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Katie O'Brian: Why is She Homeless?

At any given time, on almost every corner of downtown Portland, you’ll see women interacting, living, and sleeping outside. How did they end up here? What are their stories? And how can you help?


Oregon has the second-highest rate in the country of people living without shelter. And for homeless women, sexual and physical abuse is rampant. Each year, Rose Haven provides safety and resources during the daytime to more than 3,500 homeless women, children, and gender-diverse people experiencing homelessness, abuse, and poverty.


Join us to hear the unique stories of these women and how the following contribute to their challenges: 


  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women

  • Portland currently has no female-only overnight shelters

  • Oregon is one of the least affordable states for working mothers to care for children


Find out how we, as a community, can help break this cycle for vulnerable women and children, and what you can do personally to contribute.


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Katie, who is the Interim Executive Director of Rose Haven, has been a non-profit professional for more than 25 years. She is passionate about social justice, equity, and empowerment. She has dedicated herself to raising awareness and support for women and children in our community who are living in poverty. 

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