Rose Haven

Our trauma-informed facility is an award-winning design!

The Gensler Design Firm has won the 2022 Design Excellence Awards from the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) for their interior design work here at Rose Haven.

Our interior design was selected for the People’s Choice Award, the Impact Award (Social), and as an Honorable Mention in the Public & Civic design category. Everything from the lighting and furniture to the flow and color palette were carefully selected with trauma-informed design in mind. 

Gensler Portland generously provided their services pro-bono to design our shelter with a trauma informed lens, but it was our guests’ input that played a vital role in shaping the space into a welcoming, safe, and uplifting environment for all. 

These design awards recognize the collaborative effort of our guests, volunteers, staff, and the Gensler team. We could not have opened the space without them and the generous contributions from the Portland community. 


ushed to our limits, our organizations need city’s, county’s help

Executive Directors of Four Grassroots Organizations Came Together to Collectively Ask for Help from our Community

Executive directors of four major nonprofit organizations in Portland collaborated to publish an op-ed in The Oregonian regarding our citywide homeless crisis. This piece was put together by Scott Kerman at Blanchet House, Katie O’Brien at Rose Haven, Carrie Hoops at William Temple House, and Michelle Meyer at Maybelle Center for Community.

Read the full story below and on The Oregonian. You can help us help Portland by sharing this op-ed far and wide on Facebook and Twitter!

Photo Caption: Blanchet House served those in need throughout the pandemic. The organization has since returned to in-person meals. The executive director of the organization, along with the executive directors of three other groups, write that they are struggling to continue providing services to the needy amid daily violence in our neighborhoods and the community’s addiction and mental health crises.

Scott Kerman, Katie O’Brien, Carrie Hoops and Michelle Meyer

Kerman is executive director of Blanchet House. O’Brien is executive director of Rose Haven. Hoops is executive director of William Temple House. Meyer is executive director of Maybelle Center for Community.

This is hard to write because it might sound like we’re giving up. We’re not – but we need help.

As the executive directors of Blanchet House, Rose Haven, William Temple House and Maybelle Center for Community, we are committed to serving vulnerable people living on the margins – the disconnected, discounted and often forgotten. With collectively 180-plus years of service in Portland, our nonprofit organizations are the ones that people in need turn to for help, whether it’s food, clothing, mental health counseling, showers, health care, shelter, housing or simply to find community with others.

We are not government agencies, but we provide public benefits and services. We are privately funded by generous individuals, businesses, foundations and grants ­– not government contracts ­– and have successfully operated with lean budgets and staff. But in the past two years, our costs have skyrocketed as the toll of the community’s mental health and addiction crisis has fallen on us to manage, along with the growing need to protect the safety of our clients, staff and volunteers. We need our local government to confront today’s unprecedented circumstances, help shoulder the load in meeting these needs and summon the creativity and urgency to change the on-the-ground reality right now.

In the Old Town and Northwest Portland neighborhoods where we work, we serve amidst elevated levels of daily violence – violence that victimizes our clients and the people trying to help them. A man was brutally stabbed outside one of our organizations this summer. A man in mental health crisis smashed a bystander’s head with a rock, severely injuring him. A woman in a wheelchair was left at the doorstep of one of our organizations. We spent all day trying to find an agency willing to help her. None were.

We are not giving up, but we must be realistic about our ability to continue in this environment, which makes it harder to recruit volunteers and burns out staff members, without whom there are no services.

Make no mistake. Our volunteers and staff members are made of strong stuff. After all, we’ve never exactly served in a comfortable, easy environment. Compassionate, mission-driven and dedicated, they come downtown and stick with us through hardship and tragedy. But it feels like we’re approaching a breaking point. If the services we provide disappeared, the impact on our city would be immediate and glaring. Our organizations could disappear, but the people who need us will not.

What can the city and county do to help? First, they can free up funding to help us provide these public benefits during this incredibly precarious time. Clear bureaucratic hurdles and help us pay these irreplaceable workers. If the city can spend millions on private security for city-owned properties, it can help defray the costs of employing and protecting nonprofit workers providing meals and support to those in need.

