Housing the Homeless

I am frequently asked “What do we need to do to end homelessness?”.  My usual response is it is a very difficult problem to address with many underlying issues and causes.  That said, I consistently hear a theme that the most important factor to end homelessness is providing permanent sustainable accommodation for everyone.  By sustainable, …

A Roof Over Our Heads

When I ask members of the homeless community what would make the biggest difference in helping them get back on their feet and increase their quality of life, I get a consistent answer, a roof over their heads that they can rely on.  This is something I take for granted but for many it is …

Faces of the Homeless

In partnership with Portland’s Operation Nightwatch organization we organized a photo shoot for the homeless guests at the Downtown and SE shelters.  I hastily pulled together a makeshift studio, packed up the gear and headed downtown with my wife Sue and younger son Jon.  I wasn’t sure how this would go over but I trust …

A Winters Night in Portland

Continuing my exploration into Portland’s homeless community I came across a survey completed in January documenting the homeless in Portland’s Multnomah County on a single night.  First off, this struck me as an ambitious project knowing how big the city is and the all the out of the way places you are likely to home …

Reflections Of Homelessness

  I met D at the Operation Nightwatch mobile van site in St John’s.  Like many of the Nightwatch guests, D is a very friendly and generous person and he was willing to give me a glimpse of his personal story. He grew up in Washington state, the eldest of seven children and found himself …

Parallel Worlds

As I have begun to spend time meeting and talking with homeless guests of Operation Nightwatch at their various locations I have observed a consistent theme.  There is a strong sense of community within the homeless population, deep friendships are obvious.  I see a lot of parallels to the tribal communities in Africa, where belonging …

For The Love Of The Game

I recently posted a blog about the Portland vs Seattle or Oregon vs Washington rivalry.  Over the weekend in October my family I visited the Washington vs Oregon Football game in Seattle and the Timbers vs Sounders soccer game in Portland – quite a weekend.  I noted in the blog how intense this rivalry is …

A Promise of ZERO

My last post outlined the UNICEF ZERO program which is focused on eliminating all preventable deaths amongst children across the globe.  While significant progress has been made, reducing the number of preventable deaths each day from 35,000 in 1990 to 17,000 in 2012, there is much work still to do.  You may be asking, what …

Believe in ZERO

After spending time in Ethiopia and Namibia my eyes have been opened to the broad divide that separates the peoples of the world.  The 80% of the world that lives on less than $10 a day illustrates this.  As I looked for some way to make a meaningful contribution to help close this gap, I …

It’s only a game?

This weekend was a sports extravaganza, my family and I travelled to Seattle on Saturday to watch the Oregon Ducks play the Washington Huskies at Football, followed by a hasty drive back down to Portland on Sunday to watch the Portland Timbers play the Seattle Sounders at soccer.  A big Oregon vs Washington rivalry weekend! …