‘Our House’ Plans Virtual Gala to Celebrate and Raise Needed Funds

‘Our House’ Plans Virtual Gala to Celebrate and Raise Needed Funds

Portland, OR. Poison Waters (on left, posing with Tracy Curtis) will take her enthusiasm online this year for the ‘Our House’ Virtual Gala. Organizers encourage supporters to step back in time and tune in for an MTV-esque online event set in the ‘80s. The free benefit on Feb. 20th offers an opportunity to support the organization which provides healthcare, housing, and other vital services to people in the Portland community living with HIV. The nonprofit started in 1988.

Dana Kinney, Director of Development and Communications, explains the decision behind the 80s’ themed virtual gala, “Since, Our House came to life in the eighties, we decided this would be a really fun year to do a flashback to the eighties and talk about how we’ve come, how we progressed, how our community has stood by us and how that was reflected in the height of the AIDS epidemic, but also at the height of the COVID pandemic.”

Kinney recognizes that the AIDS epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic are very different in who is affected and how both communities are impacted differently, but the need for help and support has not changed.

“We’ve been fortunate enough that our community of supporters and donors have really stepped up tremendously to give us so much more than we could imagine during a pandemic to ensure that the most vulnerable keep getting supported,” Kinney explains.

Johnna Wells and Carrie Welch speak to guests at the Hopelessly Devoted to Our House Gala from 2019. This year’s virtual gala speaker will be Dale Johannes.

There will also be a virtual auction that opens on Feb. 12 at 8 am and closes on Feb. 20 at 9 pm. Once the auction opens, each package will be available to view and attendees can bid as often and as much as they like. Some auction packages include the following: beach vacations, mountain vacations, a hot tub boat in Seattle, nature tours, and art/wine tours.

There is also a chance to win two roundtrip Alaska Airlines ticket vouchers for $80. There are only 200 raffle tickets available and the winner will be announced during the live stream on Feb. 20.

Prizes are not the only thing to look forward to either. With previous in-person events, the organization has offered catering services which have also seen a significant impact from the pandemic. In order to ensure that attendees still have the full virtual experience, there will still be a catering service from Vibrant Table who has partnered with Our House before. Make sure to RSVP for the event and order food ahead to have it ready by clicking the link here.

Participants bid on auction items at the 2019 Hopelessly Devoted to Our House Gala. Auction items are still available with the event being virtual this year.

The live stream event is going to be really fun Kinney explains, “I would love for anyone who is either familiar or just learning about Our House or has no idea who we are, to tune in and just learn about us and see what we’re doing for the community and whether it’s as their one time that they’re watching and learning about us, or if they want to learn more, they can get ahold of us or even volunteer.”

From Our House website: Our House inspires people with HIV to LIVE WELL. Our House provides integrated health and housing services to people with HIV/AIDS.  Guided by compassion, collaboration, and respect, we provide 24-hour specialized care, supportive services, and independent housing with support services.

Our House Core Values:

Compassion for those most in need was the reason we founded Our House and it continues to be our guiding value.

Collaboration at Our House builds relationships by sharing resources and expertise in the community to serve our clients.

Our House Respects the dignity, spirit, worth, needs, and rights of everyone we touch.

Our House maintains a Resourceful staff, stable finances, and effective programs through innovative and responsive action.

Our House Empowers clients to optimize the quality of life in a safe and accepting environment.

 

Local Nonprofit Serving HIV Affected Community Helps Feed Neighbors During Pandemic

Local Nonprofit Serving HIV Affected Community Helps Feed Neighbors During Pandemic

Portland, OR. The nonprofit Our House provides services to people with HIV including healthcare, housing, occupational therapy, and other vital resources like a food pantry. Now during the pandemic, the Our House food pantry called Esther’s Pantry is helping the larger community. With Esther’s Pantry lifting its usual HIV positive requirement, it has been able to serve 200 community members per week; four times the usual number.

Volunteers at Esther’s Pantry serving the entire community on Wednesdays.

The Portland residential facility serving HIV affected people has continued to operate during COVID even without the support of its 230 volunteers. Director of Development and Communication Dana Kinney said that COVID has been a “great pause,” in which Our House has looked more deeply at its position in the community. The organization typically partners with local restaurants and wineries in its fundraising Dinner Series but realizes it cannot ask for support from these businesses when they are financially struggling. 