It also is time to abandon pre-pandemic ways of assessing need and how we should respond. For example, right now because they are not deemed “a danger to themselves or others,” too many truly vulnerable, defenseless people are simply left to play out the rest of their lives in madness or addiction, victimized and brutalized until they die or are jailed. This is unacceptable and requires legislative attention to our civil commitment laws.

We need a cohesive plan for what to do with sick, injured, or traumatized people. Right now, too many people are dropped at our doors because our hospitals and emergency services don’t know what else to do with them. We aren’t designed to care for everyone.

We also need our civic agencies to reassess what serving with urgency and to scale means in this crisis. This will take returning city and county employees to their offices because how can you know what we’re dealing with if you’re not living it every day like we are?

And when we have new ideas and programs to meet the moment, let’s streamline the process of getting them started. The city and county should recognize that independent agencies can do remarkable things for our community faster and often more efficiently. Provide funding, and we will innovate, collaborate and lead.

In fact, we’ve already proven what we can do together. Recently, Multnomah County agreed to fund peer support specialists who visit our organizations daily. These mentors, who have lived experience with addiction and homelessness, help deescalate situations and provide resources to our clients.

The new and innovative Old Town InReach Program, ­ which we designed and advocated for – is helping. But it is not enough. It is not a substitute for public safety, so we are left to provide for our own security – some of us with 24/7 safety staff wearing bulletproof vests.

Yes, it will take time to repair a broken mental health system, build affordable housing, and expand programs like Portland Street Response. But time is not on our side. We need the city and county to respond like their hair is on fire. Because it is. What might happen months or years from now won’t help today.

We’re ready to collaborate and do our part, something we and our colleague nonprofit agencies have proven during this crisis. We are not giving up and we don’t want to give up.

But we need to see substantive, meaningful and urgent responses that show us the city and county haven’t given up themselves.


Rose Haven’s new space was highlighted in an article from The Architect’s Newspaper, written by Matt Hickman. Matt goes into detail about our vision for our new Home for the Haven, and how Gensler helped us bring our dream to fruition. You can read through the article below and see the lovely way in which the photographer for Gensler, Stephen A. Miller, captured the new building.

Find the full article here on AN’s website!

Gensler’s revamp of a Portland day shelter for women and children brings trauma-informed design to the forefront

Gensler Portland—one of three offices that comprise the global design firm’s Cascadia regional division along with Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.—has unveiled its interior refresh of Rose Haven, a low-barrier day shelter and community center dedicated to supporting women, children, and gender-diverse individuals experiencing homelessness, abuse, and other turbulent life events. Located in Northwest Portland, the facility provides a critical—and singular—service for the city’s most vulnerable residents.

As noted by Gensler, Oregon has the second-highest rate of homelessness in the country, with 35 out of every 10,000 residents in the state lacking safe, permanent shelter, making organizations like Rose Haven all the more critical.

With the aim to “create a space that embodies the emotional connection users have to Rose Haven,” Gensler Portland took on the project pro-bono, which in addition to the interior design services for the nonprofit’s new 10,500-square-foot home on NW Glisan Street—a space three times larger than the 25-year-old organization’s previous facility in the basement of a nearby church—also entailed a brand identity revamp, including a new logo design, typography, and trauma-informed color palette. The new logo celebrates the Rose—a legacy symbol of the organization—by representing Rose Haven’s diverse community coming together with each petal,” Gensler explained in a project overview.

Boasting a fresh new logo, Rose Haven is located not too far from its old longtime location in a church basement. (Photographer: Stephen A. Miller/Courtesy Gensler Portland)
The new facility includes a boutique where guests can peruse donated fashions. (Photographer: Stephen A. Miller/Courtesy Gensler Portland)

Featuring exposed wood beams, ample natural light, and furnishings that promote a warm, safe, and open atmosphere, the space itself includes an intake and reception area, activity rooms, community dining room, guest services area, prep-kitchen and pantry, wellness area with showers, laundry and medic room, and a “boutique-inspired area” where guests can select clothing donated to Rose Haven. Joining the guest-facing spaces are administrative offices and workspaces for the nonprofit’s team of directors, advocates, and, last but not least, volunteers.

