‘These are human beings’: Home PDX helps area homeless


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A local non-profit is reaching out to the homeless population every week, in hopes of making a difference as Portland’s homeless crisis continues to grow.

Bruce Arnold, who helps run Home PDX, doesn’t always know if anyone is inside these tents, but that doesn’t prevent him from stopping at every tent or structure and learning their names and making connections.

Armed with a wagon full of hot drinks and food, Arnold and others from Home PDX visit different areas each Wednesday morning. He describes Home PDX as a mobile church with no property and no agenda.

“They’re wired for, ‘why are you here? Why are you at my tent? What’s going on?’ So, it’s really strange to them when they realize these guys don’t have an agenda. They don’t have a handout, they don’t have a schtick. They’re just here to give us some food, give us some coffee. So, it’s fun to watch faces,” Arnold said.

Arnold has been doing this for more than 10 years and has helped some of the homeless he’s met with counseling, court appointments and he’s visited some in the hospital and even jail.

“Sometimes it’s seeing people move on. Sometimes it’s seeing people make it for 10 straight years,” Arnold said.

When KOIN 6 News was with Arnold near OMSI, he talked to Jason, who had just swept up an abandoned camp. It was clear from Jason, that Arnold and his team are making an impact.

“I’m a Christian pacifist so I’m like, ‘Can we resolve this without fighting?’ So, apparently there was a big fight with the people in the yellow tent and Jason was like, ‘In honor of you, we settled it diplomatically,’” Arnold said.

After their morning run, Home PDX has a quick turnaround — heading to camps that are too far out to get normal services so they can deliver lunches.

“These are human beings, same as me, made the same way I was made so, here I am,” Arnold said.

On Sundays, Home PDX also does a large lunch by the Willamette riverside and Mondays and Tuesdays they help with lunches, showers, laundry and charging electrics.

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