Why Is the GNC Needed?
“Where will my children sleep?” “How will I feed my family?”
We hope you’ve never had to ask yourself these questions. But there are many families in the Portland area who do ask them every night. And the feelings that come with this unfortunate situation can result in a self-fulfilling cycle that is difficult to break.
Thankfully, there are places like Good Neighbor Center. Located in Tigard, on SW Greenburg Road, GNC is a 36 bed facility serving up to 9 families at a time. There is space so that each family has a private room where they can live for up to six weeks. Families are provided three meals a day.
We are open from 6am-10pm 365 days a year. We are supported by volunteers, donations, grants and various government funding programs. Individual donations make up 15% of our budget revenue.
Our facility was built in 1999 and has been “updated” several times. We have control of the facility that was built with grant dollars and Community Development Block Grant funds. In 2007, Washington County gave us the building for $1 a year with the stipulation that it must remain a homeless shelter for 20 years.
We have over 1400 volunteers that cook, babysit, do service projects and serve as overnight hosts. This volunteer model saves us over $80,000 a year and 3 staff positions.
For families who obtain a stable income and can meet certain barriers, we have a Housing Stabilization Program in partnership with Washington County Public Housing Authority. With this program, the family’s rent is subsidized and gradually increases until they reach full market rent after nine months. This program offers family advocacy and support services to help families become self sufficient. The economy has affected families being able to get into housing because of historically low vacancy rates and a critical shortage of affordable housing. Each year we look for resources to help with rent and needs for these families.
Our Children’s Program runs four days a week and serves all school-age children staying in shelter. After school there is a Homework Club followed by activities for the children. During the summer when school is out, we run a ten week, all day Summer School that consists of tutoring, physical activities and daily field trips. Families that have moved out of the shelter and are staying in the area, are eligible to enroll their children in the Summer School.
Because of the generous spirit of the people of Washington County and the surrounding areas, we are able to serve the neediest of our neighbors.