Because a Rose City nonprofit just wouldn’t be complete without a prominent floral motif, the design team created an 82-foot botanic mural that flanks the shelter’s main service areas and incorporates 35 colors that, per Gensler, “evoke a sense of calm and wellbeing.” Using a paint-by-numbers approach, Rose Haven’s guests, volunteers, and donors were invited to fill in the large blossoming artwork.

Rose Haven is the only day shelter and community center for women and children in Portland. (Photographer: Stephen A. Miller/Courtesy Gensler Portland)
Comfortable, unfussy furnishings create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. (Photographer: Stephen A. Miller/Courtesy Gensler Portland)

While input from the community that a particular project sets out to serve is an invaluable part of any design process, the engagement phase at Rose Haven was particularly salient with the needs of the facility’s core users—its guests, volunteers, and staff—taking front and center.

“This project was our first experience in creating a space that allowed for our guests and staff to provide input into color, flow, lighting and all the aspects important to supporting their physical and emotional safety,” said Katie O’Brien, executive director of Rose Haven, in a statement. “We are witnessing firsthand how all these factors have made for a calmer, yet uplifting, environment that promotes dignity. Trauma informed design works.”

Guests, volunteers, and others were invited to contribute by painting the space’s large mural. (Photographer: Stephen A. Miller/Courtesy Gensler Portland)
Among the day shelter’s many features is a wellness area with showers. (Photographer: Stephen A. Miller/Courtesy Gensler Portland)

Kicking off the engagement process, the design team facilitated visioning sessions for the Rose Haven team to in order to “provide the framework they could leverage to conduct a visioning session with the women and children they serve,” Gensler Portland detailed. “This focused on decision-making, providing an inclusive experience to ensure all voices were heard, engaging with diverse viewpoints, and community outreach.”

“The opportunity to work closely with Rose Haven’s community and learn about trauma-informed design in real time was an invaluable experience for our team,” added Natasha Field-Rahman, design manager at Gensler Portland.

The new Rose Haven space first opened to guests in early March and was made possible by a $3 million fundraising campaign.

We are so grateful to be able to boast a truly trauma informed design, which we could not have cultivated without Gensler. Thank you, Architect’s Newspaper & Matt Hickman, for the beautiful story.


Rose Haven Documentary created and filmed by University of Oregon’s Journalism Students!

In early 2022 after our grand opening in our new facility, Rose Haven was connected with University of Oregon journalism students who requested to film a documentary in our space! These students spent a morning at Rose Haven to capture what a day of services looks like and interview past and current guests. One of our previous guests, Keeva Moselle, can be seen in this short documentary sharing her story and expressing what Rose Haven means to her. You can also catch glimpses of her spreading joy in our new space with sparkles and her sweet puppy, Chanel!

This documentary, which you can view below and on Vimeo here, was screened for the UofO community on August 18th.

Thank you so much to the film students at University of Oregon, Wes Pope, and Zach Putnam for celebrating Rose Haven. 

Diversity at Portland Fashion Week

Last weekend marked the close of the annual Portland Fashion Week, where our wonderful Development Director Liz Starke participated as emcee of the event. She is featured in a story from KGW8 which highlights one of the designers at Fashion Week, Janelle Arnold. This article notes the importance of inclusivity and diversity in the fashion industry.

You can read the full story by Christelle Koumoué below and watch the interview at KGW8 News’ website here.

You can also watch the interview on Youtube here:

Designer shows off debut collection with a focus on diversity and inclusion at Portland Fashion Week

Janelle Arnold had a 10-look collection from her newly launched fashion line ‘Dorotheaa’ at the event.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Fashion Week is all about bringing the fashion community together. As part of that, a young and Portland-based emerging designer’s work hit the runway.

