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arlene whitney

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1 reviews

Review for Operation Nightwatch Portland, Portland, OR, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I have worked many years in community services. I have a graduate degree in social work and have also participated as a chaplain. I came to Nightwatch as a friend of young musicians who Nightwatch welcomed to contribute to the program of the evening. They and I also participated in the food serving and mingling with the people who came.

Through the evening, I had the privilege of watching Roger and his associates as they led in the nightwatch program. Roger as the leader of this organization could not have a better approach. He treats each person with dignity and respect and each individual who comes are obviously encouraged by his kindness, warmth and family/fatherly mentoring. He is a beautiful role model for his staff and they all follow his example. The homeless have come to feel that this is their family, that this is their home. Many of them stay as long as possible, reluctant to leave. The food is always home-made and they can have as many refills as they want. Roger leads a calm, beautiful spiritual service, giving it as much care and thought as if he was speaking to a crowd of the elite because that his how he perceives the people who come. He and his staff treat all the people they serve as "elite" and they obviously feel respected. I was amazed and awed by what I saw!!

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

Observing the relaxed comfort and appreciation of the homeless as they come to the weekend services that provide them with a safe, warm, welcoming environment, home prepared food, spiritual encouragement, opportunity for social interaction and mentoring by the profoundly compassionate staff. Those homeless who are served by this organization have come to see this place as their home and the staff as their family.

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

Provide them with a permanent place of their own and resources so their costs are covered. All of the services are extremely well run with long term committment over many years so the homeless have a stable, dependable home to come to! Roger and his family and staff have given many years to Nightwatch and that predictable stability is well worth our support!

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field & I helped with the food serving, mingling with the homeless who came, welcoming them and encouraging them on cold, raining, winter nights. .