The SNACC (Sunnyside Neighborhood Community Care) Committee had a productive meeting on October 5th. We discussed the need for different types of volunteer activities at the Shower Project, including organizing supplies and taking inventory. We also talked about how volunteers need to be more mindful of how our conversations impact our guests – putting them front-and-center rather than focusing on ourselves or our (comparatively privileged) lives. We also discussed the need for further trainings around Trauma Informed Care (TIC), CPR and first aid training, and a Narcan training.
We will be holding a Narcan training for all Shower Project volunteers and guests on November 12th with a harm reduction coordinator from Instituto Latino Recovery Center and our very own Josette Hodge. We also discussed the Clothing Drive and brainstormed partner agencies we could invite to be there. (See below for more info on the winter clothing drive.) The next SNACC meeting will be on December 7th at 6:30 p.m.
We didn’t have a committee meeting in early July as we decided in June to meet every other month. Join us for our next SNACC meeting on August 3rd at 6:30 p.m. at Southeast Uplift (3534 SE Main St.) At this meeting we hope to discuss the first draft of our “incident protocols” for the Sunnyside Shower Project.
At our June SNACC meeting, we had a robust discussion about whether or not the Sunnyside Shower Project (SSP) should become a nonprofit in the near future. Hannah had attended an informative talk by nonprofit lawyer David Atkin called “So, You Want to be a Nonprofit?”. During it, she asked Atkin if any foundations discourage smaller organizations that don’t have nonprofit status from applying. He said foundations are used to having fiscal sponsors, which lend credibility to your project. Later during that talk, Nanci Champlin, Executive Director of Southeast Uplift (SNA’s fiscal sponsor) offered that she wanted to dispel the myth that you have to be on a path to becoming a 501c3. Sometimes, an organization is so small that it doesn’t have the resources to run payroll, submit taxes, and do all the other things a nonprofit needs to do.
At the SNACC meeting, Josette said that we’re still in our infancy—we’re still figuring out our “Incident Protocols” and other basic policies for how we run the Shower Project. Hannah pointed out that the grants she and Diana are currently applying for—the Collins Foundation and an Oregon Community Foundation grant—are fine with fiscal sponsors. We decided as a group not to pursue nonprofit status for the time being. We are grateful for all SEUL does for us!
Devin Lee suggested we keep a sewing kit at the SSP so we can help guests mend buttons and holes while they wait for their showers. [Another volunteer has already supplied this.] In the coming months, we hope to solidify our Incident Protocols, develop a consistent way of onboarding new volunteers, and launch a digital sign-in process for our guests. We also decided that SNACC will meet every other month. We hope to see you at the next SNACC meeting which will be held on Thursday Aug. 3rd at 6:30pm at SEUL’s conference room. We will start planning our winter clothing drive, so please join if you’re interested in helping out!
Starting in June, we’ll be moving our SNACC meeting to the first Thursday of the month. Rather than one committee chair, we now have two co-chairs: Josette Hodge and me. Josette has been working with the Sunnyside Shower Project since the summer of 2021 and is an integral part of the leadership team. Having lived on the streets herself, she is an invaluable source of wisdom and also knows when (and how) to set boundaries. Josette is a Certified Recovery Mentor and has helped us connect with Oxford House (where she used to work) to get Narcan training for our volunteers and furniture for some of our recently housed guests.
At our June 1st meeting we will discuss the pros and cons of incorporating as a nonprofit and the latest grants that we are applying for, in the hopes that we can more permanently staff the Sunnyside Shower Project. Anyone who knows of a good grant for the SSP, please email Hannah at [email protected].
Instead of our SNACC meeting this month, a few of us from the Sunnyside Shower Project participated in a lively policy conversation on houselessness and public safety sponsored by Portland Forward, an intergenerational organization that envisions a Portland that works for all. Leaders from Street Roots, H4All, and other organizations were present, as were the D.A., a former mayoral candidate, and several singers (one of whom has a singing telegram company). We came up with some big ideas that included increasing pay for social workers, ending the commodification of housing stock, and using Neighborhood Associations as a way to build community amongst unhoused and housed neighbors. Our next SNACC meeting will be on April 20th at 6:30 p.m.