A lot of times a woman with PTSD will go to access services but get freaked out just being in the presence of some men, so they’ll deny themselves services to avoid those triggers. So places like this make a huge difference.” 


“Rose Haven means a lot to me. They have done so much for me, especially people like [Development Director] Liz Starke. Liz is one of the best people out there. I love her to death. Rose Haven is a big inspiration to me and just talking to people like Liz makes my day when I’m sad.”


Rose Haven really provides so much for women, even without any external/governmental support [outside of donations].”


“[Rose Haven] has helped me with transportation and some of my bills and things like that. It’s a place where I can just sit and calm down. It’s a much appreciated space, but there needs to be more places like it in Portland.”


Further Reading:



Optimistic Soap has created a limited edition soap (100 bars!) just for Rose Haven. The soap will launch at Rose Haven’s November 9th fundraiser, where all proceeds will go to supporting critical programs. But that’s not all, Pepper Foster Consulting and Optimistic Soap are challenging our communities to help us increase our impact. We need your help to make this fundraiser a success!

Click HERE to donate and enter to win!

How to help:

For Individuals:
For every $10 you donate, you will be entered into a raffle drawing for a gift basket of Optimistic Soap’s best-sellers

For Organizations:
Help us exponentially increase our impact by pledging $2/bar of soap sold (a total of $200 for all 100 bars) using the link above.
If you make a pledge before October 31st, your company’s name will appear as a sponsor on the soap packaging.
Once all bars of soap are sold, the funds will be released to Rose Haven.

For Everyone:
Spread the word!! Share the link to this page! Follow Rose Haven, Pepper Foster Consulting, and Optimistic Soap on Instagram and LinkedIn for updates on the fundraiser

Help us reach our goal of raising $2500 before November 9th

About Rose Haven

Rose Haven’s mission is to provide day shelter, resources, emotional support, and community connections to women, children and marginalized genders experiencing homelessness and poverty. Our vision is a community where everyone has safety, stability, love, health and home.

We break the cycle of homelessness by providing meals, clothing, medical care, mailing addresses, hygiene supplies, restrooms, showers as well as advocacy and mental health support. By meeting basic needs and building trust, we empower our guests to explore long-term change.

Rose Haven does not seek out government funding and relies solely on the generosity of individuals, foundations, organizations, and corporate supporters.

Learn more at

About Optimistic Soap

Molly Lee, mother of identical twins, living in Portland, Oregon is an IT professional by day but soap enthusiast always. Optimistic Soap allows her a creative, tactile outlet that feeds her soul and allows her to give something back to the world that we love.

While she can’t cure all the world’s ills with soap, with a little luck, her modest contributions can help make it a better place. Part of her proceeds will always be shared with the world, to make good on the promise of optimism in the name.

Learn more at

About Pepper Foster Consulting

Pepper Foster is a strategy and execution consulting firm. We help our clients figure stuff out and get stuff done. What makes us different though isn’t what we do, it’s why and how we do it. We do it because we want to make a difference and we hire great people who ask questions and figure out the Goldilocks solutions for your organization. Solutions that are not too much, not too little, just right!

We are committed to building a community that is inclusive, supportive, and engaged. We give back and invest in the communities where we live and work, helping to increase engagement, develop skills, and make a positive impact.

Learn more at

Optimistic Soap and Pepper Foster Consulting are partnering to spread awareness and raise money for the amazing work Rose Haven is doing to support women, children, and marginalized genders experiencing homelessness and poverty in Portland.

Liz Starke on Straight Talk

Watch KGW’s Straight Talk with Laural Porter interview Liz Starke, our Development Director, about the effect of the camping ban on Rose Haven.

Check out the Bonus Episode here!

Save Portland Street Rescue

Portland Street Responses receives thousands of 911 calls every year. Professional responders are sent to nonviolent situations, rather than armed police officers. Despite the success of PSR, city council has recently shown a lack of support.

The Portland Street Response pilot project was so successful that last year City Council voted unanimously in favor of funding its 24/7 expansion across the city. This year, however, they have pulled their support and are considering closing PSR down altogether. We need to act quickly to make sure this doesn’t happen – sign the petition at to show your support.

Rose Haven relies on Portland Street Response and we need your voice to help us keep this resource available for our community.

Update as of August 14th:
#SavePSR reached their goal of collecting at least 10,000 signatures in less than 10 days!

📋 11,400 + Signatures

🏛️ 25 Current & Former Elected Officials

📣 22 Community Leaders

🏢 77 Businesses, Non-Profits, Unions, Neighborhood Groups, & Faith Communities

AR featured

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 2022 Annual Report!

