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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers

Mission: Operation Nightwatch is an ecumenical night ministry providing hospitality to promote dignity and community among Portland's neediest.

Results: This year, over 13,000 visits have been made by guests to our downtown or Mobile Hospitality Centers, where we have provided the warmth of human connection along with food, blankets, and warm clothing.

Target demographics: homeless and low-income adults in the Portland, OR, metro area

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2400+

Geographic areas served: Metropolitan Portland, OR

Programs: Weekend Hospitality Center Mobile Hospitality Center Street Hospitality Teams Immersion Program Birthday Nights Comedy Movie Nights Sunday worship services Weekly Bible Studies Monthly day-trips to parks, museums Annual Spiritual Retreat Annual Christmas Party Annual Memorial Service

Community Stories

57 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

4 Sean13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2 James88

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

1 John155

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Alex F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at Operation Nightwatch on and off for about two years. Operation Nightwatch offers something much more than simply food, coffee, socks, blankets, hygiene products, etc; they offer a warm, safe environment where people can meet, talk, play games, and rest. For most people living outside, this chance to feel warm and safe, seen and heard, is incredibly valuable. Operation Nightwatch is an amazing organization, and the friendships I have made there are deep and long-lasting.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Operation Nightwatch for some months while I was attending University in Portland. I became so close with the individuals that we hosted, that I am still in contact with many of them today, even though I am now living in Sweden. The people that I met at Operation Nightwatch have affected my life in many deep and profound ways, and I am eternally grateful and honored to know them. Operation Nightwatch is a wonderful organization that has a beautiful balance of service and friendship.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a warm caring place for people to come. We go on Sunday afternoon for the service and bring a meal to share afterward.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

we occasionally go the the Sunday eve service and bring a meal. It is a wonderful service.

Review from Guidestar

Shane L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to volunteer at Operation Nightwatch recently with my Mom, who is a volunteer homeless advocate in Los Angeles. We were both impressed with the idea behind Operation Nightwatch, as well as how it was carried out. We both visited a number of other agencies serving the homeless that same day & commented on how much interaction there was between volunteers & guests, how relaxed & calm guests were invited to be, the freedom they had to engage in different conversations and board games & come and go as they wished. There seemed to be an effortlessness in how the night's activities were run; while many other organizations passed out food, socks, toiletries & other goods, guests seemed to know they were there to be served & needn't hurry or be demanding in order to have their needs met. Operation Nightwatch does just that - attentively, respectfully & compassionately attend to eager guests. Nowhere else in the city did I see quite this level of welcome.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My friend and I have volunteered for about 10 years @ Operation Nightwatch. Through this organization we have socialized with people who are homeless @ holiday parties, picnics and Friday evening gatherings. We enjoy every aspect of our time with the people served by Operation Nightwatch from serving sandwiches/snacks/coffee to providing toiletries/socks/blankets. We get to know the people served better by playing games/cards with them as we visit. The communication with the directors and coordinators has been outstanding via email and personal contacts! Portland, Oregon is a better place because of Operation Nightwatch offering an opportunity for citizens to gather and gain a greater understanding of each other. It goes without saying we would not have continued volunteering over the years if we did not believe in Operation Nightwatch.