• March 20, 2019
  • 7:00 pm
  • Central Northeast Neighbors, 4415 NE 87th

Neighbors Helping Neighbors Pilot Project Report 

Saturday morning January 26th at 10:00 am 25 volunteers came together at CNN to reach out to 10 areas of identified encampments of houseless folks in Central NE Portland.  The day started with volunteer training and ended with volunteers being acquainted with houseless neighbors, a feeling of learning and a feeling of accomplishment.  We are so fortunate to have had volunteers from Sunderland who live in Dignity Village as part of our committee.  It was good to have partners who have lived the experience of being houseless and were able to help everyone feel comfortable and know how to introduce yourself and our project.  We are all a great team.

Volunteers introduced themselves and offered bottles of water, Street Roots Resource Guides and gave out trash bags to folks living in the camps helping to provide a way for them to keep their surroundings tidy.  We also offered sharps containers.  And thanks to a generous partnership with Sunderland neighborhood and Dignity Village, we were able to offer free dog and cat food to campers with pets.  We partnered with the City of Portland, Homelessness/Urban Camping Impact Reduction Program to have Clean Start pick up and dispose of bags on Tuesday that were filled by campers.

Volunteers handed out 176, 42 gallon heavy duty black garbage bags, 50 bottles of water, 8 sharps containers and 60lbs of pet food.  Volunteers reported many campers who greatly appreciated the effort and looked forward to disposing of trash.  Everyone seemed to have good experiences.  If campers did not want to interact they stayed in their tents.  Most asked volunteers to please just leave the bags and other things on the ground.  Several abandoned sites were identified for cleanup efforts.

The Clean Start program reported picking up 22 filled trash bags.  Each bag held 42 gallons of trash.  Which means 924 gallons of trash.  Hard to imagine how much this weighed.  But if you think of a plastic milk carton as a gallon 924 gallons is a lot of trash.  The Clean Start team also picked up 8 sharps and 4 abandoned shopping carts.  Their team will go back by the locations where we gave bags out a few more times.  Our volunteers supplied the locations of abandoned sites for future cleanup.  Clean Start was pleased with our project.

You are welcome to join us.  Our committee is working on solutions to help homeless and houseless in our community.  We will be considering if we will continue our CNN Neighbors Helping Neighbors pilot project at our next meeting. -Alison Stoll Alisons@cnncoalition.org