While Janelle Arnold may be starting small she’s already inspiring some big changes. The 24-year-old always had a knack for fashion.

“I remember even being in elementary school and drawing little figures and outfits — they weren’t great but it was a start,” explained Arnold.

From those humble beginnings, the Grant High School graduate went on to study fashion design at Marist College in New York. A year ago she launched her own fashion line called Dorotheaa, which features very colorful, bold designs with focus on diversity and inclusion.

Credit: Tim Ward Photography
One of Janelle Arnold’s designs on a model at Portland Fashion Week 2022

Arnold said that this collection, and what it stands for, was an important mission for her.

“Just for one, growing up I didn’t see a lot of diversity in the fashion industry,” she said. Arnold said she hopes to bring change to the industry.

The first step toward change started with a 10-look collection that was worn down the Portland Fashion Week runway. The bold and colorful looks illustrate Arnold’s passion for diversity in size and models.

“I love having clothes for all women of all body parts,” she said.

Making fashion an option for everyone is what organizers at the event like to see on the catwalk.

“Dorotheaa’s collection doesn’t only focus on diversity of colors and fabrics, and models were intentionally chosen to highlight that diversity,” said Liz Starke, the emcee at Portland Fashion Week.

While the event marked Arnold’s debut collection, it certainly won’t be the last. She’s headed to San Diego Fashion Week in October to show off a brand new collection, hoping to inspire others along the way.

“Who are potentially younger or coming up behind me,” said Arnold, “so (they) see that, ‘Oh this is something that I can pursue, this is something that I can do, cause I see people that look like me or have a similar background as me.'”

Rose Haven Partnered with Portland Fashion Week

From August 17th – August 21st, Rose Haven tabled at this year’s Portland Fashion Week and participated in the sustainable apparel runway on Thursday, August 18th. We showcased 10 up-cycled garments created in our sewing class by guests and volunteers as well as donated wearable shelters from Sheltersuit, pictured below.


This was an amazing opportunity to connect with the fashion community, share our mission, and promote backpack donations for our annual Back to School Drive.



Thank you to all who attended Portland Fashion Week in support of Rose Haven. It was so special to be able to showcase who we are, and we will see you next year on the runway!

Rose Haven Guests

HereTogether Oregon, a local grassroots organization with the mission of helping our houseless neighbors, recently made a visit to Rose Haven to interview our staff and share our services model and values. They detail our history, our campaign to move into our new Home for the Haven, challenges that our houseless community faces, and how Rose Haven compassionately serves our guests. Read the full article from HereTogether at this link!


The line outside Rose Haven (RH) on NW Glisan Street in Portland wraps around the sidewalk. It includes women and gender nonconforming folks of all ages, as well as children and strollers. RH, at the corner of NW Glisan and 18th, is more than a day shelter. It is a sanctuary for those experiencing trauma, poverty, and homelessness; a place where they don’t need to hide who they are. RH serves up to 120 people each day.

RH clients check in at the front desk when they arrive and conduct an intake with a social worker on their first visit. These advocates work with individuals to connect them with resources that provide financial support for getting an ID, medical assistance, utilities, and counseling services. For those who need transportation, bus tickets are available. RH has built a relationship of trust with guests as well as other organizations they partner with. On-site medical care is provided through partnership with nursing schools including at University of Portland, Clackamas Community College, and Concordia St. Paul University. There are also regular visits from a mobile Dental Van and Covid vaccine clinics.

Their model is built on collaboration with partner agencies rather than a duplication of services. Individual needs vary and RH is ready to help on a first come first served basis. Staff and volunteers make guests comfortable and attend to their basic needs first while building trust, and then get to the next steps. Development Director Liz Starke emphasizes the value of uplifting people and connecting them with their humanity.


Services at RH include showers, “shopping” in the boutique, meals, laundry, device charging, using the guest phone, and locked day-time storage of items like suitcases that are difficult to carry all day. Breakfast and lunch are cooked by volunteers under the supervision of staff and served daily. Hygiene supplies are available along with showers. Food is provided by Gleaning Partnerships, which is a food recovery program; fresh food donated from farmer’s markets, grocery stores, and restaurants nearing expiration that can be eaten immediately. Some women have mail service at RH, which means they can pick up mail there five days a week.

