While Portland is beautiful and sunny, the harsh reality of homelessness remains the same for many of Portland Rescue Mission’s guests at our Burnside Shelter. Being homeless on the streets of Portland is hard, and regardless of whether it’s summertime or not, life doesn’t get any easier. Beyond us offering hope and resources to our guests through Hope Ministries, Pathway Ministries and New Life Ministries, we want to offer awareness and information on the issue of homelessness and addiction. We plan to post regular roundups drawing from various news outlets addressing homelessness in our city.
Here are some recent stories online:
- Rosemary Haskell, an English professor at Elon University, writes about what she learned from a woman she met who was homeless:
Being homeless is physically demanding. Often, you are really, really in need of a good night’s sleep. Bedding down on cement or brick isn’t exactly soporific. Also, you have to walk a lot and stand a lot. You have to carry (or push) all your belongings with you, wherever you go: There’s no safe place to leave them. Distances quickly magnify when you’re on foot and short of cash. Mobility is difficult. Not all bus drivers – even when the buses are wonderfully free! – want to help you bring your pack, or stroller’s worth of goods, on board. A kind offer of a car ride means all your gear has to come, too. This may not be welcomed.
- Jamie Duffy, of The Journal Gazette (a newspaper in Fort Wayne, Indiana) writes about Isaiah Miler, a teenager who, despite being homeless, managed to graduate high school, and receive a full-ride scholarship to Valparaiso University:
Miler has squatted with his family where roaches and rats crawled around at night. He has lived in a tent and in abandoned houses where there was no electricity, heat or running water. He’s eaten from dumpsters. It’s unbelievable, he said, what you can find to eat in them. … “I had to survive,” said Miler, who pulled himself together for junior year with the help of people who cared. …
“There’s no way I would get here alone,” Miler said. “People who have no reason to care about me have done so much. You can’t forget where you came from.”
- In hopes of raising awareness and perspective on the issue of homelessness, St. Louis Rams’ defensive ends Chris Long and Williams Hayes spent a night on the streets. ESPN aired a special segment on their experience:
- Here is the response from both Long and Hayes on Fox2Now in St. Louis after their experience:
Thanks you for your continued support of Portland Rescue Mission. It is because of the help from our compassionate donors that we can continue to give hope to men, women and children who are suffering from homelessness and addiction.