Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The p:ear Kitchen and Food program

The p:ear Kitchen and Food Program was developed to give homeless young people the opportunity to learn how to cook, to develop vocational skills, and to develop a deeping understanding of the cultural, economic and social importance of food in our shared culture.
Oregon struggles with food insecurity, ranking third in the nation for percentage of households with hungry people (USDA Report, 2008). Homeless and transitional youth in Portland experience chronic food insecurity at a much higher level, and bear the burden of this insecurity through poor health and lack of access to resources.
p:ear has begun to address this problem through the establishment of the p:ear Kitchen and Food program in September, 2008, which is an extension of the food program that p:ear has had in place for the past seven years, supported by community restaurants and individuals. The Kitchen and Food program, which is unique in the city, uses both basic skills classes and visits from guest chefs, cooks, farmers and food purveyors to emphasize cultural and creative skills, as well as the economics, practices, and challenges of healthy eating.
To volunteer with the food program, please contact Sarah, sarah@pearmentor.org.
p:ear would like to extend our great thanks to the following individuals and organizations, who have helped us come this far: Slow Food Portland, Oregon Culinary Institute, Chris Cohen, Nathan Rose, Jane Viehl, Julie Ball, Scrantz Lersch, Erika Heider, Jo Barney, Donna Wilson, and especially Viki White.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pizza Photos and a good Link

Lachelle's masterpiece
mouse enjoying home made pizza
Sue helping in the kitchen

Here's an article about homeless youth from the magazine "Goodness":


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rodolfo Serna Won the Skidmore Prize! We are so proud of him.

From Rodolfo's Skidmore application -- which details more than anything his commitment to both kids and art. We are really lucky to work with this man!

I am a transition coordinator assisting homeless youth in getting off the streets. At p:ear we relate to our youth on an individual basis so my role differs greatly from case to case. To some youth I am a case manager or resource and referral advocate. To others I am a mentor, a friend, and a constant. I have been tasked with building a good repoire with the most unreachable youth in the service field so that I may be able to help them get out of terrible situations such as trauma and addiction. I do this by engaging them sometimes through art, at other times through sports or exercise, and sometimes even through Native American ceremonies.

I am a ceremonial man and an aspiring mural artist; it is these qualities that I feel really influence the way I relate to people. As the Mexican spirit of Quetzalcoatl, bringer of art, liberation, and compassion, spread his message throughout the Americas, I too come with a similar message. In my community we also promote nurturing the earth and living healthy lives. To me, all life is sacred and so my respect for others is genuine. This is a critical component in building trust with the youth I work with. My connection to my heritage allows me access to the many healing traditions which I generously share with not only the youth but my peers as well. I have also come from a difficult background, so when youth try to claim I don't understand them, I have my own similar experiences to share. I survived a violent and abusive household, threatened by gangs and drugs on the streets, and harassed by racist institiutions in Chicago. I joined the military to escape the ghetto and barely lived through it - but here I am, years later, living my dream. I tell my kids that if I was able to escape poverty and oppression so can they, as I am no better than they are.

Ever since I was a boy art has been a passion for me. As I matured, art continued to guide me to where I am today and taught me how to manifest a healing experience. At p:ear I have been given the opportunity to share in the art experience with kids as well as provide a valuable service. However, my primary role at p:ear is finding the best method of assisting in the process of transition off the streets. Eventually I would like to develop a clear and efficient model for others to be able to replicate and build upon. If p:ear were to grow in capacity, I would recommend expanding my program and form a team of transition coordinators mentoring and providing the youth with necessary resources. My vision is a team that supports each other in all aspects with the intention of successfully developing a community that keeps on growing. As one man with a vision, I work at specifically documenting my role and building strong relationships with the youth and the community.

Since 2002, p:ear has mentored over 1000 homeless and transitional young people through education, art, and recreation programs. We believe that each of these young people has enormous potential and that they have a future. We believe that addressing their emotional health and well-being is an essential first step for combating destructive feelings of isolation and low self-esteem and is instrumental in changing harmful lifestyles, ultimately giving these young people the tools and confidence to transition off the streets. We regard youth homelessness as a critical human rights issue that cannot be addressed solely through government programs and large social service agencies. We as a community desperately need to mobilize and support a variety of innovative approaches to deal with this complex problem. p:ear's programs present one such vehicle for change.


We have now been in the new building for about two months. We apologize for ignoring the blog.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Kitchen!

Good bye Christine!

