Operation Nightwatch Portland

Rating: 4.79 stars   81 reviews

Issues: Homeless & Housing, Human Services

Location: 1432 SW 13th Portland OR 97201 USA

Mission: Operation Nightwatch is an ecumenical night ministry providing hospitality to promote dignity and community among Portland's neediest.

2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I'm a fairly new volunteer with ONW at the downtown location. I was drawn to offer my time as a retired RN at the Sat foot clinic which was just a few hours a month but I wanted to give more time. I was able to offer my RN skills in the evenings as well since they lost their MA volunteer. Because I'm a trained Massage Therapist I offered that as well.
This is a truly non-judgemental and caring non-profit community that sees hospitality as a right and gift for all involved. I try to offer 5-6 chair massages Thurs and Fri while giving basic first-aide and assessments when needed. After a month the feedback has been good by our clients. A true place of hospitality.

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have others in the city realize how extra-ordinary the homeless community is and how they are us but for the vagaries of life. You can make a difference by your presence.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Rating: 5 stars  

I AM A VOLUNTEER IN NORTH PORTLAND WORKING WITH NIGHTWATCH PORTLAND. NIGHTWATCH COMES TO OUR CHURCH WITH THEIR RV MOBILE UNIT AND WORKS WITH OUR COMMUNITY OF NEEDY AND HOMELESS. IT HAS BEEN VERY BENEFICIAL, TO NOT ONLY THOSE SERVED, BUT ALSO ALL VOLUNTEERS WORKING WITH THEM. I PERSONALLY HAVE FOUND THE VERY FRIENDLY REPRESENTATIVE TO BE HELPFUL TO ME. THE RULES WE ALL LIVE BY ARE HELPFUL IN MY OWN LIFE AND RELATIONSHIPS AND HAVE HELPED ME OUT OF SOME PROBLEMS AND AVOID HEARTACHES. I FEEL THE NIGHTWATCH ORGANIZATION IS SERVING A VERY NEEDFUL AREAS OF HUMAN NEED AND IS VERY EFFECTIVE IN HOW THEY CONDUCT THAT SERVICE.

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

ENCOURAGE MORE TIME SPENT ON THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE VOLUNTEER RULES AND BYLAWS OF THE ORGANIZATION. WHEN USED PROPERLY WITH UNDERSTANDING THEY SAVE A LOT OF HEARTACHE AND TROUBLE, NOT ONLY IN WORKING WITH NIGHTWATCH, BUT IN EVERYDAY LIFE RELATING TO OTHERS.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Okay

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Rating: 5 stars  

Nightwatch is a wonderful place not only for the guest, but also for the volunteer. It gives a space that allows for the breakdown of the barrier between homeless people and those more fortunate. It provided an opportunity for me to learn more about the realities of living on the street, and gave me tools to help understand all people with more grace and dignity.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Rating: 5 stars  

Operation Nightwatch provides such a valuable resource for the community. If you have never been there, I encourage you to go. You will not regret it. I had the good fortune to walk in there a few years ago. Talk about a lifelong impact. As a professional and a advocate for the homeless, I am in awe of all that Nightwatch is and provides. Do yourself a favor, volunteer, donate, refer someone you see on the streets to take advantage of this amazing nonprofit.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007

Rating: 5 stars  

My sister volunteered at Operation Nightwatch for years, before she died a few years ago. She came to know them all by name and recognize their worth as human beings. This is a unique safe place for the homeless to find companionship along with food and socks, etc. It's a place of warmth, comfort, coffee, games and actually being recognized as a person and not just another homeless person. Operation Nightwatch is on my list for monthly donations. Betty Riley

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Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Rating: 5 stars  

I applied to be on the board so I could futher the mission of this program to we've the marginalized. I have volunteered for about 20 years. The premise is simple, treat people as you would want to be treated if life kicked your feet out from under you and left you flat on the sidewalk. We don't try to change people but we create spaces where they can choose to change and support them in their journey.

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Triple their budget so they could serve more communities.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I attended an Operation Nightwatch Breakfast last Saturday and learned some amazing things. Operation Nightwatch does not prosletize at their hospitality centers but also do not hide that this is an ecumenical ministry program that seeks to address peoples physical needs with food, clothing, bedding and access to bathroom facilities. They also address social needs by offering a full range of programs including movie nights, monthly outings, Christmas parties and a monthly birthday party. They are concerned about people's intellectural needs and provides a free book cart and stimulating conversations at the hospitality centers. They also seek to address people's spiritual needs through a weekly Bible study which has also become a support group and a weekly worship service that averages 25-30 attendees per week. At this service, they take an offering which is then donated to other programs that serve the low-income and homeless in Portlan. In ten years of faithful giving by these people who most view as having nothing to give, have raised $9900. The most important service Operation Nightwatch provides, is that opportunity for marginalized people to be part of our community in very normal ways. This raises self esteem and opens the door of HOPE.