There are three private showers with soft towels and vanity tables nearby, complete with makeup, nail polish, and hairdryers. The opportunity to get a clean, private shower and use beauty products uplifts the guests and ensures their dignity. There is a game and craft room that includes sewing machines and fabric. Nearby, a computer room is set up for working on resumes and job research. The space includes 2 washers and dryers along with clothing giveaways. Diapers are often in stock, and kids’ clothes are sorted into boxes.

Adults get to “shop” in the boutique for 20 minutes every two weeks, choosing 3 new outfits.

Guests can choose to “shop” in the boutique twice a month for new outfits.
RH is always looking for clothing donations as well as outdoor gear, such as sleeping bags. Luggage is another item in high demand. When donations are dropped off at the loading dock, volunteers quality check each item. RH partners with organizations that accept clothing donations so they have a place to send overflow donations as well as access to clothing items they need. These are The Arc Portland Metro, Dress for Success, and William Temple House. Those considering donating should sort clothing and make sure it is clean before bringing items here; being sensitive and intentional about condition makes less work for volunteers and saves time.

Donations of high-quality, gently used clothing are always welcome at Rose Haven.
RH was formerly housed in the 3700 square foot Immanuel Lutheran Church basement a block away. The church basement could barely fit all the services and guests along with staff, but served 3700 people in 2019. At the beginning of the pandemic, they moved outside to the sidewalk for two years so they could keep COVID distancing protocols in place, and it soon became apparent that they needed a bigger space. In 2021, 2122 people were served from the sidewalk. They expect to help many more this year! Now RH is in a building that used to house World Cup Coffee, blending in with businesses along NW Glisan. The building has 10,000 square feet with room for 202 people at once, and this location opened on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2022. The new space gives RH a chance to add more services in the future, such as a mental health program. Guests are more comfortable here with room to move around.

The physical shelter space is beautiful and soothing, following a trauma informed design to promote healing in the facility. A mural of flowers covers the bright walls; these were painted by volunteers, staff, and guests. Pale pink and neutral colors have a calming effect. Instead of harsh fluorescent lights, soft circle lights hang from the ceiling. The main area is wide and open with plenty of room for guests to line up to access services, relax on the couches, and visit. This new, open space feels pleasant and nurturing while a buzz of organized activity carries on, especially when compared to the small church basement.


Beautiful rose murals across the new space were pained by volunteers, staff and guests of Rose Haven.
Within the first three months in the new space, 200 new guests came to RH. That makes for a longer line on the sidewalk, and this visibility has brought some pushback from neighbors, even though RH is in the same neighborhood where it was for years– with no complaints. RH acts as a “triage center,” helping many women and their children to get the resources they need, including opportunities for housing. Each person RH serves has their own story and their own circumstances that brought them here. Women are extremely vulnerable on the streets and are often referred to as the hidden homeless. This is because many choose to stay hidden. Intentionally protecting themselves from abusers by staying out of the way means they don’t always get the help they need. RH provides a safe space for them.

In hopes of establishing communication and building acceptance of the facility, RH sends out a newsletter to nearby businesses and residents. They also reach out with events that are open to the public. RH hosts an open house on the third Thursday of each month. Yearly events include a Reigning Roses Walk to honor special women on Mother’s Day, a summer picnic, and the Timbers and Thorns joined recently for Stand Together Week. On August 18, RH will participate in a sustainable fashion show outside the Moxy Hotel as part of Portland’s Fashion Week. Anyone purchasing a ticket who uses the code rosehaven will get a 10% discount on their ticket, and 50% of the proceeds will go to funding RH services for women and children.

