DHS Makeovers in Portland

on Friday, September 04, 2015 Posted in Stories, Happenings, Opportunities, Foster Care

Built on a foundation of hospitality, trust, and relationships, Embrace Oregon has developed unprecedented rapport between the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the community. 

The hospitality continued in the month of June, when five DHS locations experienced a mini-makeover. Church congregations rolled up their sleeves to spruce up DHS Self-Sufficiency lobbies. Many of the most vulnerable families in our community are served by DHS and spend time waiting in Self-Sufficiency lobbies for resources such as food stamps, employability assessments, TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) and resources on housing and domestic violence. The DHS wishes for these offices to look less like a sterile, institutionalized setting and more like a welcoming environment that is “trauma informed.” State case workers do not want to further traumatize clients by making them wait in a cold and sterile environment in order to request and receive these vital services.

DHS first approached Embrace Oregon, who then sent word of the opportunity to our network of churches. Here was an opportunity for churches to link arms, to partner with state representatives, and to use allotted funds in the transformation of these self-sufficiency lobbies. Every one of the five DHS locations who sought assistance from Embrace Oregon was blessed with a small group, a church, or a faith-based organization who took the lead on working with DHS to make this happen.

The biggest transformation of all is seen in the unprecedented rapport and bridges of trust between the faith-based community and our partners at the DHS. Those who follow Christ and desire to help the most vulnerable in our community can now link arms with those who serve them. Learn more at www.embraceoregon.org