For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven,” famously proclaims the Preacher of Ecclesiastes. (Ecc. 3:1)
In other words, there’s a proper time for everything.
And some might say that when an organization is in the midst of a major transition, that is not the proper time to engage in initiating new things. But life goes on. Opportunities present themselves. Most importantly, the needs of others keep looming over us, crying out to be met.
The People’s Health Clinic is a “pop-up” holistic clinic that has been operating out of Sisters of the Road Café for the past couple of years. When Sisters reassessed its vision, it couldn’t see what part the PHC played in it and asked them to look for another home. They came to Nightwatch.
On its nights of operation, the PHC brings on board a platoon of specialists—naturopathic physicians, acupuncturists, herbalists, massage therapists, Reiki practitioners, and the occasional chiropractor—to provide their healing skills to the indigent and low-income. When we begin working with PHC (which could be as early as this month, once we work out some insurance-related details), its folks will “set up shop” at our Downtown Hospitality Center on an evening it is open to guests, offering health treatment options not currently available through what our volunteer nurses currently provide. In time, the PHC may even be able to work on more than one evening a month.
But that’s not all that’s new.
Ever since September when the Springwater Corridor was “swept” of the 500 or so people who were camping there, we’ve been investigating how we might expand the services of our Mobile Hospitality Center to follow the displaced campers wherever-it-was they went. Of course, that at first required some research to discover where folks were now dispersed. Once we identified several general areas, we then had to find a practical spot where we might “set up shop” ourselves with the Mobile Center for an evening a week. That wasn’t easy. It’s hard persuading landowners to open their property to homeless people, even if it is for as little time as two hours a week. All sorts of fears come to the fore.
But after all these months, it looks like we have finally secured a site in NE Portland. As approval is not yet official, I won’t disclose the particulars right now. But the site meets exactly the specifications of what we’re looking for: one where there is a sizeable homeless population, but where services are few-to-nonexistent. This will add another evening that our Mobile Hospitality Center is in operation. And we think this is something we’ll also have up-and-running in another month or so.
So it may be true that "for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven." But this may just be that time. This may just be that season.