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.
Operation Nightwatch meets a very real need for many people. Their stories could belong to any one of us given different circumstances. Through genuine caring and dedication, this organization offers a safe and welcoming environment for fellowship and a sense of belonging. It provides clear rules and standards for guests and volunteers alike which, if followed, insure safety for all. I have seen over many years the positive impact Operation Nightwatch has had on the folks who attend. For some, this community has been life-changing. A friend once observed as he offered help to a "homeless" man: How can I be sure this isn't God himself. Therefore, "even as you did to the least of these, you did also to me...” (Matt. 25:40)
Operation Nightwatch has been wonderful to us at OHSU. We can call and ask them to come later or earlier than our usual time, and they always find a way to make it work. The people who pick up our donations are always wonderful as well. I am glad we chose them over 2 years ago. It has been great!
A really great non-profit that focuses on the emotional (as well as physical) well-being of Portland's street population. I'm so happy that our cafe chose Operation Nightwatch for our weekly donations! Gary picks them up personally, and I always love to hear about all the fun activities they have planned for the upcoming weeks!
I've been involved on the edges of Operation Nightwatch for several years. Operation Nightwatch is high on my list of organizations to support because its guests are welcomed with dignity and true hospitality.
Operation Nightwatch seems to continuously adappted its resources to match the best possible service to less "and somewhat non-" adavantaged folks in Portland.
For instance it has developed from a drop in center which served coffee within a short area of a daily used office to moving to accomodate the loss of its drop in center to a very large area which still is a drop in center, and has now other complementary services to allow congenial accepting persons to help the area's clientel to cope with some problems of personal development.
Review from Guidestar