As the holidays come up we look towards our community partners and supporters to help those that would otherwise not be able to enjoy the holidays. In the month of November we had several 3rd party events where donations to Esther’s Pantry and Tod’s Corner were collected with the barrels that we have. Two of our local establishments, Embers and Crush Bar, collected over $325 and 400+ lbs. of non-perishable food and personal care items. On top of this we received over $700 from The Imperial Sovereign Rose Court of Oregon, which was used to buy over 30 meals for our NHCP clients.
Several of our NHCP clients enjoyed the holiday here at Our House where a traditional Thanksgiving dinner filled with turkey, green beans, stuffing and pie were served. The dinner was prepared by a local Portland chef who was assisted by our very own Development & Volunteer Coordinator and her family. The meal was served by one of our NHCP RN’s and her daughter who took individual orders from each resident or NHCP client. No one left the table hungry for sure!
The garden club has been working on winterizing the garden by filling dirt where needed as well as other tasks. As we look towards the winter months, they have started to plan what will be planted in the spring. Our head gardener, Ericka Crane, will start the process of contacting individual donors and organizations that helped this year in hopes of getting them to support us once again.
Our Social Work department will be taking on a new BSW student starting in the Fall. She will be working primarily in the residential program. One of our Social Workers is running a Music Appreciation group every 2 months, open to both Our House residents and clients of NHCP. Staff are invited.
Social workers are continuing their group for NHCP clients called “Self-Compassion Group.” It is a group discussion, supportive in nature, and focusing on the concept of Radical Acceptance. It has been very successful, with many clients sharing and making connections and friendships with one another.
Due to the rising pressures on landlords to increase their rents in order to sustain their business, several of our housing subsidy clients are being pushed out of their apartments due to being over allowances within the FMA (Fair Market Rent). This is putting a great burden on NHCP clinicians to search for housing in a short amount of time—and affordable housing opportunities are limited. Cascade AIDS Project is assisting us with advocating and searching. We currently have 2 clients who will need to leave their apartments after several years of living there, one of them has been there for almost 6 years. The team is scrambling to find them a place to live, but their great efforts so far have produced hardly any options. The landlord is allowing an additional 2-3 month stay until something can be found.
Clinical Directors met for a several times with a training consultant. He offered some basic “Training the trainer” strategies, which was insightful and will be helpful when we begin offering these trainings. We have not begun discussing implementation, but instead are working on a list of topics that all disciplines would like to see covered. The focus remains on developing “101 Quick Fact sheets” for three primary topics: HIV transmission/prevention, Professional Boundaries, and Intervening in a Mental Health crisis. Our “homework” for last month was to explore what trainings are already available in the community that we can “tap” into, and this was successful; however there is more work that needs to be done—more research, so that in October we can begin the writing.