Monthly Archives: August 2016

Concerned about homelessness?

In places large and small across Oregon and Idaho, homelessness is increasing. Why is this happening? What can we do about it? Join us on October 15 at the Tigard United Methodist Church for our fall event: “Homelessness: Relationships and Responses”.¬†Download this flyer for all the details and a registration form. Mail the registration form with your check made out to “MFSA”. Or you can contact registrar Janine Delauney at¬†

The keynote speakers for the morning session will be Paul Schroeder and Rob Justus, both active in the Portland area. In the afternoon there will be a choice of workshops with presenters from cities and churches of varying sizes with different approaches to making a difference.


Paul Schroeder (MDiv) is the founder and executive director of New City Initiative (, a nonprofit whose purpose is that all people should achieve their full human potential, and whose mission is to engage faith communities in ending the cycle of homelessness. A former Greek Orthodox priest, Paul was inspired by his experience with the CUSINA program, which offered Greek cooking classes for people transitioning out of homelessness, to create a network of congregations supporting people’s efforts to end their homelessness. In 2010, Paul started New City Initiative as a project at JOIN, a local homelessness services nonprofit. New City Initiative became its own nonprofit in 2012. He is the author and translator of On Social Justice: St Basil the Great, a collection of homilies by Basil of Caesarea, a 4th-century Christian figure who founded a center called the “new city” that was dedicated to healing the whole person. He is also the creator of Building the New City, an interfaith curriculum on homelessness that has been used by dozens of congregations in the Portland area. In 2012, Paul received the Lamplighter Award from Operation Nightwatch for his organizing work in the faith community around family homelessness. In 2015, he received the Lowenstein Trust Award at Portland City Hall, which is awarded each year to “that person who demonstrated (in the opinion of the Trustees) the greatest contribution to assisting the poor and underprivileged in the city of Portland, Oregon.”

Rob Justus founded JOIN in 1992, an organization to support the efforts of homeless individuals and families to transition out of homelessness into permanent housing. JOIN focused on individuals sleeping outside in the Portland Metro area and launched “housing first” as a model for helping transition people into housing. Rob has a long history working with nonprofits and church communities around the issues of homeless and housing. In addition to work on housing, Rob has worked with CASH Oregon creating innovative approaches to increase income for low income Oregonians.