Street & Gang Violence

In 2011, Mayor Sam Adams asked the faith community for help in curbing gang violence in the Portland area. Several pastors gathered to determine what the churches could do to make an impact. With the goal of mobilizing 100 people to spend 45 minutes volunteering once a week for one year, 11:45 was born. This community group determined four areas of focus to tangibly reach those affected by street gangs: there, share, care, and prayer.

The group has grown to include more than 400 volunteers involved in neighborhood outreach, youth mentorship, providing services and supplies for needy families, and prayer for the safety and welfare of our city. Quarterly Freshwind Community Fellowship services, one of 11:45’s innovations, give community members and families an opportunity to gather and celebrate with food, music, and activities.

Health & Wellness

Physical, mental and spiritual health and well-being are a basic need of every community, whether it is serving young families, single moms, veterans, seniors or other vulnerable populations.  Many churches show the love of Jesus in a pratical way, meeting needs with compassion.  One of those ways has been through the launch of Compassion Clinics, which are led by local church collaboratives.  Neighbors who are underinsured and in need experience His love through the provision of free basic health care and social service networking.  

The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me'.
Matthew 25:40

Hunger & Poverty

In an average month, an estimated 240,000 people in Oregon and Clark County, Wash. ate meals from an emergency food box last year, up 20% from an average of 200,000 per month just the prior year.

The need for emergency food is unprecedented. Long-term unemployment, persistent underemployment and the high cost of food, gas, utilities and rent are forcing more and more people to seek emergency food.

270,000 people per month eat meals from emergency food boxes in Oregon. Of those, 92,000 are children. Since the beginning of the Great Recession in 2008, emergency food box distribution has increased 41 percent.*

The faith community is responsible for an estimated 90% of emergency food pantries and 60% of all food distribution agencies in the Portland metro area*

*Cited from The Oregon Food Bank

Foster Care

In 2011, 4,672 children in the Portland, Oregon Metro area spent at least one day in the foster care system. The same year saw only 1,640 certified foster homes. The single greatest need in the state is a larger population of healthy families certified to provide safe, loving, and supportive homes for Oregon's vulnerable children.

Collectively, churches are mobilizing to share ideas and address this issue. The Portland Leadership Foundation is leading the efforts and has met with all eight metro area DHS (Department of Human Services) offices to discover ways churches can partner with the state. Open dialogue is flowing between many child welfare agencies and faith communities.