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.
We had a strong turnout at our February meeting, where we discussed the Sunnyside Shower Project’s (SSP) protocols on how to deal with guests who exhibit harmful or dangerous behaviors. Special guest Sandra Comstock, from Hygiene4All, shared some ideas on how they deal with harm to their community. The SSP has a “Code of Conduct” that we hang in our space at the Groves but we have not yet written down a policy for “incident protocols.” We hope to do that in the coming weeks. One helpful tidbit
that Comstock shared is to come at the incident with curiosity. If a person who is houseless is acting out, there is usually something going on for them and finding out what that is and (if possible) helping them solve that issue is a good place to start.
We also discussed the possibility of the SSP becoming its own nonprofit, separate from the SNA. There are pros and cons to this—one pro being that we would be eligible for a wider variety of grants and funding. On the other hand, many of us like the fact that we’re showing that Neighborhood Associations can be a force for good in their communities. We don’t want to lose the grassroots nature of the SSP, which is one of the qualities that makes it so special. Matt Lembo offered to help with this process, if the SSP decides to become its own nonprofit.
Finally, we are hoping to off-load the furniture that’s in our storage unit on 82nd St. If anyone needs bookshelves, lamps, or other household items, let us know. We are willing to give these items away in exchange for a donation to the SSP! Contact Emily at [email protected] if you’re interested.
As always, if you’re interested in supporting the SSP, either financially or by joining our growing volunteer pool, please email [email protected] to learn more.
This is a reminder that we have a SNACC meeting tonight at SEUL at 6:30. Here is the agenda. Please reach out if there is anything you’d like added to the agenda and I’ll update it.
The Sunnyside Shower Project (SSP) is branching out and forming partnerships to bring additional services to our neighbors living outside. Cricket Wireless representatives will be on-site registering shower guests for low-to-no-cost phone plans. OHP enrollment specialists will be helping ensure guests can get the insurance they need to access medical care. We hope to soon staff the showers with medical students who can offer on-site wound care services. Although we are excited to report that SSP recently received a Community Small Grant from SEUL for the second year running, we are still in need of funds to pay our houseless volunteers and to provide essential supplies and services to our guests. If you are interested in supporting the Sunnyside Shower Project, either financially or by joining our growing volunteer pool, please email [email protected] to learn more.