For many, life in Portland couldn’t be better. But for others, this sadly isn’t the case. Many people in Portland lack the resources to care for themselves and their families. With these basic necessities out of reach, some people end up on the streets or in dangerous situations.
We might only think of giving to charities during the holidays, but the need in Portland is evergreen. Charities and nonprofit organizations fill in the gaps for Portland residents who need a helping hand from their kind neighbors.
Transition Projects are all about getting people off the streets and into homes. The agency manages several housing units and works with external partners to help place individuals into stable, safe apartments in the Portland metro area. The team of volunteers at this organization also takes care of practical needs through the Resource Center, a place where folks in need can have a hot meal, do laundry, and take a shower. Donations make these services possible, and Transitions Projects is grateful to receive monetary donations as well as items including clothing and hygiene products.
Address: 665 NW Hoyt Street Portland, OR 97209
More than 20,000 people a year experiencing housing insecurity receive help and hope through Impact NW. People of all ages and life stages are introduced to programs based on their unique needs to ensure they have everything they need to avoid slipping into homelessness, from parenting classes to senior guardianship programs. The foundation also focuses much of its effort on the Slavic community in the Camas and Washougal area by partnering with the East European Coalition to provide support and resources to this population.
Address: 10055 E Burnside Portland, OR 97216
Food insecurity is one of the toughest parts about being homeless. Fortunately, the Blanchet House is a place where unhoused folks know they always have a seat at the table. The Blanchet House enlists the help of Oregon’s natural resources in the form of its farm program, a residential recovery initiative where men in crisis can learn to care for animals while gaining job skills and overcoming their addictions. This hands-on, life-saving work not only allows for free room and board, but also for men to achieve sobriety and become contributing members of society. Donations to the Blanchet House keep this program and many others operating for folks in need.
Address: 310 NW Glisan St, Portland, OR 97209
Child Aid might be based in the Portland area, but its reach extends far beyond the Pacific Northwest. The charity works with schools in Guatemala to ensure children and their teachers have the resources they need to give and receive a high-quality education. Child Aid invests significant resources into making sure all classrooms are well-stocked with books, pencils, and other learning materials. Child Aid seeks donations from Portland community members who agree that education is a human right that knows no borders.
Address: 917 SW Oak St # 208, Portland, OR 97205
Sisters of the Road Café
Many of us take sitting in a cafe enjoying a meal for granted. However, Sisters of the Road Café believes that everyone deserves to eat in a welcoming, dignified setting. Since 1979, this charity has been serving the homeless population by offering a meal for only $1.50 in exchange for work, provided they are physically able. Of course, this nominal fee cannot cover the full price of services Sisters of the Road Café offers, so that’s why they ask for donations from kind Portland residents who want to make a difference in the lives of their unhoused neighbors.
Address: 133 NW Sixth Avenue Portland, OR 97209
Open Arms International
Open Arms International is providing a warm embrace to children thousands of miles away in rural Kenya and Romania. Volunteers in Portland work to provide a safe, caring home for these kids while addressing critical needs involving education, healthcare, and poverty. The organization takes a special interest in improving the literacy rates of children in these countries so they can grow up to be productive, well-rounded citizens. Donations are needed for both the resource centers and for sponsoring individual children whose families lack the means to care for them.
Address: P.O. Box 2481 Clackamas, OR 97015
Cats Cradle Rescue
Oregon kitties know that they can live their best nine lives at Cat’s Cradle Rescue. As a proud no-kill shelter, Cat’s Cradle takes in orphaned cats who need a loving place to stay while they await adoption. The team here connects these cats with willing foster families who care for the animals until they go to their loving forever homes. The shelter seeks monetary donations to pay for the costs of caring for the cats as well as cat supplies to provide food and medical care as necessary. Cat’s Cradle Rescue receives no government funds and relies on generous donations to keep its operation running.
Address: PO Box 8 Hillsboro, OR 97123
Dress for Success Oregon
You may have heard the phrase, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” But that’s easier said than done for many. Dress for Success Oregon serves women from underprivileged backgrounds who are looking to gain economic independence through career opportunities. The organization operates a closet full of gently used professional attire for women to take what they need for job interviews or career moves. Monetary donations are appreciated, and Oregon Dress for Success is always willing to take clothing items to be given to women looking for a fresh start.
Address: 1532 NE 37th Ave, Portland, OR 97232