RH Development Director Liz Starke shared that there are times when staff have had to de-escalate situations with women who are suffering from trauma and mental health challenges. Recently this involved a woman who was emotionally distraught. RH staff met her where she was, stayed with her, and listened. Because she was in a safe space, she was able to calm down, and she thanked them for hearing her. Compassionate responses like this are the default at RH; safe containment of situations that could potentially escalate into bigger incidents.

Almost 1,000 volunteers work at RH each year, and 17 employees keep the place running, several with their own offices. Many of the high level donors are volunteers, and guests often come back when they can to volunteer; they have lived experiences to share with guests. Funding comes from private donations; individuals, businesses, and foundations.

Community is the heart of RH, and they are about to celebrate their 25-year anniversary of compassionate service. According to Liz Starke, success can look different for each individual who is part of the RH community. For some, they may get into housing quickly and not return. For others, the first thing they do when they are housed is to come back and show off their keys. It could also look like the elderly woman who comes here every single day to have coffee and get clean socks.

The Community Agreement is key to this place and everyone signs it; guests, volunteers, employees. Anyone can schedule a tour by emailing Liz Starke at


We are so grateful for the ways that local community organizations come together to educate our neighbors and support one another. Thank you HereTogether for connecting with us and spreading the word about Rose Haven!


Generous partner of Rose Haven, World Cup Coffee and Tea, has created a “Rose Haven Roast” that is available for purchase! Click here to buy! Proceeds from the Rose Haven Roast will come back to our agency.


We are so appreciative of World Cup Coffee and Tea. Not only have they been a Nutrition Program partner for us, but they also have leased us their old building as our new home. Our dreams wouldn’t have been possible without this wonderful family. 

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KGW 8 Story: Interview with Rose Haven's Cody Jane Baker

KGW 8 came by Rose Haven to see our new home at 1740 NW Glisan St. to interview former guest and now Board Member, Cody Jane Baker!


Cody Jane is such an incredible woman celebrating 5 years of sobriety, managing centralized screening at Legacy Health, and taking action to give back to our community. Cody Jane has so much love for Rose Haven and we are overjoyed to have her be a part of our Board of Directors.

Check out the story to hear Cody Jane’s perspective on the homeless crisis in Portland and what Rose Haven is doing about it!

Portland Tribune Story: Rose Haven Grand Opening

Check out this article by Max Egner from the Portland Tribune! Egner came by the Haven on Grand Opening Day and has testimonial from a guest and staff member! Thank you Portland Tribune for your coverage!

Read the story on the Portland Tribute

KATU2 Interview with Liz Starke

The Rose Haven day shelter opened its doors in Northwest Portland Tuesday. It’s the only low-barrier day shelter for women and children in the city.

“I think that that low-barrier model is the key that is going to solve so many issues as far as accessibility and making programs work,” said Rose Haven Development Director Liz Starke.

Starke said “low barrier” means they don’t require sobriety or proof of identification. She said the shelter is meant to be a safe space.

“Sobriety shouldn’t be a requirement. If someone has just been traumatized and they want to go by Jane Doe, let them. Maybe they don’t feel comfortable showing their ID. You have no idea what people have been through, so I really think that low-barrier model will open doors and is such an important part of making programs successful,” said Starke.

Starke said they expect to help nearly 4,000 women and children this year, the highest they’ve ever seen.

“Now, with the unemployment bonuses ending and the eviction moratoriums coming to an end, our phones are ringing off the hook. Unfortunately, we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg,” said Starke.

She said Rose Haven is trying to be a part of the solution in Portland, a city in the midst of a homeless crisis.

“We’re really here for community and to restore dignity to people. So we can have a conversation about long-term change, once you have clean clothes on, and once you’ve had something to eat, but we have to start there,” said Starke.

One woman, who said she was on the verge of homelessness, said the shelter is awesome but would like to see the city put in more overnight shelters.

“I’ve had my bout with almost homelessness, and it’s scary, especially as a woman,” said Brenda Cohen. “It’s better than nothing, but, I mean, there should be more.”

Rose Haven is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until noon. Starke said they hope to expand those hours in a couple months.

Watch the interview here: