November 2020
Portland Ecclesia
Beaverton, Oregon
Recipient: HomePlate Youth Services   Initiative: Bags of Love Initiative 2020

The Portland Christadelphian meeting room is located in Beaverton, about ten miles away from downtown Portland, Oregon. Shockingly, there are around 2000 children (K-12) who are affected by homelessness in the Beaverton School district, yet there is only one non-profit organization that specifically helps homeless youth: HomePlate.

Heart-breakingly, there are around 400 of these children who are unaccompanied – which means that they have no parent or guardian, because they have either been thrown out of their homes, have run away from home, or have been abandoned by their parents or guardians.

Due to the huge problem of youth homelessness in our area, the Portland ecclesia has been supporting HomePlate for the past two years, with donations of food, vouchers and clothing. It was lovely to be able to further this relationship by donating the 20 sleeping bags which we were thrilled to receive from The Garden Outreach Project.

One Wednesday afternoon, our Sunday School children, aged 5 through 13, met at the hall and enjoyed some socially distanced pizza. This was followed by a short quiz on HomePlate and homelessness in our area. Afterwards, the young people made some cards with a personal message to go with the sleeping bags.

The following day, we arranged to meet Stephanie, HomePlate’s Donation Coordinator, at their Center in downtown Beaverton. She was thrilled to receive our contribution. Someone else had donated some tents, so along with the sleeping bags, homeless youth will be a little warmer this winter – though it’s still incredibly tragic to think of kids from the age of 12 (or even younger) having to live in a tent through the winter.

Whilst we do what we can, we long for the time when Jesus will provide everyone with safe, warm homes when his kingdom is established (Isaiah 32:16-18).