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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Review from Guidestar
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.
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.
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.