PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – As Oregon struggles with affordable housing and homelessness, a Portland organization is hosting a fundraising gala on Friday to support the homeless community.
The Restoration of Love Gala, run by PDX Saints Love, will showcase stories of people who overcame homelessness and transitioned to shelter and addiction recovery.
PDX Saints Love is a direct outreach organization that connects those facing homelessness to shelter, recovery resources and employment training, Founder and Executive Director Kristle Delihanty told KOIN 6 News.
“At the end of the day, we’re changing not just this life but we’re changing generations of lives because we’re helping these people develop their selves but then turn around and develop their communities,” Delihanty said.
With a staff of seven people, who previously experienced homelessness and addiction, PDX Saints Love makes 350 contacts with the homeless community per week — some of which are duplicated contacts — and connects them to needed resources, Delihanty explained.
While Friday’s gala is sold out, there are still opportunities for community members to support the organization. PDX Saints Love is still accepting sponsorship donations from businesses, families or churches to sponsor a table at the gala.
PDX Saints Love also has an Amazon wish list for wound-care, blankets, coats and other supplies they need throughout the year and accepts monthly sponsors, which Delihanty says is the backbone of the organization.
Delihanty says her work with the homeless community comes after her own experience with homelessness and addiction.
“I just celebrated 10 years out of a 20-year opiate and heroin addiction,” Delihanty said. “I was living unhoused and during that time, my heart was hard, and I was struggling through this hellacious thing. I was still me on the inside, screaming out for someone to just see me and walk with me.”
Delihanty says she wants people to feel heard, seen and valued – knowing they don’t have to seek help alone.