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.
Help Rose Haven Branch Out and Raise Funds for a New Building!
Rose Haven has been operating out of the First Immanuel Lutheran Church Basement since 2007. Over the past few years, we have been bursting at the seams, and we knew we were going to have to relocate in order to safely serve the growing number of women and children in need in our community. Then the pandemic hit, and we knew we could not wait any longer.
The physical distancing protocols necessary to keep everyone safe from infection required us to move the majority of our programs outside in 2020. As winter progresses, some of our guests have been outdoors for nearly 10 months except for to use the restroom or speak with a social worker at Rose Haven.
We need a bigger building so we can safely have our guests eat and shop indoors, and we need your help.
We have our eye on a facility, but it will take some time and money to make it Rose Haven. Your gift this holiday season will jumpstart our tenant improvements, so we can get settled and move in 2021.
Watch the video to hear from two of our guests about what Rose Haven means to them, and how you can make a difference today.
Please help us spread the word! You can ask your friends to text BRANCHINGOUT to 707070 and that will bring them right to the video link and donation page. Or you can share the link below.
Rose Haven brings holiday joy to hundreds of families in need
PORTLAND, Ore. — Author: Brittany Falkers
The holiday season is here. While this year’s celebrations will look a lot different in the COVID era, some local families are worried about having a holiday at all. That’s where Rose Haven comes in.
“We are, of course, providing basic need services. Yes, we are giving you something warm to eat, clothes to put on your back, a clean safe place to shower, but it’s those extras that really make us feel human,” Rose Haven Development Director Liz Starke said. “The holiday gifts are something [that] a child doesn’t just feel like a kid if they don’t get.”
Rose Haven is a day shelter in Portland. It serves women, children and others who are homeless or recovering from trauma. More than a hundred women get help every day with essential services and assistance from social workers, according to Starke.
“Sometimes, just a little bit of help from Rose Haven can literally be the difference between a family having heat in the winter or not, or staying housed or not,” she said. “While we are helping a lot of people who are currently experiencing homelessness get out of that and regain stability, we also are a place where we can help prevent families from falling into that.”
The pandemic has heightened the need, even more so as we head toward the winter months and the holidays.
“For many of the kids that come to Rose Haven, this is literally the only holiday gifts they receive, and our phones were already ringing off the hook earlier in the summer asking about Christmas,” Starke said.
Rose Haven can once again answer the need for gifts with donations from the KGW Great Toy Drive.
“That stability of knowing that Rose Haven is here and knowing that the KGW partnership is still alive, no matter what challenges have come to our city this year, really, really means a lot to our families,” Starke said.
Rose Haven hopes to put gifts under the tree for about 500 kids this year. Once again reminding us of the reason for the season: to give, especially to those who need it most.
“I wish every single person that gave to the KGW Toy Drive could see the looks on these kids’ faces when we pass out the toys because it’s just, it’s magical,” Starke said.
Learn more here:
Check out Coverage from 2019 here:
Service agencies handle hundreds of ballots to help homeless vote
In a vote-by-mail state, how do you vote if you don’t have an address? It’s something hundreds, if not thousands, of homeless Oregonians must figure out. Their answers often come from service agencies.
John Brown doesn’t have a house, but he has an address thanks to Street Roots, the homeless advocacy organization and newspaper. More than 100 people use the Street Roots address as a place to get mail, according to the organization. Ballots arrive there too.
“I’ve been homeless and haven’t had a reliable address for a while; these guys are just so helpful,” said Brown.
Street Roots helps provide a stable address for people who may not have one. During the pandemic, it’s proven to be more important than ever. Street Roots organizers say they helped hand out more than $100,000 in stimulus checks.
During elections, service agencies like this help the homeless have a voice in politics.
“Since our existence, we’ve allowed vendors to use Street Roots offices as a mailing address because it’s a place that’s consistent and stable for them,” said DeVon Pouncey, vendor program manager with Street Roots.
Pouncey said they hand out ballots and help people vote, if needed. Street Roots can help mail a ballot back or the voter can return the ballot on their own.
“We’ve built the system here, and we’ve been doing it for a while,” said Pouncey.
Other organizations, like Rose Haven, do the same thing. This year they estimate between 100 and 200 ballots came through their office.
This is all legal. In fact, the state anticipated the problem when adopting vote-by-mail. Aside from service agencies like Street Roots or Rose Haven, someone can get their ballot sent to any definable place, like a motorhome or an intersection. Someone can even have their ballot sent to the local elections office.
While social service agencies provide a vital service, there does not appear to be any guidance or oversight from the state or county elections offices about handling ballots in bulk.
In 2018, the progressive group, Defend Oregon, was fined for failing to submit nearly 100 ballots in time for the election. Defend Oregon collected ballots and promised to turn them in. Since then, the state has required the group to report to the secretary of state on how it handles ballots.
The state does not track how many third parties handle ballots, according to Steve Trout, the state elections director.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, additional states have considered voting by mail. The system has also come under fire for security concerns.
Even without guidance for third parties handling hundreds of ballots, local elections officials say security is not a concern.
