My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Operation Nightwatch Portland, Portland, OR, USA
This charity serves a population that includes some very dangerous sex offenders. One of the female volunteers was murdered on July 4, 2012 by a manipulative psychopath named Mark Beebout. Until Operation Nightwatch starts screening the "clients" or the volunteers better, there is a real risk that another volunteer will be harmed. The leader of the organization seems unwilling to take a realistic look at the potential harm he brings to Portland by enabling and attracting the homeless criminals that mix into the general homeless population. There is apparently lax security.
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After 30 years of operation through which we have served tens of thousands of guests with an army of thousands of volunteers, we did suffer an unprecedented tragedy this summer. Ignoring our strict boundaries guidelines, one of our volunteers invited a guest to stay in her home, and she was later found murdered. This incident has led to critical soul-searching, not only among our Board of Directors (the ones who set policy -the Executive Director only executes it), but among those in charge of homeless programs around the city of Portland. (Mr. Beebout accessed all their services--no homeless program exercises the kind of screening this reviewer is talking about.) We have enacted some additional safeguards as a result. Though our boundaries guidelines have always been printed in our official Volunteers Manual, we now require all of our volunteers to submit a signed copy of those guidelines, testifying that they have read and understood them. In the end, it has only been those who have known nothing about Operation Nightwatch and its work prior to this tragedy who have sought to vilify us. Those who have been acquainted with Operation Nightwatch through the years have only mourned with us and been nothing but supportive. The mother of the victim herself wrote us this note: "Please continue sharing generosity and compassion in your lives, thus honoring the memory of our special young woman. "Many blessings and God's love and protection surround you always. "