JOIN helped my daughter and I more than anyone could imagine. After a DV incident with a roomate, we ended up in our car, broke because I had just paid rent before getting locked out, when all seemed bleak, an outreach worker showed up where we were parked, and 4 days later my daughter and I were in our own apartment. Working full time I was still not able to afford move in costs, join took that barrier away from me. I OWE JOIN a very heart filled THANK YOU!
Join is an incedible link to our homeless individuals in Portland. They stretch every dollar as far as it can go and it is amazing what they accomplish. Saying no isn't an option, they find a way. Wish more non-profits could be as productive as Join.
Join is an organization that does amazing things and continues to do amazing things at all hours of the night and day. Their objective is to end homelessness and they make every effort to help those who are homeless find subsidized housing and a new start to life. The staff at JOIN are there for every kind of person solving every possible problem that comes up. JOIN staff quickly become family and that is the definition of commitment. If there were more groups in this country like JOIN, things would be a little easier to handle.
JOIN partners with people experiencing homelessness and helps them rebuild a system of support to move forward on their journey of recovery. The staff do this through developing authentic relationships with the people they serve, their friends. The feeling of non-judgement, partnership, empathy, understanding, and support permeates the space at JOIN and spreads throughout its community. JOIN's approach is unique in Portland and their success is proof that peoples' lives can change when we create space for them to heal. It is the perfect vision of how I would like to see social services provided-- one where everyone is treated with dignity and respect for the simple fact that they are a human being.
I have been volunteering with JOIN for two years. I can't say enough good things about them. After a career in social services, I am so impressed by the JOIN model, which is so heart centered. It's all about relationships. Relationships with each other; the volunteers; the folks who drop in at The House in need of a warm smile, a friendly face, a place to rest, a bite to eat, a shower. You know when you have the fortunate experience to have an encounter with a person who is completely genuine, warm and kind? How you walk away feeling seen, acknowledged, and with your heart a little more open? Well, that seems describe all of the JOIN staff, particularly the young Jesuit volunteers. It's not an US and THEM model. Rather the model is It's all Us, and let's do what we can to help our brothers and sisters. And they do. Watching it in action is amazing, and gives me hope.
I don't have a lot of money, but I like to share what I have with JOIN because I feel like they make a real difference in the lives of homeless families, WHILE the same time working on the root causes of homelessness. I know their director Mark Jolin for two decades has been a key player in Portland's efforts to make ending homeless a priority. When I've gone to JOIN, I've seen homeless parents and children and other individuals being treated with respect, trading barter work for locker use and showers and laundry, playing with their little ones in the lovely children's area, and getting referrals, resources and other support. Also I like supporting JOIN because they have a very unique model of sending outreach workers into homeless camps to build relationships with the marginalized folks there, and then works directly with landlords to get folks into housing. The combo of direct service and systemic change is hard to find, and JOIN does it really well.
I've been a volunteer with JOIN for over four years. I always look forward to being there because, even on difficult days, I'm inspired by the dedicated staff, volunteers and "folks" JOIN serves. JOIN has cultivated a strong sense of community and it works.
I've watched this small non-profit struggle to meet growing challenges but not lose their integrity and quality of service .
Their mission is different from many organizations helping the homeless. Instead of providing temporary services, they focus on long lasting solutions. They believe in "housing first" and then work with individuals and families to gain stability and self-sufficiency.
In spite of the challenges, JOIN's statistics are commendable. They spend 87% of their budget on program expenses and less than 7% on administration. Last year they housed almost 500 individuals, including families, and they show an excellent retention rate. I'm proud to be part of the JOIN community.
I started volunteering at JOIN when I was in high school and they were in a small house off St. Francis park. After nine years away from Portland I am back volunteering again. In those nine years JOIN has gone through two buildings, created many new programs and hired many new staff but they have held on to the spirit and integrity that makes them such a wonderful organization. The work they do to help people find housing is rooted in a deep respect for people and for community and it shows in how they treat both volunteers and the folks they work with. It also shows in their tremendous housing outcomes.
Through my role as a case manager in Multnomah County I have worked with JOIN numerous times. They have really made my clients lives better by providing them with furnishings and much more. The staff are always very friendly and helpful which makes my job easier and the experience for the client really exciting. It has been an honor to work with JOIN and I hope that it continues to grow so it can serve even more families in Oregon.
JOIN is a wonderful organization that focuses on building relationships with its folks (they don't refer to them as clients). They understand each person has their own story and that each person's situation is different. They work with people on an individual basis, finding what help and resources suit that person best, unlike other housing organizations that place people in categories and help them on the basis of that.
Their housing-first approach allows for people to get off the streets first before attempting to kick bad habits and addictions, providing them with the security and support that is needed.
JOIN maintains a consistent presence on the streets, building trust and relationships amongst those outside while reaching out to individuals in need of help (physically going out and finding them) that may not know where to find it.
JOIN really is a remarkable organization and I have never seen a more dedicated staff.
I became aware of JOIN through Marc Jolin, the executive director. He invited me to take a look at their work. That was 3 years ago. I was then, and continue to be, in awe of the work that gets accomplished there. I think because the staff and board focuses on personal relationships rather than broad policy, they are able to effectively identify what will really help folks in the moment, and get them to that place. I have never worked with another organization that has as much spirit and dedication. I am currently on the Board Of Directors, and am also very impressed with the low overhead and the focus on getting resources to the folks they serve versus the organization itself.