Despite perceptions, nonprofits like Impact NW find homes for the homeless

May 5, 2023

Rosa’s story shows how nonprofits succeed despite public perceptions and frustrations

As Rosa and her family know, nonprofits in the Portland area help people find permanent housing every day. Impact NW is among dozens of nonprofits that succeed in reducing homelessness despite public perceptions and frustrations about the community response.

“We operate outside the radar,” said Andy Nelson, Impact NW’s Executive Director. “While these debates are happening about what to do, Impact NW and dozens of other nonprofits are doing it.”

Rosa and her family were homeless for six years – sleeping on couches, in cars and camping in the gorge. That’s when they found Impact NW and social worker Meg.

“It started as a surprise,” says Rosa.

But it quickly became obvious that Meg and Impact NW would be the solution that Rosa and her family were looking for. With evictions on their record, the family needed help immediate relief plus help navigating potential solutions. Meg helped the family find food and a place to store their belongings. She also provided the human touch that nonprofits know is crucial to success.

“People deserve to be treated with compassion,” says Meg. “We all deserve to feel connected to our communities regardless of our housing status.”

With Meg and Impact NW’s help, Rosa and her family now live in a four-bedroom house, big enough for everyone.

Impact NW will highlight Rosa and her story at its We Are Impact event on Thursday, May 18 at 6:30pm. The free, online event is just an hour, but packed with powerful messages of hope. Rosa will tell her family’s story and highlight the pivotal role of nonprofits such as Impact NW in reducing homelessness. All proceeds raised from the We Are Impact event will go directly towards Impact NW and fuel its vital mission of preventing homelessness in the Portland-Vancouver area.

To sign up to attend the We Are Impact event on Thursday May 18, at 6:30pm, register here. More event information can also be found at