We are sad to see her go: Christine Hitchens,(seen here at Backspace talking with Pippa) our kind, beautiful and talented Jesuit Volunteer had her last day with us on August 6. True to her nature, to mark the occasion she baked US two cakes! Christine, we will miss your gentle ways.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

p:earblossoms 08 slide show

Thank you to all who came to p:earblossoms 08: under construction! With your help we are building a permanent home for p:ear!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Justin Oswald, board member, on rafting with the kids

Since the beginning, working with p:ear has been an adventure. I have been on the p:ear board for two years now, and although sometimes the logistics can be tedious and stressful, the end result and the people that p:ear influences always makes the whole experience worthwhile.
One amazing thing I do with p:ear is go on recreational trips from time to time. These are adventures of self-discovery for both me and for the kids. I wanted to go on these trips because I want to relate my development through p:ear to the kids' development through p:ear. Working with p:ear has lead to many self-discoveries and adjustments to the way I perceive the world as well as the way I see myself in the world. In my eyes, we are endlessly trying to define ourselves by becoming confident and comfortable in our own skins. By having hands-on experiences with p:ear kids, I am able to see the progress of the hard work that we all put into the program. Sometimes taking the time to do the simplest things with the kids means the world, like taking kids rafting for the first time.

Monday, May 19, 2008

redoing the floor in the gallery

Apparently they found debris under the slab. Pouring new concrete in this room will get rid of the 4-inch slope toward the center.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

May 5th, this is a PROTEST

For the past week, homeless folks, including some of our kids, have been camping and protesting outside of City Hall.

Click on the title of this blog entry, it will take you an editorial in the Oregonian that made a number of young people angry

Friday, May 2, 2008

May 2nd, 2008, Decon Continues

The deconstruction of 6th and Flanders continues -- and we made a sign to let people know we were moving in.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Restaurants and Individuals who feed us every day

American Dream Pizza
Dot’s Café
Dragonfish Asian Café
Higgins Restaurant
Mother’s Bistro & Bar
New Seasons
Old Wives Tale
Oregon Culinary Institute
Park Kitchen
Pazzo Ristorante
Veritable Quandry
Vita Café
Western Culinary Institute
Great Harvest Bakery

Kimberly Allen
Janice Raiteri
Manda Beckett
Barbara Hood
Brittany Jones
Jill Rosette
Heather Freitag
Amanda Yampolsky
Urban Gleaners
Nedra Rezinas

Monday, April 7, 2008

Painting by Scribe, Words by Daniel

"My City"

I stumbled upon a non-profit organization that mentors youth. The project's aim is to help kids using education and art-recreation. So far I've had good experiences; it allows me to explore skills such as cooking, photography, drawing, painting. I've learned that a good organization such as this can be a place to meet new people. I have been developing new strategies through conversation with the volunteers, and interactions with the staff. It has taught me that connections with people can be made independent of background, and across boundaries of class or financial situations.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

p:ear on Oregon Art Beat!

This happened a little while ago, but now the link is up on the OBP site!

This show has generated a lot of interest in p:ear's photography program, which has resulted in some amazing donations of cameras and equipment, in addition to the joy (or horror) of watching ourselves on television. Here's our friend, River, taking a photo with one of the new cameras.


Friday, March 14, 2008


Deconstruction has begun at 338 NW 6th!
We've kept the party lights up for ambience.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

building p:ear

It is the coldest day of the year so far. We are giving away hats and coats like crazy, and the "heater" at our space at Southwest Park and Alder is now, for some unknown reason, blowing cold air on us. Every time someone opens the door, which is hundreds of times a day, a cold draft wafts across the room.
It is days like today that the physical limitations of our current facility stand before us starkly, and days like today that we think a lot about the new building.
As we move toward the goal of buying it, remodeling it, and moving into it, we want to stay in touch with the community about our progress. It is one way to share our excitement with you, and to keep you up to date. We are building p:ear together.
We would not be where we are without the help of the services of SERA Architects, PAE Consulting Engineers, KPFF Consulting Engineers and Fortis Construction. In addition, the generosity and support of Leslie Trim and Iraj Vojdani has been ongoing and unsurpassed.
We are looking forward to breaking ground on the remodel in mid-February, and will be showing you the phases of the building process as they happen, so check back, or add us to your RSS feed.
At the same time we are anticipating the changes ahead, we are working hard to raise the money to buy this building. Through the generosity of the community, we have raised nearly $850,000 towards our $2 million dollar goal. We are always amazed at the depth of care and commitment that Portland has for p:ear. The p:ear community stretches well beyond the borders of the tri-county area, and we also want to extend a big thank-you to folks from all over the country who have given their time, money and goodwill to p:ear. If you would like to join us and contribute to the building project, please call us at 503-228-6677.
Stay warm !
the staff at p:ear -- Beth, Joy, Pippa, Sarah, Christine and Rodolfo.