In this unusually cold and windy winter here in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve been thinking a lot about those that are houseless and homeless. For those who are financially able, there are more than a few individuals, communities, and organizations that need help not only (but especially) during this cold winter but all year round. A few in the Pacific Northwest area include:

Sisters Of The Road is a nonprofit café and community in Portland, OR that works to create systemtic change to end poverty and homelessness. The café is on the corner of NW Davis and NW 6th, are open from Tuesday to Saturday between 10am to 2pm, and regularly have community care nights, forums, and celebrations. To learn more about this community café and to possibly donate and get involved, check out their website here.

Right 2 Dream Too is a community that exists on the corner of W Burnside and NW 4th in downtown Portland, OR and provides a refuge for the houselessness community who can’t access affordable housing or shelter space.

The Millers Scholarship Foundation is another Portland based organization that provides scholarships, mentorships, and advocacy to those who are or were houseless.

Northwest Youth Services is based in Bellingham, WA and works with homeless youth to foster self-reliance and to provide an environment for youth to be safe and heard. In addition to providing resources, partnering with the Superior Court to help run Teen court, and much more, the organization also has a queer youth program that supports LGBTQ youth in a variety of ways. For a list of their always needed items or to donate, click here.

Street Roots is a published weekly in Portland that writes about a variety of issues including homelessness and poverty and provides income opportunities for people experiencing those same issues.

While primarily focused on Portland and Bellingham, WA, these are just some of the many different communities and organizations that exist in the Pacific Northwest area. Providing just some of the many much needed items (like socks, money, food, etc) is definitely a necessary step but learning about and dismantling the myths and biases is another. To learn more about houselessness, systemic problems, and more, here are some resources:

  • Housing Crisis, Housing Justice Portland and Beyond – Hyung Nam, Philp Rafferty, Kaley Hambelton, Ryan McCants, Tom McKenna
  • 11 Myths About Homelessness in America – German Lopez, Vox
  • 7 Myths About Homeless People Debunked – Ann Brenoff, The Huffington Post
  • Home Free? – James Surowiecki, The New Yorker
  • Criminalization – The National Coalition for the Homeless
  • The Growing Criminalization of Homelessness – Aaron Cantú, Al Jazeera America

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