Thank you for wanting to learn more about our organization and the program and services we offer our members. Below are the questions we frequently get asked at our community education events.

If you have an upcoming meeting or event, and you are looking for a dynamic speaker to address housing, homelessness, or trauma-informed practices from an authentic perspective, please contact Raven Russell by email at r.brown@helpinghandsreentry.org. Alan Evans, CEO of Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers, has extensive public speaking experience, from small groups, service club meetings, and audiences of thousands. To inquire about scheduling Alan as a keynote speaker, breakout session leader, motivational speaker, or program speaker, Please include:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Location for event
  • A/V availability
  • Who the audience will be: age group, affiliations
  • Any specific or focused topic requests

Frequently Asked Questions

Who will you serve at Bybee Lakes Hope Center?

Helping Hands provides services to those experiencing homelessness who are ready to make sustainable changes to achieve self-sufficiency. We serve men, women and children and operate sober campuses. We have two eligibility requirements for our clients: you must be willing to be clean and sober during your stay with us and you cannot be a registered sex offender.

Do people have to be sober to participate?

Helping Hands operates clean and sober campuses and about half of the clients we serve have a history with drug or alcohol addiction. Many of the people we serve have a recent history with alcohol or drug abuse and we do not require any certain length of sobriety before enrolling in the Helping Hands programs. Once in the program, all clients are subject to frequent and random drug and alcohol testing. Any continuing substance use is grounds for immediate exit from the program.

How many people will you serve at Bybee Lakes Hope Center?

Helping Hands will open 228 beds during the first year of operation. The total capacity for the facility is 525. We are phasing in operations to meet the demand for services to ensure a sustainable program.

Do you think BLHC is too far out of town to serve the clients?

No. The property is about 15 minutes from downtown Portland, near the St. Johns neighborhood. Public transportation is available within three blocks of the property. Because our model is highly collaborative, our community partners will offer trauma-informed services on site reducing our clients’ transportation needs. Being located near the Port of Portland means there are several employers within walking distance to the facility.

How do you make a referral to the program?

Referrals to BLHC will be accepted from registered community partners from the Portland Metro Area only.

How do you register to be a community partner who can refer to the program?

All community partners who would like to refer clients to BLHC will need to attend an on-site training at the Hope Center to register. The training will include an overview of the programs and services Helping Hands offers, as well as a trauma-informed guideline for how to screen for eligibility. The first trainings will be offered by Helping Hands staff by the end of Summer 2020. Please sign up for our newsletter to stay informed on future training opportunities.

How long can people stay?

Helping Hands takes a person-centered approach, so we do not impose a time limit on program duration. Clients work one-on-one with case management and as long as they continue to make progress, follow program rules and stay current on membership program dues, they can stay as long as they need.

Do clients have to pay to participate in your program?

Helping Hands has found that clients who pay membership dues to participate have better outcomes because they are financially and emotionally invested in their success. We offer 30- or 60-day scholarships based on client need. Membership dues are generally half of the operational cost per person and at our current facilities that cost is around $250 monthly. Helping Hands fundraises to offer scholarships and to fund the remainder of the operational costs.

Will you be able to take pets?

Yes, we will have a limited capacity to house clients’ dogs and cats as needed at this facility since we have so much space to work with at Bybee Lakes Hope Center. We will always accept service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act: https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm

Can clients come and go from the facility whenever they want?

Yes, clients will treat this facility as their home and will have open access to it at all times. If a client wishes to leave overnight, they will need to request a leave of absence from the program from our staff.

What is the success rate of your program?

The Helping Hands Reentry Program has a decade long track record of helping clients achieve success. 90% of our clients who enroll in the Reentry Program complete their Individual Reentry Plan and three years later 80% of women and 75% of men are still maintaining independent housing.

Where will clients go when they complete your program?

Helping Hands is working on establishing partnerships and building relationships with local landlords and property owners to create long-term housing solutions for our clients. We have found in our experience that once landlords understand the support and life skills our clients have built during their time with us, they are more likely to give our clients an opportunity to rent. Members of the Rental Housing Alliance Oregon Board have expressed an interest in partnering with us to teach our clients good tenant practices and skills at Bybee Lakes Hope Center.

When do you plan to open Bybee Lakes Hope Center?

Our goal is to complete renovations over the summer so we can open our doors before the cold weather season.

Is there any public funding for Bybee Lakes Hope Center?

Helping Hands is not asking for city, county, or state funding for the start up costs or first two years of operational costs at Bybee Lakes Hope Center.

What services will your clients have access to at Bybee Lakes Hope Center?

Helping Hands is working to establish relationships with community partners to provide necessary services on site. We hope to find partners who will provide addiction services, mental and physical health services, health insurance enrollment, food insecurity programs enrollment, securing government issued documents (identification, social security cards, birth certificates), employment assistance and vocational training, and more!

Is there vocational training available?

There will be several opportunities for vocational training at the Bybee Lakes Hope Center. We have had local professional chefs reach out to offer kitchen skills training classes on site, as well as local barbers who offered free haircuts and barbering skills classes. We are also exploring options for a tiny home building program where local construction professionals oversee the construction of tiny homes, which teaches job skills and can potentially give clients a permanent place to live after program completion.

How many staff will you employ at BLHC?

Helping Hands will open the facility with 10.5 full time employees from the local community. These employees include case managers, crisis managers, facility and building managers, dorm managers, kitchen staff and a volunteer coordinator. By Helping Hands’ policy, the Facility Director will be an employee who has lived experience – that means a person who has experienced homelessness.

Will you need volunteers?

Yes! We will have many opportunities for the community to participate in the programming at Bybee Lakes Hope Center. Please sign up for our newsletter where we will announce upcoming volunteer opportunities. Volunteer activities include cooking and serving meals, maintaining the community gardens, leading classes on skills training (topics like communication skills, financial wellness, job hunting, soft skills of a successful employee, etc.), leading other special interest classes (yoga, meditation, art, bible, reading groups, recovery support, etc.).

Do you have an advisory board? 

Yes, you can read more about the Bybee Lakes Hope Center Advisory Board by clicking here: https://www.bybeelakeshopecenter.com/advisory-board/

If you have any additional questions, please contact us at BLHC@helpinghandsreentry.org.