Mayor Tina Kotek & Rose Haven Executive Director, Katie O'Brien

Governor Tina Kotek at the Haven

Governor Tina Kotek and First Lady Aimee Wilson, MSW came to Rose Haven as the very first stop on their One Oregon Listening Tour. We invited our community partners from William Temple House, Raphael House, Blanchet House and Maybelle Center for Community for a frank conversation about the gaps we are filling in our social service infrastructure. With the exception of Raphael House, our agencies provide vital daytime services and do not receive government funding. As privately funded agencies, we were able to be nimble and responsive throughout the pandemic, not beholden to restrictions that come with public funds. We carried a heavy load, and continue to do so. As more people are displaced and shelters are at capacity, our programs are a critical safety net for unsheltered people in our communities. We are thankful for the opportunity to share our valuable insights.

Mayor Tina Kotek at Rose Haven

Here is what we brought to the table for our sit down with our Governor:

1. We need a cohesive plan for what to do with sick, injured, or traumatized people. Our agencies are congregate settings, and we simply do not have the resources to serve those needing serious medical care. William Temple House calculated they spent 400+ staff hours working with just one person experiencing persistent mental health issues. We have also spent countless hours with this same individual at Rose Haven, and so has Blanchet House. In spite of our collective and resourceful efforts, today this person remains living on the streets; escalated, disruptive, and in need of full-time medical care that is unavailable to her.  If the State invested in these folks that need the most help, it would free up our agencies’ resources to uplift the thousands of other people we are serving.

2. Coordination between government and non-government funded agencies is essential; especially for people in acute crisis. We need timely access to first responders, streamlined emergency infrastructure, and a better referral system. We have become frontline workers with no access to State resources. Our agencies doing daytime work are most connected with people in greatest need of resources. State funded sites like the new BHRC should coordinate care with us to determine how they prioritize shelter beds for people in crisis.

3. We need access to low-barrier funding asap! The current government funding options have many bureaucratic barriers and strings attached. Trust based philanthropy has been a movement in the private foundation sector that we encourage the State to adopt. SB 606 is a related piece of legislation that Rose Haven is advocating for. It is focused on streamlining and simplifying contracting, improving payment delivery, reducing burdensome reporting requirements, and raising nonprofit wages to improve employee retention in the long-term. This would position our agencies to consider seeking much needed public funding.

4. Gender, age and abilities need to be part of the conversation, otherwise we are overlooking those most in need. We are seeing an aging population of folks living with disabilities, more people marginalized by their gender, and more families fleeing domestic violence. Programs specific to their unique needs are essential.

We asked the Governor to voice the need for a cultural understanding; rather than “the homeless” as a problem to be dealt with, a recognition that these folks are Oregonians who deserve to have their needs met. We are so grateful to have been heard, and as always, moved by the power of community.

Thank you Governor Kotek for starting your tour at Rose Haven!

Rose Haven Partners with Sheltersuit

An international fashion designer is helping homeless people on the streets of Portland. Bas Timmer is from the Netherlands. He created The Sheltersuit Foundation after a friend’s father, who was homeless, died from hypothermia. “So, it is a very comfortable mattress with an opening, so you can add extra layering,” Timmer said. “It has a big hood that’s waterproof and, of course, a waterproof layer on top, with ventilation at bottom and if you need to move (you) zip open, roll up easily, and are ready to move.blank

On Wednesday November 9th Rose Haven distributed Sheltersuits to our houseless neighbors. In a partnership with Greater Good Northwest and TPI, we are able to bring these critical products to the Western United States, all the way from where they were produced in South Africa.

Sheltersuit is an organization based in the Netherlands that sustainably creates wearable shelters with recycled materials. These “Sheltersuits” can be unzipped to wear as a heavy duty jacket, re-assembled into a large sleeping bag, and rolled up to wear as a backpack. The material itself is surprisingly lightweight; something that often cannot be said for tents or sleeping bags. With all of the barriers that our houseless neighbors face, creating ease with lightweight materials and portability can provide some relief to those without shelter.

“For the folks who are living outside in Oregon this is so critical,” said Liz Starke, development director at Rose Haven. “If you’re sleeping outside and your sleeping bag gets wet and you don’t have a tent, it basically becomes disposable, it becomes really heavy, soaking wet.

Read more here:

Showcase at Portland Fashion Week

On Thursday, August 18th, Rose Haven  participated in the sustainable apparel runway at Portland Fashion Week. We showcased 10 up-cycled garments made of entirely donated materials and created by guests and volunteers in our sewing class.

We also took this opportunity to give a sneak peak into a very exciting new partnership: we teamed up with Sheltersuit to present donated sheltersuits and shelterbags on the runway.