Serving the Hungry in O’Bryant Square, Rain or Shine
POTLUCK IN THE PARK IS MOVING
O’Bryant Square Garage Closure Forces Temporary Move to Waterfront Park
Potluck is TEMPORARILY moving our meal service to Waterfront Park under the Hawthorne Bridge ramp. This will take effect Sunday, November 19. Temporary closure of the parking garage under O’Bryant Square necessitated this move in order to have some cover from the elements during the winter months. More on the garage closure below.
Guests in attendance were notified last Sunday and flyers have been distributed to the usual locations downtown and the surrounding area. We hope everyone gets the word, but we will have signs up at O’Bryant Square for those who don’t. If you would like to volunteer to spend time at O’Bryant Square during the meal one of the next few weeks to direct people or transport some who can’t make the walk, please contact us.
We will be using this Waterfront Park location until the end of February, then returning to O’Bryant Square. If the garage there is opened to us before then, we will move back as soon as it is available.
If you are driving down to volunteer there is ample parking immediately adjacent to our serving area. This is a paying lot, the Sunday day rate is $4.50.
This lot is tricky to access and easy to miss. It, too, is under the bridge ramp.
You can only access it from NORTHBOUND on Naito Parkway. You will have to go south to at least Columbia Street to get on Naito before the parking lot. The entrance is immediately after the on-ramp to the Hawthorne Bridge. If you miss that entrance there is a second one.
This location also has difficult access for pedestrians.
The safest access for able-bodied persons who can negotiate stairs is to use the sidewalk on the south side of SW Madison to go up the ramp to the bridge. Take the second stairway down, just before the bridge, directly into our area. We will have a sign at the stairway. This avoids having to cross Naito on foot.
Persons who can’t use stairs will need to cross Naito either at SW Main (or points north) or SW Columbia (or points south). There are lights at both the Main and Columbia crosswalks. There are no safe pedestrian crossings between these streets.
Potluck has been allowed the use of this garage since we were first moved to O’Bryant Square 21 years ago. It’s owned by the City and operated as a SmartPark garage by Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT).
Nearly since the beginning of our time here the ceiling has leaked water anytime it rained. It’s become worse over the years, sometimes taking up to an hour to duct tape towels to the concrete beams to keep water from dripping on our serving line. However, we’ve always been able to manage and never felt there was any danger to being there.
Last spring we began hearing rumors of a possible closure of the garage. Although we made it clear to PBOT that we would need some lead time if they were to close it that decision was made abruptly in late August citing safety concerns due to the leaks and disintegrating concrete. We were given one more Sunday before it closed to all users.
PBOT has an outside structural engineering firm contracted to do an analysis of the integrity of the garage, what it would take to fix it and whether there is any immediate safety hazard. Their report is due “around the end of the year”. We are hopeful this will come back with either an easy solution or a determination that there is no hazard to its use now.
If the garage stays closed passed March 1st our only alternative presently is to purchase and network together multiple pop-up canopies to cover the serving area. This will still leave guests out in the weather to eat. This is not what we want to do.
Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R) has offered us this space as the only alternative they could come up with among their properties. It’s far from ideal. It’s a long way for some of our guests with disabilities and it means crossing a very busy arterial in Naito Parkway.
Rain or shine, 52 weeks a year, hundreds of needy people have a hot meal and a community gathering place because generous supporters like you. Understanding food is a human right and hunger is a human wrong. Every Sunday for twenty-five years Potluck in the Park volunteers have prepared and served healthy wholesome meals with dignity and kindness. The secret to Potluck in the Park’s staying power is the story of its people. Our tenacious teams of career-volunteers have inspired thousands of other volunteers to donate their time, talent and money to fight hunger in Portland. Their dedication and passion has made Potluck in the Park a touchstone for a community in crisis.
1930’s Hobo SignsDuring the Great Depression of the 1930’s “hobo signs” were scratched on pavement or fence posts in front of houses across the country. The symbol of the smiling cat meant, “Kindhearted Woman” – someone who could be counted upon for a friendly word and perhaps a warm meal. In hobo language it was a high complement; today it still is. Potluck in the Park has adopted the smiling cat to symbolize what we stand for: A safe haven, rain or shine. We have been serving warm meals to those in need since 1991.
Potluck will be celebrating 25 years of service with another big BBQ and Resource Fair on Sunday, August 28th. This is a very special celebration – the last one was our 20th Anniversary in 2011. We will move to the South Park Blocks on the PSU campus for the day to have more room and shade and will be barbecuing on site. Note the special start time of 2pm this Sunday only.
