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Helpful Reading: Why It Is Important to Take a "Hands Off" Approach Toward an Acting-Out Individual

In the latest newsletter of the Crisis Prevention Institute--the folks who bring you Nonviolent Crisis Intervention raging manTraining--there is a brief enlightening article about what's happening neurochemically in someone's brain when they're physically act out. Brain scans show that the primitive, non-rational parts of their brain get all the bloodflow, which means that even a gently supportive touch may set them off. The best intervention technique is therefore to back off, and let the person blow off steam while waiting for help to arrive.

To read the entire artlcle, click here.

Makeover Night Coming to SE!

When we offered Makeover Night at our spa overviewDowntown Hospitality Center, it proved a great uplift to our women guests, boosting their self-image and self-esteem.

On August 23, we will be bring Makeover Night to our women in SE.

We're looking for contributions. Do you have any spare make-up, nail polish, emory boards, fragrances, jewelry, scarves, etc. to donate? Contact us if you do. You can make some of our neglected women guests feel very happy!

No Favorites, Please

One of our regular guests came by the Nightwatch office last week with a grievance. His complaint was that he saw too many volunteers playing favorites among the guests. When food was no favoritesserved, some guests typically got served first, being able to choose from the best things. (He even knew that some guests had some food set aside especially for them.) And he could easily point out how some volunteers sat with the same guests all the time while ignoring the others.

He was quite mad. He felt he was being treated as much a second-class citizen at Nightwatch as he was on the streets. A better version of hospitality was being offered to a few, while he felt barely any.

He had a point. And we cannot allow this to happen. While it is certainly true that some guests are more easy to get along with than others, we must intentionally do all that we can to treat all our guests EQUALLY. We may gravitate to some rather than others because those “others” have habits that are so off-putting, but it’s precisely because of those off-putting habits that they need someone to have patience with them, since they likely suffer the most from social isolation.

Please, don’t socially isolate them yourselves. Please: play no favorites!

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!

To sign up, call or text us at 503-220-0438, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or click here to go to our online Volunteer Calendar.

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 guestsmodel steam locomotive 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!