When he set up shop last year at Northwest Housing Alternatives’ annual chocolate-tasting fundraiser, John Greer, owner of J Gelati in Holly Farms Plaza, looked around at all the cupcakes and cookies and thought no one would want to eat his chocolate gelato.

He was wrong.

“I was shocked. I was scooping so much, there was sweat pouring off my brow. It was crazy,” he said.

He will be more prepared this year, and instead of gelato, he will bring a helper to assist dishing up mounds of chocolate frozen custard and chocolate and mochaccino sorbet at the event on Thursday, Oct. 3, at The White Stag Building, 70 N.W. Couch St., Portland.

by: PHOTO BY: ELLEN SPITALERI - John Greer, owner of J Gelati in Holly Farms Plaza, is preparing more than just cupcakes and cookies for Northwest Housing Alternatives' annual chocolate-tasting fundraiser.Frozen custard has less air than regular ice cream, so is more dense. It originated on the East Coast and is widely available there.

Sorbet has no dairy products, fat or cholesterol and is lower in calories than ice cream. The mochaccino sorbet is a combination of coffee and chocolate sorbet.

Northwest Housing Alternatives

Home Sweet Home is NHA’s largest fundraising event of the year, and the money raised will not only help the organization develop safe, dignified and affordable homes for Oregonians who earn low incomes, but it will provide services to help families and older adults stay stable in their homes and connected to their community, said Tim Collier, director of communications and resource development for Northwest Housing Alternatives.

Although the chocolate tasting is in downtown Portland, NHA was “born and bred in Clackamas County,” Collier said.

The organization’s headquarters is adjacent to the Annie Ross House, located on Southeast Willard Street in Milwaukie and operated by the NHA. It is the only emergency family shelter in all of Clackamas County, and serves families with children who are experiencing homelessness.

Transitional housing units are located next door, providing a temporary living space for families as they get ready to move into permanent, affordable housing.

“Over 250 people attended Home Sweet Home last year, and we were able to raise over $60,000 to help our neighbors who earn low incomes live healthy and stable lives,” Collier said.

Greer has been “an amazing partner of NHA, not only has he donated his time, product and talent to Home Sweet Home, he has hosted toy drives for the children at Annie Ross House and is always willing to help us when we need him,” Collier said.

“I like doing this for the community,” Greer said, adding, “My heart goes out to the homeless, and this organization is doing great things, providing housing for families.”

Home Sweet Home

At the event, more than a dozen local confectioners and coffee roasters will set up tables in the historic White Stag Building, and guests can sample delectable treats, peruse silent auction offerings, and listen to music from 3 Leg Torso.

“Every penny raised goes directly to helping families find safe, affordable housing, and to help local families and older adults avoid crisis and begin to transition from poverty to prosperity,” Collier said.

People should attend the event to “support a good cause,” Greer said, noting that there will be all kinds of desserts offered that night.

Collier added, “Home Sweet Home is a fun way to contribute to a great organization that is helping people in your neighborhood and across Oregon. Everyone needs a safe place to call home, and you can help take a bite out of the high cost of housing in Oregon by attending this event.”

Annual chocolate and coffee tasting fundraiser

What: Home Sweet Home — the annual chocolate and coffee tasting fundraiser supporting Northwest Housing Alternatives, including Milwaukie’s Annie Ross House.

When: Thursday, Oct. 3; doors open at 7 p.m.

Where: The White Stag Building, 70 N.W. Couch St., Portland.

Cost: Tickets are $50. To purchase tickets online, visit

Details: For information about NHA, the Annie Ross House, and this event, call Mallory at 503-654-1007, ext. 109.

Sponsors include: Walsh Construction, Cascade Management and JP Morgan Chase.

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