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Orion L.

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4 reviews

Review for Oregon Opportunity Network, Portland, OR, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Full disclosure: I work here, but for many years before that I was a volunteer on their speakers bureau. I volunteered with them because I am passionate about affordable housing and knew they are key players in the struggle to ensure all Oregonians have affordable housing, and because of their belief that housing gives people an opportunity to build better lives. They are not a direct service, but rather organize, train, and advocate for the affordable housing and community development industry across the state - the organizations working with people in need. When I was on the speakers bureau, we gave testimony at many important local forums, hearings and panels about the difference affordable housing makes in the lives of seniors, people with disabilities and hard working families, and I felt like government officials really listened to what I had to say. That felt great!

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

When I was on the speakers bureau, we gave testimony at many important local forums, hearings and panels about the difference affordable housing makes in the lives of seniors, people with disabilities and hard working families, and I felt like government officials really listened to what I had to say. That felt great! Often they incorporated our feedback into their decisions, which felt even greater. :)

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

It would be wonderful to have the staffing capacity to get that speakers bureau up and running again.

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field & I was on the speakers bureau, getting the importance of affordable housing in front of the local government and community.
 

Review for Street Roots, Portland, OR, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Street Roots is an amazing newspaper as far as content and quality, because the staff bust their butts with a tiny budget to do great research and tackle hard, topical issues around homelessness and housing. They do far better with less than the mainstream papers in Portland as far as in-depth coverage of issues important to me. Also, they are great advocates, actually jumping into different issues around homelessness in Portland, putting pressure where pressure is needed. As an affordable housing professional, they are valuable to me because they keep the important issues on the political table, and are a source of important information to our community. They are also great with the vendors - the people experiencing poverty and homelessness - offering them gainful employment, community, dignity, and genuine care and respect. I don't have a lot of money but when I do I like to share it with Street Roots.

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

As an affordable housing professional, they are invaluable to me because they keep the important issues on the political table.

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

I would love to see them be able to hire more staff.

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field & I attended their community events, donated money, and worked at organizations allied with their work to end homelessness.
 

Review for Sisters Of The Road, Portland, OR, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

When I can I try to support Sisters 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. Their founder Genny Nelson has been a key player in Portland's efforts to make ending homeless a priority for 30 years, and the organization continues to focus on it. Sisters helps homeless parents and children and other individuals get a good meal and treats them with respect and love. People can trade barter work for meals, play with their little ones in the children's area, and get referrals and other support. The combo of direct service and systemic change is hard to find, and Sisters does it well.

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

They not only have the cafe, they have a great research project where they did in-depth interviews with folks who've experienced homelessness. Those interviews really changed the way I think about the problem.

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

They could use a new, bigger building.

Role:  Donor & I used to work with people experiencing homelessness there.
 

Review for JOIN, Portland, OR, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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 personally experienced the results of this organization in...

When I worked with people experiencing homelessness I often referred people there, and heard them talking about JOIN. They gave it high marks for being treated with respect and getting help they needed.

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

I honestly can't think of any, although I wish we could clone Marc Jolin, their director. :)

Role:  Donor & I attended their community events and worked at organizations allied with their work to end homelessness .