Portland Place provides 46 units of secure, rent geared to income housing with programs and supports for men, women and families who face a range of ongoing challenges that make finding and keeping appropriate housing extremely difficult. The tenants are welcomed into a commuity that offers in-house supports to enable them to stabilize their lives. They learn that they are honoured and valued.
More than just housing, they find a long-term home. They get to know and enjoy each other at weekly community meals, movies and seasonal social events. Life skills such as budgeting, shopping, laundry and cooking are learned in one on one sessions or in small groups. Everyone gets a birthday cake. Some of the most moving events are the memorial services when the tenants share their memories of a neighbour who will be profoundly missed.
Functioning like a large family, the tenants, staff and volunteers share the joys and sorrows of life together.
A home is more than a shelter. It is part of one’s security, identity, privacy, and hospitality. Being homeless is not only a physical deprivation. In many ways that most of us can scarcely conceive, homelessness subjects a person to experiences and problems that undermine his or her sense of worth as a human being.
To provide, on a caring Christian foundation, a stable and supportive housing environment to those homeless and hard-to-house individuals who would benefit from assistance in improving their current life situation.
Portland Place strives to assist each individual to live to his or her maximum potential through the provision of programs that teach life skills and community living skills and which encourage a sense of self-worth and self-esteem.
Portland Place opened its doors in 1991. It was developed as a “sister” mission to Evangel Hall. We are grateful for the vision and hard work of individuals who served on the Board of Evangel Hall through the late 80’s who brought the dream to reality.
The Board of Directors consists of nine members, three of whom are tenants elected by the tenants of Portland Place. Six others are nominated by the Presbytery of East Toronto, a governing body of The Presbyterian Church in Canada. Portland Place has 3 full time and 7 part time staff that provide tenant support, life skill programming, administration and building maintenance.
“How do we measure success? Not by the methods used by much of society. We celebrate the ‘little’ victories. We rejoice when a tenant learns to budget and has money in hand during the last week of the month; when a tenant starts to attend community meals regularly; when a tenant tries a new program such as drama; when two tenants learn to accept each other. At milestone moments such as birthdays we are reminded just how long a tenant has been able to keep their housing, and just how many positive changes they have made in their lives during that time.” — Norma McClure, Past General Manager