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Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer with Operation Nightwatch for over 15 years. I started with one night a month at the hospitality center which is open in the evenings for homeless and low income people to come have a cup of coffee, a sandwich, read a magazine, play a game and take a break from the daily stress of their lives. The center also offers special events to help our guests have some normal life experiences like going to a baseball game, or decorating a Christmas tree with hand made ornaments. We also have an annual memorial service during Holy Week for all of our "friends" who have passed away during the past year. It is more than a handout, it is a community. Operation Nightwatch continues to expand to meet the needs of low income and homeless people in Portland, Oregon. They now have a new SE center and are looking for a church to partner with who has opened their parking lot to people living in their cars. The mobile center would provide bathrooms, showers and some basic cooking options for these families.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Operation Nightwatch in Portland, Oregon provides services to some of our most marginalized residents including the homeless, low income seniors, those who are chronically mentally ill, alcoholic and drug addicts and disabled people. They provide a hospitality center 3 nights a week where people come to socialize, drink free coffee and lemonade, have a snack and seek advice. While there they can play board and card games, read, rest, visit. There are bathroom facilities they can use to clean up. There is also a mobile unit that goes out to an area known to have a large population of low income folks to provide simular services. There are also monthly outings to the beach, the mountains, a baseball game or other activity. Those events provide opportunities for recreation that are beyond the means of most or our guests. This program has been a stable resource in Portland for over 20 years. There is only one paid staff and over 100 volunteers Our motto is Keep the Light On!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen people who have come to us with very low esteem find the support and affirmation from the volunteers and the other guests to make changes in their lives that lead to stabile housing and jobs. We provide an avenue for creativity. The walls are adorned with original art and poetry. Many times, I have seen a homeless person turn down a bologna and cheese sandwich because they had eaten that day and someone else might need it more.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would double the number of volunteers and be open 7 nights a week. I would develop training resources so other communities could create their own Nightwatch. I would pass a law that everyone has a right to housing and food.

Rating: 5 stars  

I do footcare for the guests of Operation Nightwatch twice a month and have done so for 25 years. It is a very pleasent experience and I have made some very thouhgtful and considerate friends who are guests of Operation Nightwatch. I look forward to going to the center in Portland two Saturdays a month. The staff of Operation Nightwatch sees to my every need and treat the guests with great respect. If you would care to contact me to become a footcare nurse, contact Operation Nightwatch.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with Operation Nightwatch-Portland for at least 25 years as both an evening volunteer, bookkeeper, and foot care ministry helping my wife who does the foot care ministry. I have been and continue to be impressed with the way low-income and homeless people are treated with dignity and respect. No one is looked down on who comes to the center or the mobile hospitality center. All are welcome. We offer coffee, tea, water, sandwiches, comedy movie night, birthday night, and bible study times. The number of participants has increased each year that Operation Nightwatch-Portland has been in existance.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way I have seen and heard from people at the center how they consider Operation Nightwatch-Portland to be the best at having a place in Portland, Oregon where homeless and low-income people can meet and share their lives and situations with their peers and volunteers.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

change nothing. They have an executive director who is very good at seeing to the needs of guests.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Nothing!

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Yes, it showed me that we are all equal and want respect and to be treated with dignity.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Warm and worthy of the opportunity to serve.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Operation Nightwatch is a vital part of the community providing a meal, clean socks and blankets to the lesser fortunate of the community. The RV has had the room in the back turned into a medical exam room which has been a need for those that don't have insurance and can't afford a Dr. visit. Cost of living has increased, property taxes rise as the value goes down. Non-profits like this are vital to the needs of the community just like showers and housing. Every little bit helps when huge cuts are being made.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Rating: 5 stars  

I used to live in my car with my dog Kosmo in Portland. Nightwatch was a place for me to get a little hope and a little less fear. Now I'm thinking about volunteering.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007

Rating: 5 stars  

I used to pass homeless people on the street and walk faster, turn the other cheek and pretend not to notice, I now realize how wrong I was in doing so. Operation Nightwatch is a beautiful organization that works to fight social isolation among Portland's homeless population. We offer basic services for health, nutrition and hygiene, but most of all we offer our time. A majority of people living on the street have no one to talk to, no one to listen to problems and stories, and no one to just carry a decent conversation with. Nightwatch offers a safe and hospitable environment for those in need. I have been a volunteer for about six months and in this time I have learned so much about the power of kindness, hospitality, and a simple smile.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

This experience opened my eyes to how dehumanized the homeless have become to society. I never really thought about the homeless as people with a past, present, and future as we all are. I feel that we often people just label a person homeless with no other thoughts or consideration. Coming here has made me happy. Happy to make others happy, but also the enjoyment I gain from coming here is invaluable to me. I have made friends here and among them I feel I can be truly myself just as they are with me. Its a beautiful thing to share with someone.

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