PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Jade was working as a cashier when she suffered a brain injury. From there, her life took a downward trend to life on the streets.

“Anywhere I parked was my home,” she said. “I would park my car right here and this is where I would sit in the morning and have a cup of coffee. The bench was your living room, the dining room. It was the living room where I got dressed in the morning, where I fed my dog.”

Jade eventually found the help she needed when an agency told her about the Sunshine Division. They helped her with food and clothes as she was moving off the streets after receiving a housing grant. Then once she was on her feet working, she had to quit her job because of her disability — and Sunshine Division was there once again.

“It’s kind of been a life raft because I know they’re here. I used them when I was houseless and then, you know, I got back on my feet. And then as the pandemic and the fires, you know, started, and being able to go outside because of my injury, my brain injury, they were there for me. They’ve been like a super lifesaver.”

Kyle Camberg heads up the Sunshine Division and as COVID hit he saw the need for home delivery of food boxes.

Kyle Camberg of the Sunshine Division, April 2022 (KOIN)

“We launched the program and we thought it was a 10-week pilot. And here we are 2 years later,” Camberg told KOIN 6 News. “Over 77,000 home deliveries have been made and frankly it’s almost unbelievable. I can’t believe we were able to accomplish that.”

Sunshine Division is now continuing to provide home delivery to those in need, like one woman in North Portland. Beverly lives in an affordable housing unit. Money is tight. The box of food means everything.

“It’s been very helpful,” she said. “My health is better than it was before. It’s been a godsend.”

Home delivery of the food boxes means Sunshine Division is now reaching those who needed help and were slipping through the cracks.

“We realized we were able to reach a whole new demographic of clients that we are still continuing to serve today,” said another Sunshine Division worker. “That’s why this program is so important, is that we can still serve the most vulnerable neighbors in need.”

Next year Sunshine Division will celebrate its 100th year. It’s a simple program started by Portland police officers who pooled their resources to help those they saw who needed help while they worked their beats.

“I can’t tell you how many calls and emails I have had over the past years from someone that said, ‘I never had to ask for help before but my world got turned upside down,'” Camberg said.

Sunshine Division is a legacy of being there when people need a little assistance, that when times are dark people can get the basics to get by.

Join KOIN 6 on Thursday for a Special Day of Giving for Sunshine Division.

A food delivery box from Sunshine Division, April 2022 (KOIN)