Families First

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A capital campaign to end homelessness for thousands of kids and their parents.

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Portland continues to struggle with a homelessness state of emergency and housing crisis. In the Portland tri-county area, 4,427 students experienced homelessness during the last school year. These are our community’s most vulnerable residents, and they need our help. 

That’s why PHFS is embarking on the Families First Campaign to drastically expand and improve our services. 

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This expansion will allow us to:

Increase our capacity in shelter from 8 families a night to 32 families a night.
This quadruples the number of families who now have a safe, warm shelter that will change their lives.

Provide 24-hours of continuous service for families. No longer will families have to get out the door with all their kids by 7:30am. Families will each have their own, private room that they will have access to 24-hours a day with constant staff support.

Be closer to the communities where families actually live: the east side. Families have to travel an hour or more on public transportation from our downtown shelters to school, work, and daycare on the east side. Then they have to travel back downtown for shelter, life skills classes, and retention resources. Our families want our services to be closer to them.

Bring all of our staff under one roof, which results in greater efficiencies. Currently, PHFS hosts our programs between four locations – three shelters and an admin office. Having all of our staff together cuts down on quadruple rent, phone, internet, and office supply bills. Plus, it makes it easier to collaborate when we’re just down the hall from our teammates rather than 8-10 blocks away.

Implement trauma informed programming and other national best-practices. Families that experience homelessness suffer from trauma in many ways. PHFS helps the families heal from this trauma with a special program focused on building dignity, restoring power, and promoting autonomy. With a building that we own and are the sole occupier, PHFS can implement best practices that end the cycle of homelessness and poverty.

Own affordable housing. We know the solution to homelessness is helping families move into housing. With this purchase, PHFS acquires eight units of housing. At first, we’ll run these as shelter and then transition them to permanently affordable housing in the Lents neighborhood.

And there’s room for growth. We plan to build 30 additional units of permanently affordable housing on the back parking lot. PHFS invites agencies to co-locate their services in the Lents Center so we can offer wrap-around services in mental health, addiction, childcare, employment, and healthcare. 

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This is where you come in. We are asking you to support our efforts to raise money for the down payment and basic modifications. Please consider making a transformational investment in the future of these families – so together we can end homelessness for thousands of kids and their parents. 

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