JOIN

Rating: 5 stars   12 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Job Training, Homeless & Housing, Human Services

Location: 1435 NE 81st Avenue Suite 100 Portland OR 97213 USA

Mission: JOIN exists to support the efforts of homeless individuals and families to transition off the streets and into permanent housing. We envision a community where homelessness, if it exists at all, is a short-term circumstance rather than a long-term or chronic condition.
Results: Since hiring our first Outreach Worker in 1998, JOIN has helped over 5,000 men, women, and children transition out of homelessness and into the safety of permanent housing.
Target demographics: JOIN works with individuals and families sleeping on the streets in the City of Portland without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, age, age, gender, family status, sexual orientation, disability, or diagnosis.
Direct beneficiaries per year: JOIN houses an average of 500 individuals each year from 250 households.
Programs: JOIN's Outreach Services Program is designed to address the systemic need for greater service accessibility and to re-engage homeless people in positive processes of change. It is founded upon the efforts of 6 outreach workers who visit campsites, meal sites, and other places that homeless people gather out on the street. They develop personal relationships, provide ongoing support, and engage homeless people in processes of positive personal change that lead to successful and sustainable transitions off the street. Basic services such as showers, laundry, and personal storage are provided at JOIN's facility within the context of a barter exchange system. This system promotes individual dignity by allowing participants to earn and select the service they need. Additional services include personal hygiene items, sleeping bags and blankets, contact address and telephone number, mail, bus tickets, and Oregon ID. Outreach services emphasize transitions out of homelessness and into permanent housing. Specifically this means helping to secure benefits or employment that will enable the payment of rent and supporting housing searches with funding for application fees and move-in deposits. We stay involved with people for at least 12 months and will provide limited funds for housing retention services for those people with whom we have been working.
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

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

Working and talking with the people who are served.

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

like to see more funding

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

Participating in the Portland Plunge as a high school student, volunteering, meeting with recently housed people and hearing them speak of the difference JOIN has made in their lives.

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

Give it a lot more money.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

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

I know so many individuals that have greatly benefited from JOIN's help, giving them the tools and support to actively live their lives (in housing). JOIN brightens peoples' days.

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

provide them with more funding to continue doing what they do.

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

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Amazing.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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Role: Board Member
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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?

2012

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

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.

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

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that everyone rolls their sleeves up and works hard toward helping people. From the Executive Director down, everyone chips in and doesn't look at their title. Great place to work and great people to be around.

Ways to make it better...

if there were more volunteers to help out

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

 
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