Bringing sisterhood to the streets

Emily Neelon |

It’s a freezing night on the streets of Portland. The rain seeps into your clothing, chilling your bones as you seek refuge from the weather. The darkness gives each person walking down the street a dangerous edge, anxious energy surging through your body as you grip your belongings closer to you. Your stomach pangs with hunger, a reminder that your next meal could be hours or days away. You hopelessly wander on down the street, head down and heart heavy.

According to a recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are approximately 4,000 homeless men, women and children in Multnomah County. Of this population, homeless women often fall victim to violence and go without basic necessities.

This is where Rahab’s Sisters comes in.

Founded in December of 2003, Rahab’s Sisters is a non-profit organization offering “radical hospitality” to women who have been adversely affected by the sex industry, domestic violence, poverty, and substance abuse.

With a vision to transform Portland into a city where all women are safe from physical and sexual exploitation, Rahab’s Sisters serves women of all faiths with a promise of no judgment or questions.

Women are invited to join in a nutritious  meal and conversation at Saints Peter and Paul Episcopal Church on Southeast 82nd Ave on Friday evenings from 7-10 p.m. Through these Friday night dinners, Rahab’s Sisters hopes to offer spiritual and material support and cultivate community among a group of marginalized individuals who would otherwise be wandering the streets.

Rahab’s Sisters welcomes donations of food, personal health products, financial contributions and time from volunteers to keep their organization running.

They is visiting PRP throughout next week to talk more about their efforts to bring sisterhood to struggling women. Below we hear from Rahab’s Sisters president Kimberly McClain, director Mary Dettmann and volunteer Sarah Johnson.


4 replies
  1. Kimberly McClain
    Kimberly McClain says:

    Thanks for the write up Emily. We at Rahab’s Sisters are always appreciative to those who help us get the word out about our all-volunteer non profit and the work we do! Thanks again!
    Kimberly McClain
    President, Rahab’s Sisters

  2. Delayne ONIel
    Delayne ONIel says:

    i am interested in finding out more information on the program. I understand homelessness as I have been there. I am interested in volunteer work and donating when I can

  3. Mary Dettmann
    Mary Dettmann says:

    Thank you so much for the opportunity to tell folks who listen to PRP about Rahab’s Sisters. It was great to have our time with PRP last over several days which has given us a chance to have the volunteers and guests tell how Rahab’s impacts their lives as well as a chance to discuss the bigger picture of what Rahab’s is and why. Emily’s article is right on the mark as well. Thanks to you all.

  4. Mary Dettmann
    Mary Dettmann says:

    Emily and friends,
    Regarding Rahab’s Sisters in Community Voices…I don’t see pod cast of Thursday March 5 with the earlier ones. Would it be possible to include it as well?
    Thank you


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