“Moving forward, I see more of a multi-beneficial kind of relationship with our community, more than just our community supporting us, but flipping the narrative a little bit and supporting the community,” Kinney said. “We’ve been able to take this situation, this really unknowing situation, and create all these new innovative ways to connect.” 

“The community out at Esther’s Pantry has been phenomenal. We have all these great new community partners, stores and shops that are donating to us, community members that have stepped up,” Kinney said. “Our granters and funders have stepped up, and we’re seeing two to three times the amount of people.” 

While the residential facility cannot accept volunteers due to the vulnerability of its residents, Esther’s Pantry still needs community members to help keep it functioning. Additionally, in light of recent Black Lives Matter activism, Our House is interrogating its racial composition and asking how it can better serve the broader community. 

“When over 90% of the clients we serve are self-identifying as white people, we are missing something,” Kinney said. “Especially since we know people of color, especially Black people, are disproportionately impacted by HIV.” 

Our House has also employed new technology to keep its Neighborhood Housing and Care program functioning. This program helps people living with HIV live independently and usually relies on social workers going into clients’ homes. Now, devices similar to iPads, but far simpler, are keeping caregivers, clients, and families connected via phone trees and Zoom calls.

Kinney said that despite the physical distance, she feels more connected than ever to her coworkers. Now they talk about topics beyond work and do personal check-ins to see how everyone is doing. 

“I don’t know what the future of Our House is, but it’ll be here because there’s a need,” Kinney said. “That’s what social service programs do: the government isn’t able to fulfill a need so we step up and do it.”  

From Our House:

Our House inspires people with HIV to LIVE WELL. Our House provides integrated health and housing services to people with HIV/AIDS.  Guided by compassion, collaboration, and respect, we provide 24-hour specialized care, supportive services, and independent housing with support services.

Our House of Portland Raises $460,000 at Sold Out Glitter Gala

Our House of Portland Raises $460,000 at Sold Out Glitter Gala

Portland, OR. Over 500 supporters came out to support the annual Our House Portland gala. The sold out event raised over $460,000. Auction co-chair Tracy Curtis posed for a photo with Emcee Poison Waters and fellow co-chair Lisa Watson at the February 24th benefit. The Our House Gala “GLITTER” was a Disco themed event. Our House provides healthcare, housing, and other vital services to low-income people living with HIV. (Photo credit, Andie Petkus)

Kate Cary with Executive Director Mary Rita Hurley and Joe Morris 

Our House Board Member and Supporter Andrew Tweedie holds up his bid card.

Board of Directors Chair Bob Speltz supports the cause.

Stephen Cassell, with Mayor Ted Wheeler & Katrina Wheeler

Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, with volunteer Marcia Lovell and Director of Volunteers Kathryn Siebert.

From Our House:

Our House has been part of the Portland community since 1988.  Our services have expanded but our commitment to people living with HIV has remained the same.  HIV is a complex and challenging disease that can often be overwhelming.  The Our House team of expert clinicians works with people with HIV who are having difficulty managing independent living.  They tailor services for each individual that defines what “living well” means to them.

Over the years we have expanded services that now range from regular in-home visits by clinical staff to 24-hour residential skilled nursing services.  As the health of a resident or client improves or declines, we are able to continue to provide services within our continuum of care.

Our programs and services include: Our House, Neighborhood Housing & Care Program, Esther’s Pantry and Tod’s Corner.

Our House maintains an inclusive community where values, experiences and identities are accepted, where respect for differences is shared and where questions, dialogue and education are encouraged.

Non-discrimination – It is the policy of Our House not to discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, marital status, sexual orientation, age, sensory, mental, or physical ability, heritage, ancestry, national origin, political ideology, religion, or creed. This policy includes, but is not limited to, hiring, firing, layoffs, promotions, wages, training, disciplinary action, or any other terms, privileges, condition, or benefits of employment as well as non-discrimination in the providing of any services or activities of the organization.

Our House is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Portland, Oregon (USA).

Can You Volunteer for a Nonprofit? We’re Bringing The Standard’s 2015 Volunteer Expo to You!

Can You Volunteer for a Nonprofit? We’re Bringing The Standard’s 2015 Volunteer Expo to You!

