Church asking for bedding, food for families
A 60-bed shelter for homeless families in outer East Portland needs donations ranging from bedding to food.
The Family Winter Shelter opened Tuesday, Nov. 1, at Eastminster Presbyterian Church, 12505 N.E. Halsey St. It's operated in partnership between the church and Human Solutions and is now in its fourth year.
From 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., the church provides homeless families with children a warm, dry, safe and welcoming place to sleep.
Human Solutions, a local nonprofit organization, also works with the families to secure housing, employment or other services needed to end their homelessness, said Jean DeMaster, Human Solutions executive director. For example, during the day when the shelter is closed, families are encouraged to use services offered at Human Solutions' Daybreak Shelter, including access to showers, computers, laundry and play areas for children.
'Without the Family Winter Shelter, homeless families would continue to live in cars and trucks, campgrounds, or in overcrowded and at times unsafe temporary situations with friends or relatives,' DeMaster said.
On any given winter night, Human Solutions provides shelter and/or housing to about 170 homeless families - or about 500 parents and children.
And although Multnomah County provides some funding for the shelter, it does not fund supplies, such as bedding and non-perishable food for evening and morning meals, DeMaster added.
The shelter needs donations of blankets, sheets and pillows, and food, such as canned and instant soup, granola bars and juice boxes.