Portland Non-Profit Develops Rigid Plastic Tents for Homeless People

Oregon Harbor Of Hope has sent six new tents into the field as prototypes and they are gearing up for more.

Homer Williams with Harbor of Hope is on a mission to help the homeless find a path back to housing.

The nonprofit addresses the basic needs of the homeless population in Portland and surrounding communities. Last year they handed out thousands of tents and sleeping bags.

But all the rain Portland gets was a problem for their clients. “All their clothes get soaked, their sleeping bags get soaked, their feet rot,” explained Williams. “So I just thought they needed to be a better solution.”

Williams teamed up with LIT workshop to come up with a solution and came up with rigid tents made out of corrugated plastic.

They are warmer, waterproof and sturdier than regular tents. The inventors went around Portland with the tents and asked homeless people what they thought. They used that feedback to perfect the tent.

The floor is now insulated with enough space for 2 people, their belongings and a pet. There’s also a light and a solar pad to charge cell phones.

homeless tents
Credit: CK | A look inside Harbor of Hope’s rigid tents

So far six of these tents are being tested out in the community with plans to release more. “They will do best, and the clients will do best, in a facility that is protected and managed,” said Williams.

He hopes the tent will serve as a path off the streets. “Of course we want them to move on, maybe to a tiny house, maybe it’s to a repurposed motel or an apartment that will get built,” he said.

He says regardless of how small the first step is, the priority lies in getting people into a safe place where they can stay healthy. “If we can do that, we can be successful,” said Williams, “If we can’t get people off the street, we will not get our city back, it’s that simple.”

 Christelle Koumoué (KGW) | Source here

Portland Groups to Celebrate MLK Jr. with a Day of Service

FILE – In this 1960, file photo, Martin Luther King Jr. speaks in Atlanta. (AP Photo, File)

Local organizations and volunteers plan to help clean up Portland this Monday, Jan. 18, as part of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

SOLVE, the Portland Business Alliance, and the Portland Lodging Alliance will all be out cleaning different areas of the city. Volunteers can meet at four locations: the Benson Hotel, Providence Park, Northwest Academy, and Urbanite. Check-in goes from 8:45 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.

Volunteers will be provided with cleaning supplies, as well as safety information, before fanning out to clean along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and other areas of the city.

The event is part of SOLVE’s monthly efforts to clean up the Rose City. More information about the non-profit, including how to register for Monday’s event, can be found online.

All spots are filled up right now, but you can still put your name on the waiting list.

The Sunshine Division is partnering with Kaiser Permanente to provide 90,000 meals in honor of Martin Luther King Day. While the group has suspended all volunteer work due to the coronavirus pandemic, they do have more information on volunteering as opportunities arise on their website.

Boxes will be handed out between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday. To receive a box, you can visit one of the Sunshine Division’s food pantries:

  • 687 N Thompson St, Portland, OR 97227
  • 221 NE 122nd Ave, Portland, OR 97230

Some groups, like the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, decided to postpone their annual ‘day of service’ events to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

Happy Non-Profit Day!

Get-Involved-Banner-Photo-01Non-profits have a special place in my heart. I’ve been affiliated with a number of them for over 10 years. I would like to honor one in particular today though. I started off interning with SMART Reading (formerly Start Making a Reader Today) in college and continued the relationship long after I graduated. I am currently a contractor for them, helping with their marketing materials. I truly believe in SMART Reading’s vision, to help children with their reading skills, therefore helping them in other aspects of their lives. The excerpt below is taken from SMARTReading.org.

One child at a time. One volunteer at a time. One book at a time.

At SMART Reading, we hold to one simple truth: Reading matters. It’s an early gateway skill that paves the pathway for future success. Without it, kids are simply less likely to graduate high school, find employment, or successfully avoid other hardships like poverty, homelessness, hunger, and injustice.

Since 1992, SMART Reading has been pairing adult volunteers with children to provide reading support and books to keep. SMART Reading volunteers read one-on-one with students weekly during the school year, modeling a love of reading and building children’s reading skills and self-confidence in a positive, child-guided environment.

Our Vision

An Oregon where all children can realize their full potential through reading.

Our Mission

To spark joy and opportunity through the magic of a shared book.

If you can volunteer your time or are in the position to donate, please do. Follow this link to do so: SMART Reading.