Operation Nightwatch is a non-sectarian night ministry of friendship and community
that has been serving Portland’s street population since 1981.
Whereas other agencies exist to provide services such as housing, food, and clothing to the homeless, low-income, and mentally ill, ONW’s unique vision is that these populations also suffer from simple social isolation. Our simple mission is to reach out to them, nurturing relationship.
We welcome each person who comes to us, just as they are. No one is required to conform to any particular belief or faith practice in order to receive our services.
VIDEO: "Introducing Operation Nightwatch"
Downtown Hospitality Center Closed Friday, but Week's Volunteer Needs Remain High
St, Stephen's Church needs the use of their Parish Hall this Friday night, so our Downtown Hospitality Center will not be in operation. But we still have a high need for volunteers downtown on Thursday and Saturday. WE CURRENTLY DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH VOLUNTEERS ON EITHER NIGHT TO OPEN.
And our SE Hospitality Center always needs help on Saturdays. We serve full meals there, and when there are 90 people seeking to be fed, the more hands available to help, the better!
Look What's Coming Down the Track!
The O&NW is the name we’ve given to a new start-up we’ve begun at Nightwatch which has as its project to build a model railroading layout.
Model railroading at Nightwatch? It’s not at frivolous as it may sound. The world in which our guests live is one where they exercise absolutely no control—and that sense of personal powerlessness can lead not only to mental and physical disorders (from depression to autoimmune deficiencies), but also to unhealthy acting-out behaviors (e.g. substance abuse and petty crime). To take on a project through which they construct a miniature community of their own can give them a world over which they feel they have some control. To build something with a goal in mind can give purpose, if not meaning.
The O&NW is rather an ambitious project, however. It requires resources to follow through on it, more than we currently have on hand. But you may have some at home to help us get started.
Here are some things we could use right now to get the O&NW up and running:
- Scrap lumber: used pallets, 2x4s, 4x4s, and plywood
- Plastic ground covers / tarps
- Drop cloths
And if you have any old model train components gathering dust in your attic, we could certainly use them too! (We’ll be modeling in HO scale.)
We’ll keep you posted on our progress. We’ve already got a group that’s done some brainstorming, and some exciting proposals we’re pursuing!
Downtown Center Adopts Summer Hours
Beginning July 1st, we will be adopting “summer hours” at our Downtown Hospitality Center, meaning that instead of running from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. we will be closing an hour earlier at 10:00 p.m.
If you’ve been thinking of volunteering, but the thought of staying until 11 seemed too daunting, this is your chance. We’ll be observing this truncated schedule through July and August.