A Home With Dignity Having The Right to Dream

Part two

 Maintaining Dignity when you don’t have ownership of  your own bathroom that  often ‘taken for granted’ amenity becomes a  luxury. SISTERS OUT OF DOORWAYS Sisters provides a home for clean safe facilities. The volunteer chosen to monitor their laboratories one Thursday afternoon was I.  My past experience a few decades ago as a patrol monitor in a NY City elementary school never offered the lessons of service with the deepest kind of humility needed to humbly maintain the flow of the use of these truly essential amenities.

 I felt fortunate to be suddenly switched to another job requiring  no less humbling energy. SISTERS RIGHT TO DREAMHowever, it was a  job I was much more familiar with – searching out  small  plastic numbers hidden amongst coats and enormous piles of belongings on tables and counters where our hungry customers awaited .

 Plating and serving  nutritious food with the amazing  Sisters team-  the trustworthy staff  and regular and part time volunteers was like working as one . Feeling  like we were perfectly integrated. A home encircled embraced by the  flow of humanity. 

My  well intentioned waiter mannerisms  didn’t exactly fit with folks who didn’t meet my eyes or often acknowledge my presence.  Kindness met an unexpected response of  extreme fragility. Sharing the same light and warmth  but living on different planets. SISTERS NON VIOLENCE

 During my first tearful introduction to Sisters  I was very curious what the meaning of and how Sisters stressed the values of  non violence, social justice and a home with dignity.

 This is the real story of the Sisters Community. 

Learning appropriate ways to care and hold the space to  comfortably be inside of one own skin. Learning to how to offer dignity unconditionally.

You people are like my family. I come here when I need time to be strong. Thank you.” – a Sisters Customer

 NEXT UPProceeding to order and Vouchers.

SISTERS cafe-shot-by-rebecca-koffman-for-oregonianWith Dignity Having The Right to Dream of Mercy

Serving Through Dignity Those Who Do Not Own a Safe Living Space

Serving with Dignity those do not own a safe living space.

 Sisters of the Road Café- Portland Oregon   sisters frontAt long last i  had the chance to fill a two hr work shift at Sisters last week. The shift was preceded by a 2hr Intro session the week before listening in with a diverse 6th grade class of  12 yr olds.  Lindsey the able volunteer coordinator shared  the rich history and vision that Sisters creates their unique community, nourishing and  serving their stakeholders, the volunteers and the staff.

Since 1979, Sisters has operated in the Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood. At that time,  the Cafe was anonymously christened when a circle containing three Xs – the hobo symbol for good food and hospitality – was chalked on the pavement outside the restaurant door. This symbol became Sisters’ logo.sisters xxx

Sisters’ customers, volunteers and staff have been creating community for more than three decades by building long term, stable and mutually supportive relationships. Creating a safe, hospitable space which offers delicious, nourishing food are our priorities in the Cafe. From the Sisters website. Go to http://sistersoftheroad.org

sisters food For many years I have been truly blessed to serve on a number of non-profit boards serving less fortunate  sisters and brothers around the world.  Working intimately on boards with lovely folks is truly a transformational experience by discovering our own God given natural talents and abilities.  Yet the 18 yrs working on organizational process left a silent yearning within me to  rub shoulders with the stakeholders I have served long distance.   For this spoiled privileged American Suburbanite there was some fear of facing myself in the mirror of the eyes of the not so invisible less fortunate  in our city.

sisters dinersMy life experience has never reached the true bottomless depths of not knowing where you are going to sleep, eat or have the hope of human touch and belonging.   So my first job I was assigned to at the Café was perfect.

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Opening Doorways into Oregon’s  Castles . CapeCods.  2nd Homes. Investment  Props

 Part two to follow