Dear St. Francis Parish,
I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat . . . a stranger, and you welcomed me.
In an effort to keep our St. Francis community informed about our Outreach Ministry, that you make possible, we are sharing periodic news about our work together and featuring one of the organizations we support. Each quarter we send $500 to support Shepherd’s Door at the Portland Rescue Mission. Read how your generous donations are helping others.
This has been a unique season in the 71-year history of Portland Rescue Mission. With the new challenges have come new opportunities for us to engage deeper than ever with those in need. Through it all the Lord has continued to provide through the prayers and ongoing support of our community, particularly our church partners.
Friday, we celebrated the graduation of two women from the recovery program at Shepherd's Door. One woman, a mother of two, is also celebrating her reunification with her children, as she completes the program. The support from St. Francis provides Portland Rescue Mission the ability to pour love into women and support the hard work of real life change, in a community centered on Christ.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Portland Rescue Mission has remained committed to two things: 1) continuing to offer services to those in need and 2) doing so in a manner that would not put an already vulnerable population at risk. This means we have had to change the ways we go about offering services so that we can maintain sanitation, social distancing and best practices. The added effort and considerable expense (for things such as disinfectants, to-go containers, extra food, etc.) has been worth it, as it's allowed us to continue to offer shelter, meals and life-restoring programs to men, women and children in our community who are struggling, more than ever, with hunger, homelessness and addiction.
Here are some recent examples:
• There have been days when the number of meals we serve has gone from 900 to a record high of 1,500.
• Not only have we been able to maintain our services, we have provided as additional 300 meals per day to local shelters in need.
• We have invested in a mobile outreach team to extend services to those unable to come to Portland Rescue Mission.
• We have invested deeper than ever into the health and well-being of our guests by extending our nursing program from 1 day a week to 4!
Please pray for our guests, as well as our staff and volunteers that we remain healthy and that the services we offer, will allow us the opportunity to really connect with those we serve.
-Janet Fraser, Shepherd’s Door