Local News Channel, Everyday Northwest interviews Development Director Liz Starke to discuss Rose Haven and the 2023 Reigning Roses Walk. Click this link to watch the video!
Tag Archive for: community
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.
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.
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.”
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.
On July 13th, members of the Portland Thorns and Timbers came out to Rose Haven to support us for our summer picnic. Thorns and Timbers volunteers helped us unpack boxes to put together goodie bags for our guests.
The Thorns & Timbers joined us and 28 other local grassroots organizations during their annual Stand Together Week to support nonprofit events and services happening in Portland.
Big shoutout to the Portland Timbers and Thorns for doing important community outreach and being such wonderful partners of Rose Haven.
Linnea Portrait Studio debuts exhibition of family and children’s portraits as a benefit for local day shelter and community center, Rose Haven.
This Fall, if you make a $100 donation to Rose Haven, you can receive a complimentary sitting plus a 5×7 from Linnea Portrait Studio to be displayed in our in-studio benefit portrait exhibition PLUS $100 towards your order.
Our goal is to raise $5000 through this exhibition showcasing meaningful black and white portraits. You’ll receive beautiful portraits and be making a huge difference in our community.
For a donation of $100 directly to Rose Haven, you will receive a family or children’s portrait sitting with Linnea, a 5×7 print of the portrait Linnea selects to include in the exhibition, and a $100 gift certificate good towards a portrait order.
Once we receive your application we will review it and be in touch with a link to make your donation and schedule your portrait sitting.