Portland, September 10th, 2015. If you couldn’t join the thousands who flocked to Pioneer Courthouse Square for The Standard’s Annual Volunteer Expo, you’re in luck. We’ve got all the information and website links to explore over 125 local nonprofits that could use your time.

A full list of links of nonprofits is at the bottom of our story.

R. Richard Crockett, (left) is the Program Operations Director & Volunteer Coordinator

R. Richard Crockett, (left) is the Program Operations Director & Volunteer Coordinator at Chess for Success.

Classroom Law Project is a non-profit organization of individuals, educators, lawyers, and civic leaders building strong communities by teaching students to become active citizens.

Classroom Law Project is a non-profit organization of individuals, educators, lawyers, and civic leaders building strong communities by teaching students to become active citizens.

The Standard’s Volunteer Expo has repeat participants year after year, here’s a look at some nonprofits which continue to recruit volunteers:

Jenny Bedell-Stiles and Andy Meeks from Friends of Trees

Jenny Bedell-Stiles and Andy Meeks from Friends of Trees

PHAME Academy's Katie Farewell talks with Casey Rhodes and Clark Hays.

talks with Casey Rhodes and Clark Hays.

Jenny chu from Literary Arts

Jenny Chu from Literary Arts

New Avenues For Youth were a hit because they dished out the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream!

New Avenues For Youth volunteers are a hit every year because they dish out the free Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream!

Rachel Rundles from Oregon Historical Society

Rachel Randles from Oregon Historical Society

The Volunteers of America recruited some new volunteers!

The Volunteers of America recruited some new volunteers!

Special Olympics Oregon was recruiting volunteers.

Special Olympics Oregon has room for coaches and event volunteers.

Newspace Center for Photography

Newspace Center for Photography promoted its multidimensional photography resource center and community hub for students, working artists, professional photographers, educators, and photo-enthusiasts of all types.

Latino Network's Edgar Ortega

Latino Network’s Edgar Ortega

Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro Area had a colorful display.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro Area had a colorful display.

Donations to Work for Art’s Community Fund and Arts Education Fund support more than 80 vital arts and culture organizations every year—encompassing dance, visual arts, music, literary arts, media arts, theater, cultural arts, and arts education

The Work for Art’s Community Fund and Arts Education Fund support more than 80 arts and culture organizations every year—encompassing dance, visual arts, music, literary arts, media arts, theater, cultural arts, and arts education.

IMPACT NW drew interested prospective volunteers who learned that each year over 60,000 low-income children, youth, families, seniors, and adults with disabilities participate in Impact NW’s comprehensive anti-poverty programs.

IMPACT NW drew prospective volunteers who learned that each year over 60,000 low-income children, youth, families, seniors, and adults with disabilities participate in Impact NW’s comprehensive anti-poverty programs.

The YMCA was handing out information about programs.

The YMCA was handing out information about programs.

People who stopped by The Q Center booth were met with a friendly smile.

People who stopped by The Q Center booth were met with a friendly smile.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Oregon Chapter staffers promoted their many volunteer options.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Oregon Chapter staffers promoted their many volunteer options.

Reps from the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon explained their work on behalf of local cats and kittens.

Reps from the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon explained their work on behalf of local cats and kittens.

American Red Cross volunteer recruiters had the trademark red vests!

American Red Cross volunteer recruiters had the trademark red vests!

The mission of the Make-A-Wish Oreogn Foundation® is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

The mission of the Make-A-Wish Oreogn Foundation® is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

Northwest Pilot Project began in 1969 as an all volunteer agency to provide basic supports for seniors at risk of losing their ability to live independently.

Northwest Pilot Project began in 1969 as an all volunteer agency to provide basic supports for seniors at risk of losing their ability to live independently.

Miracle Theatre Group is The Northwest's premiere Latino arts and culture organization.

Miracle Theatre Group is The Northwest’s premiere Latino arts and culture organization.

Camp Fire offers opportunities for volunteers who like to work with kids.

Camp Fire offers opportunities for volunteers who like to work with kids.

Kathy Pienovi from Bridge Meadows

Bridge Meadows is a multi-generation housing community serving Oregon’s vulnerable populations; foster youth, adoptive parents and elders (55+).

Here’s a list of links to charities at the The Standard’s Volunteer Expo. Please consider donating your time, and tell them PortlandSocietyPage.com sent you!

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Human Services

Education

Environment, Animals

Health

Public/Society Benefit