Tuesday 9 April 2013

Portland Rescue Mission History and Participants

The Portland Rescue Mission (PRM) was founded in 1949 as a mens overnight shelter then called the "John 3:16 Mission." Their central focus has not changed since as they continue to provide breakfast every day at 7:00 am and dinner at 6:00pm, pray with everyone and anyone, and opens their doors each evening for up to 120 homeless men each night. Unfortunately, there are many times when they must turn away men because of the lack of space. They hand out blankets to help provide warmth for those who are forced to sleep outside.
The Mission helps with the first phase such as offering 24/7 safe restrooms for men, women and children. Places where one can brush their teeth and shave and some benches to sit down for a while and rest away from the cold.
They also serve up to 700 meals every day with a 7:00am breakfast and a 6:00pm dinner. Sometimes they have extra socks, underwear, and toothbrushes to hand out to who ever needs them.
Today, the needs of the homeless changes because in the past shelters first started out as a place for 'hobos' who were mostly men who did not really want to stay in one place for very long.
Train hopping hobos is at the verge of extension and the need for stability increases. The Mission has a New Life Recovery program that offers 12-18 months of a safe environment to stay for 45 men. They focus on addition recovery with counseling, education and life training skills with the central focus on spiritual renewal.
Once the men are finished with the program, they are guided into housing, employment a home church and after-care support.
The Mission is committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness since the day it has opened its doors.
The participants from the Mission are:
Michael:  He is from the Mid-West, 45 years old and has been in Portland for six months. He lived in Portland in the early 90's and came back to change his life and heal.  He loves Portland because of the beauty and he feels like it is a city that is living on the edge of the earth because of all the green.
Jonathan:  Has lived in Portland for 16 years and is now 32 years old.  He feels like a dinosaur and one day wants to be a pirate. 
Jamie:  49 years old and feels like he has been a gypsy for the past 10 years.  He arrived in Portland 10 months ago to change his way of life for the better.
Justin:  26 years old, born in Forest Grove near Portland but his family moved to Wisconsin and back to Portland when he was 14.
I handed out the first camera's so everyone could get a feel for how the camera took pictures.  The first roll was just to take images of anything that they wanted, with some tips on getting closer, using angles, careful with lighting and don't forget the flash!
The camera's have a flash, but from my past experience, I know they do not have a large distance for light.  I recommended taking images outside during the daytime unless they had someone to hold an extra light on the subject!  

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