“There are security features built in to every vote-by-mail ballot envelope. We feel like that is a really good way to prevent the kind of fraud you’re suggesting,” said Tim Scott, the Multnomah County elections director.
Scott said the elections department verifies a nine-digit code on all ballots when they’re returned. They also verify that signatures on all ballots match with the signatures they have on file.
“The kind of ballot harvesting folks have been talking about in national media, I just haven’t seen it in my almost 20-year career in elections,” said Scott.
Although few homeless people have Coronavirus, Portland is to resume clearing camps. Neighbors and business owners are complaining about the growing camps.
Recent reports indicate that nationally we will see a 45% increase in homelessness due to the current pandemic, and the homelessness is not colorblind. It affects people of color in a very disproportionate way.
Watch the video testimonial from one of Rose Havens Guests here.
As members of the Portland community, we at Lucky Day feel it is our responsibility to make a commitment to supporting our most vulnerable. We want to help Rose Haven in a big way.
We’re putting out a challenge to Rose City to raise $25,000 for Rose Haven.
- $250 provides safety, supplies and resources for a woman or child for an entire year at Rose Haven.
- 100% of the donations will go to houseless women and children – providing food, advocacy, needed supplies, and the means to arrange assistance.
- Rose Haven receives no government funding and relies solely on the generosity of individuals, organizations, corporations and foundations. Please do what you can to help.
We also ask that you share this project with the world via social media. Who knows what allies and advocates are out there waiting to support this cause?
We’ve created images for easy sharing here.
When posting, we ask that you tag #RoseCity4RoseHaven and link to:
https://www.makeitreign.org/RoseCity4RoseHaven and this informational deck.
Thank you for donating. If we all chip in, we can truly make a difference.
We offer this list of ways to help homeless women, in Portland, during the pandemic.
Annual Fundraiser cancelled, still raised $150kbymothersday
Mother’s Day has always been a special day at Rose Haven, hosting our annual Reigning Roses Walk. This event usually brings together more than 600 Rose Haven supporters and guests to walk a 5K for Rose Haven, and is our biggest fundraiser. This year we had to cancel the event, but the community still showed up for us, virtually that is at makeitreign.org!
We did it! Thank you to everyone who helped us raise #150kbymothersday for #reigningroses2020!
We are at $155.2K and counting! 100% of Reigning Roses funds will support life sustaining services for houseless women, children and gender-diverse people during the pandemic. We know that coronavirus outbreak will have lasting economic effects, and more women than ever before will rely on Rose Haven to meet basic needs and connect with community. This is just the beginning.
We are so blown away and grateful for everyone’s support during this difficult time. We know many of our donors are struggling too, and to see you all come through and post your #reigningroses2020 pictures and videos felt like we were together on Mother’s Day. Each one of us is overwhelmed when we think about how we can make the word a better place, but together we always make it happen.
No matter what the world throws at us we only get stronger. Every time we feel like the world is falling apart, the universe slaps us back into place, the phone starts ringing and someone else wants to help. Rose Haven is a constant reminder that people are good. It can be overwhelming to think of the constantly growing need, how will we ever keep pace?! But every year we somehow do it, every year the community steps up to meet the need. Everybody just does what they can, and somehow it works out. No one person a change the world, but together we can! Rose Haven is a community, and each of your are a critical part of that. Thank you.
Watch the Virtual Walk Video Produced by our Youth Outreach Board
In the past few months, Oregon Harbor of Hope, with support from donors including OCF’s Oregon Community Recovery Fund, has distributed thousands of tents, sleeping bags, and face masks around the Portland Metro region. Its mobile shower and laundry trucks offer a rare opportunity for people experiencing homelessness to access hygiene services through the pandemic. And they’re working on longer-term solutions, too.
In the same collaborative vein that Homer Williams witnessed in San Antonio, Harbor of Hope partners with dozens of other service providers in the region and readily shares procured resources. Tents and sleeping bags are dropped off at Portland Rescue Mission, Rose Haven, Street Roots, and even as far away as the Troutdale Police Department. Surgical grade masks are given to area hospitals, while the non-surgical masks are distributed at campsites and to people working for nonprofit organizations. Homer believes in supporting other organizations engaged in work around homelessness. “There are so many good people on the front lines. The quality of people who work in this space—you just can’t believe it,” Homer recounted, quickly adding praise for his own team including co-founder Don Mazziotti, Lisa Marandas, Marissa Cade, Matt Bordonaro and Susan Gadotti. “This is a team effort.”
COVID has delivered a fierce economic blow, and it’s reflected in the increasing need. “We are seeing different faces at the trucks and in the food lines,” Homer said. “Some of these are people who have never been in a food line in their lives.”
People of color, already disproportionately impacted by housing insecurity, have also been harder hit both economically and by the health impacts of COVID. “We have a structural issue, and we need to address it. Everybody deserves a safe place to sleep, they deserve hygiene, healthcare, and food—those are the basics of life,” Homer said.
Read the full article here: https://oregoncf.org/community-impact/community-stories/hygiene-and-housing-how-oregon-harbor-of-hope-is-bridging-the-gap-through-the-pandemic/