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Portland Resuce Mission: Feeding Portland's hungry

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Thanksgiving heralds in the beginning of the Holiday Season, which means food, feasting and merry-making. However, not all in our community will be celebrating in the same manner. On any given day in the greater Portland Metro there are upwards of 6,000 homeless people, according to Greater Portland Pulse. Simply finding a warm place to sleep and a meal to feed their hunger is a monumental task. That is where Portland Rescue Mission steps in to lend a hand.

Established in 1949 by John Van Diest Sr, the Mission has been committed to ending on-going homelessness by providing not only emergency services, but on-going support through recovery and transitional programs.

Portland Rescue Mission serves up to 700 hot meals every day of the year. Let’s look at some stats from the last 12 months: 231,842 hot meals have been served and 59,552 beds have been occupied by weary folks. Nearly half a million pounds of food, clothing and toiletries have been donated. People’s lives are being effected, one gift at a time.

The thing that has impressed me so much about PRM is their strong belief that they want to offer “more than a meal.” We understand that a meal is just the beginning: you have to be willing to feed someone before you can begin to build a relationship with him or her. That’s why we serve dinner and breakfast 365 days a year, not just on holidays. Many people first learn about PRM by coming in for a meal, but then may choose to engage with us in a temporary work program until they get housing or even enter our long-term addiction recovery program. PRM truly lives the “more than a meal” mantra! – June Cassell

During the Thanksgiving holiday, I was privileged to help serve a handful of Portland’s homeless a really spectacular turkey dinner with all the trimmings, including whipped cream on the pumpkin pie. A highlight of the evening was a young mom and her three children. Her kids were charming and delighting all who came in touch with them. They were just being “kids,” playing, laughing and enjoying the evening, but their presence so aptly pictures the hope that Portland Rescue Mission brings to our city.

Thanks to Portland Rescue Mission and so many other shelters that grace our metro area. If you are able, please support their objective – ending homelessness, one meal at a time.

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