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Transition Projects Charity Profile
Transition Projects is a private nonprofit agency governed by a volunteer board of directors. Our mission is to serve people's basic needs as they transition from homelessness to housing. With four locations in Portland, Oregon, Transition Projects serves homeless single adults throughout the metropolitan area. The agency is a catalyst for helping people end their homelessness.
The Transition Projects story begins on November 1, 1969 when a young priest, the Reverend Gilbert N. Lulay, leased a hotel on the corner of NW 2nd and Couch in Portland's Old Town. There was room for 20 homeless men. Men with nowhere to go would knock on the door and find somewhere where they could sleep and be safe. At some point early on, Lulay began calling his work Burnside Projects.
In March of 1970, Lulay sent a letter to a group of 13 churches that were concerned about the inner city called HUB-CAP. The group included Lake Oswego Methodist, St. Mary's Cathedral and Downtown Chapel. He invited the pastors of these churches to spend a night at Burnside Projects. Two months later, HUB-CAP helped incorporate Burnside Projects. Its five founding board members were: Rev. Gilbert N. Lulay, Rev. Louis H. Weis, Fred Abojian, Rev. Richard Hughes and Jean Vollum.
Our founding mission was: "To provide lodging, food and other assistance for poor and homeless men." The agency also distinguished itself by not requiring people to "sing for their supper"-that is, pray before they received assistance.
Burnside Projects grew and changed. The agency quickly realized that homeless women were also in great need and began serving them. In 1974, it hired its first paid staff. In time, the agency operated adult shelter, youth shelter, an alcohol and drug outpatient program, day shelter, an employment program, a clean-up center, and many other programs.
In 1986, Mayor Bud Clark's 12-point plan on homelessness increased Portland's efforts to end homelessness, and Burnside Projects would join with the City and other providers to find solutions to homelessness.
In 1991 Burnside Projects changed its name to Transition Projects to reflect our work of helping people transition out of homelessness.
Transition Projects participated in Portland's shelter reconfiguration plan that resulted in the closing of one shelter run by the county, and the opening of two run by Transition Projects. In 1997, the agency opened Jean's Place, a 55-bed program for women. It was, and remains, a model program for transitioning women out of homelessness. The following year, the agency opened the Clark Center, a 90-bed shelter for men in Portland's industrial east side.
In 2004, Transition Projects joined with other community providers and the City of Portland to offer a response to the Department of Housing and Urban Development's mandate to create 10-year plans to end homelessness. Portland's 10-year plan is among the best in the nation, and often cited as a model for other cities.
In 2007, the agency opened the Clark Center Annex, 22 units of permanent supportive housing for men.
In 2009, Transition Projects commemorates 40 years of service to the community. With the City of Portland and the Housing Authority of Portland, we will break ground later this year on the Resource Access Center, a major new effort to provide solutions to homelessness.
Today, Transition Projects serves more than 9,000 people each year. We shelter or house nearly 300 people every day and provide a menu of services to homeless and low-income persons. Transition Projects is the catalyst for helping people transition out of homelessness and onto the rest of their lives. Your support makes that possible.