What is Give!Guide?
Willamette Week’s Give Guide (G!G) is Portland’s easiest path to year-end giving. G!G showcases small, medium and large organizations whose missions fall into eight categories: Animals, Civil & Human Rights, Creative Expression, Community, Education, Environment, Health & Wellness and Human Services. In thirteen years, G!G has raised over $16 million for hundreds of local nonprofits. Last year, WW readers gave $3,501,400 to 143 Portland organizations and the Oregon Cultural Trust.
Potluck in the Park is honored to be one of only 139 nonprofits in 8 categories, to be chosen to participate this year. The minimum gift can be as small as 10$ so it makes giving for almost everyone affordable. Please help fight hunger in Portland.
What are the “Big Give Days”?
Any donor who makes a minimum gift of $10 through Give!Guide (on days listed below) has an opportunity to be chosen at random to win a great incentive prize. Over the past few years, G!G has experienced significant giving on these days. Last year, these four days raised over $887,650 combined. Examples of incentives: a bicycle; a ping pong party ice cream party for 80; a case of distilled spirits.
Nov. 3 – Portland Trail Blazers – 2 lower-level tickets to 2 games and a signed jersey from C.J. McCollum.
Nov. 10 – Powells Books – $500 Shopping Spree.
Nov. 17 – Portland Thorns & Timbers – 4 tickets to a 2017 Portland Timbers home match with a team signed jersey and 4 scarves. 10 tickets to a 2017 Portland Thorns home match, postgame autograph passes and a team signed jersey. 10 tickets to a 2016 Portland Timbers2 home match.
Nov. 29 – Bike Gallery – Bike Giveaway.
Dec. 8 – Salt & Straw and Pip’s & Bounce – Salt & Straw ice cream party for 60 people at Pip’s & Bounce ping pong bar.
Dec. 15 – TBA
Visit our Facebook page for updates
The Skidmore Prize
Last year G!G raised $3,145,095 with 10,276 individual gifts. Every year, Willamette Week honors four Portlanders 35 and under who do fabulous work for local nonprofits by awarding them the Skidmore Prize. Winners must work at a local nonprofit, be 35 and under, and make $35,000 a year or less. This year there are 2 prizes (1500 & 500$) to the non-profit in each category with the most donors 35 & under.
It’s easy! Just click. Be watching for links to the 2017 Give!Guide coming in November of 2017.
Mark your calendars now for Potluck in the Park’s annual fundraiser on Saturday, October 28, 2017, at the historic Tiffany Center in Portland, OR. Don’t miss this exciting evening of music and community involvement featuring performances by:
TOM GRANT and band
MICHELE VAN KLEEF
Click here to purchase tickets or learn more about this exciting event benefiting Potluck in the Park, a volunteer driven, grass roots, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which has been serving a free hot meal to anyone in need since 1991 every Sunday at O’Bryant Square in downtown Portland.
Tickets available at: www.auctria.com
$75 -Silver level table seating, appetizers, family style dinner, two complimentary drink tickets, and concert
$45 -Theater concert seating in ballroom, includes appetizers, one complimentary drink ticket per guest, and concert
Table and sponsorship options available. For more information, contact email@example.com If you can’t attend, please consider making a donation.
Location: TIFFANY CENTER
1410 SW Morrison
Portland, Oregon 97205
“We are honored to partner with Potluck in the Park to host a Free Christmas Dinner again this year. When Potluck in the Park leadership approached the Museum three years ago to host the annual event, due to the closing of the YWCA, we knew it was something we wanted to do. The Portland Art Museum aspires to be a resource for all and we are honored that our celebrated facilities and collections can be used to serve those most in need. It is truly a unique opportunity for the Museum and Potluck in the Park to not only nourish bodies, but also souls.” — Brian Ferriso
We’re pleased to say that volunteer opportunities for our annual free Christmas Dinner fill up fast. Be watching for the opening of registration, if you are not signed up to receive our newsletter – click here to sign up and you will be notified when registration for volunteering is open.
How you can contribute:
For baked goods, please use our contact form to let us know how you wish to contribute. Or you can donate directly to Potluck in the Park through our secure PayPal link, just click on the red DONATE NOW button at the top of the page.
Please take a few moments to watch this short video and learn more about Potluck in the Park.