Five Things You May Not Know About Transition Projects

by Gayle Gilham on November 11, 2019

in Featured Member

Transition Projects

For 50 years, this Portland area nonprofit has delivered life-saving and life-changing assistance to some of the City’s most vulnerable residents. Did you know…

  1. The Transition Projects story began on November 1, 1969, when a young priest, Reverend Gilbert N. Lulay, leased a hotel on the corner of NW 2nd and Couch in Portland’s Old Town to house homeless men. Since then, Transition Projects has continued to be a place where people experiencing homelessness can find support. With five decades of experience providing shelter, housing and supportive services for very low-income people, this agency is now recognized across the region for work with veterans, women, people with disabilities, and other highly vulnerable groups.
  2. Recognizing the value of the lived experience of homelessness, the agency runs a state-certified Mentor Program, supporting both the professional development of formerly homeless individuals (Mentors) and providing essential peer services to persons experiencing homelessness, mental health issues, and addiction (Mentees). Since 2011, the program has graduated more than 200 Mentors.
  3. In 2012, after decades of serving veterans in shelters, Transition Projects became the leading agency in Oregon helping veterans and their families return to permanent housing through the federally-funded Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. In 2013, they joined in the Obama administration’s national challenge to end veteran homelessness and expanded their efforts to the four-county Metro-Area. By 2016, with Transition Projects playing a lead role, Portland was recognized by the federal government for having effectively ended veteran homelessness. Portland was the only city to reach this designation on the West Coast.
  4. With Portland area rents rising by 13% in 2016, over three times the national average, the City of Portland declared a state of emergency around housing and homelessness. By February 2017, 4,177 adults experienced homelessness in Multnomah County alone. Nearly 40% of those people were unsheltered. With the support of Transition Projects, in 2018 more than 1,100 formerly homeless people found safe, affordable housing throughout the Metro-Area.
  5. Today, Transition Projects operates across 10 unique sites. Started by a handful of volunteers, the agency has grown to its current team of over 300 employees who serve 10,000 people each year. Their team of over 800 volunteers accounts for 31,000+ service hours annually. The agency is the largest provider of publicly funded shelter services in Oregon. On any given night, they shelter more than 800 people, including women, men and couples. Finally, through their Resource Center, they serve 500-600 unique individuals daily, 365 days-a-year, with services ranging from hygiene and medical support to shelter and housing assistance.

Cascade is proud to feature this member, remaining driven by their mission to help people experiencing homelessness transition to housing.

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