A Message from our Executive Director

Dear Macdonald Center Community,

I want to let you know about a change to our programming that will be taking place over the coming five months. 

At the direction of our board, we will be phasing out the payee program and medication assistance program which Macdonald Center has operated since 2008 when they were discontinued by Outreach in Burnside due to its impending closure.  All other Macdonald Center programs and services remain the same and are fully available to any members who will be affected by this change.

Three things were central to making this decision:  our focus on remaining true to Macdonald Center’s core mission, the best allocation of the resources we have available to fulfill that mission and to secure Macdonald Center’s future, and the importance of supporting the development of a more comprehensive, sustainable and community-based solution to meet the needs of this challenging population—a population that urgently needs and deserves such a solution.

Macdonald Center’s mission—to nurture the body, mind and spirit of the forgotten poor in Old Town-Downtown Portland by building connections and community—is elegant in its simplicity and reflects the Center’s purpose since our founding in 1991.  Our focus has always centered upon breaking isolation, building personal relationships and developing a sense of community for our members. 

For the past six years Macdonald Center has also done its best to serve a “high-needs” population by providing payee and medication management services. This has required us to devote a disproportionate share of our human and financial resources to provide these services to a small group of individuals. 

While there is no question that these members have benefited from receiving these services, the difficult truth we have learned is that the program model is not any more sustainable today than it was in in 2008. Accordingly, the board made the difficult decision to make these changes.

Fortunately, both of these services are currently offered by other agencies in our community whose missions do include providing these services.  Every effort is being made to thoughtfully and individually transition each person affected to other providers between now and the end of 2014.

More globally, Macdonald Center is involved in a coalition of public and private service providers which has received funding from the State of Oregon to help to develop community-based  solutions that will benefit not just these particular individuals, but also for the many others in our community who need these and other related services. Several coalition staff members will actually be housed at Macdonald Center over the coming months.

While this has been a difficult decision in the moment, we believe that it is the right decision for the future of Macdonald Center.  The decision also has the full knowledge and support of our founder, Father Dick Berg. 

Over time we believe that this will help to secure Macdonald Center’s ability to remain true to our mission and to serve even more people through our highly successful visitation and pastoral programs, our assisted living residence, our affordable housing apartment building, and to be part of helping to educate the next generation of caring individuals dedicated to serving this population.

Macdonald Center remains healthy and poised to continue to fulfill its mission to serve Portland’s forgotten poor.  Your support in making that happen is deeply appreciated—whether it has been as a donor, a volunteer, or both.  We hope that you will continue to support and perhaps consider increasing your involvement with the important and unduplicated work being done by Macdonald Center.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have.
 

Sincerely,

Pat Janik
Executive Director
Macdonald Center

Join us in making a memorable day

Each year Macdonald Center provides a much needed respite from the city for our community. We load over 100 members onto school buses and spend the day at Wildwood Recreation Site on Mt. Hood. It is a joy-filled day as relationships are deepened through walks in the woods, games, naps, a big lunch, marshmallow roasting and much more!

One member said, "It is so nice to just sit in the sun
and rest without anyone telling you to pack up and move on." 

Many members mark the day on their calendar months in advance to make sure nothing stops them from their "summer vacation."  This year our picnic will take place on Wednesday, July 30th and we could use your help to make this a memorable experience for all!

WAYS TO HELP

  • Assist with food preparation on Tuesday, July 29th  from 10am-12pm.
  • Join us on Wednesday, July 30th from 7:30-9:00am to serve coffee and donuts.
  • Donate food and supplies for the day. For example: cookies, donuts, marshmallows, chips, granola bars, paper plates, napkins, cups, sunglasses, sunscreen, reusable water bottles, cloth bags

For a more complete list of in-kind items needed or to sign up to volunteer email Ginger: gd@macdcenter.org

Published authors!

We congratulate our members who recently had pieces of writing published in the latest anthology from Write Around Portland! The anthology is called A World Where the Rules Were My Own. Read this moving piece from Susan Steves.

Have we Met?

Have we met?
I'm one of the people you read about; I'm told I don't "look" homeless.
So what does homeless look like anyway?

Have we met?
I had a career, a home, enough
that I was able to share with others.

Have we met?
I've always done a lot of of 
volunteer work for the disadvantaged in my community. 
Now I am the one in need.

Have we met?
I could be your former
neighbor, mother, sister,
friend. They say I don't 
"look" homeless.

Have we met?