Sponsor a Shelter Dinner
Every night, our East Multnomah County emergency shelters host up to 230 people experiencing homelessness. We provide residents with three meals daily while they stay with us, which adds up to nearly 700 meals a day. Our network of resources, when stitched together, ensures we have meals available when they’re needed most. One essential part of this plan is our shelter dinners, sponsored by community members like you.
What Is a Sponsored Dinner?
In short: You or your group covers the cost of a meal that’s cooked by a local restaurant of your choice and served to residents in any one (or combination) of our emergency shelters. Your role is primarily financial. Weekends are the most-needed time for these dinners, so we like to host them on Saturdays and Sundays when we can. It’s a great way to support a local restaurant (they need some love because of the pandemic) and share delicious food with community members.
Our three shelters – Gresham Women’s Shelter, Lilac Meadows and Chestnut Tree Inn – host about 40, 60 and 120 people, respectively, on any given night. Our top need is at our Chestnut Tree Inn shelter because it lacks an onsite kitchen, but sponsoring a dinner at any one of these shelters provides residents with a quality meal cooked by a local restaurant, which means you’ll be meeting an essential need while supporting a local business. If you’d like our help picking a restaurant, we’ll prioritize working with a BIPOC-owned restaurant within our service area.
How Much Does it Cost?
We’ve had people sponsor a dinner at one of our smaller shelters for about $250. Cost can go up from there depending on the restaurant selected and the shelter where you want the meal served. If you have a specific budget, we can often work directly with a restaurant to craft a meal based on funds available.
While some donors can swing the cost on their own, we love sponsored dinners as an opportunity to fundraise within your networks. People sometimes choose to fundraise in honor of someone or in celebration of a birthday, or they’ll partner with members in their community (such as their neighborhood, book club, knitting group, religious organization, Rotary and more!) to amplify fundraising efforts.
How Do I Get Started?
Please reach out to our team directly! We’ll answer your questions, help you choose a restaurant if you don’t already have one in mind, help coordinate with the restaurant, and manage the logistics of scheduling and hosting your sponsored dinner.