What is HAT?
The Hillsdale Assistance Team (HAT) is neighbors helping neighbors in need. We are residents and business owners who seek to address issues of poverty in Hillsdale - like homelessness, hunger, and drug addiction - while working to maintain the appearance and character of our neighborhood. Work like this is at the heart of a caring community like Hillsdale.
Our current priority: Homelessness in Hillsdale
Several homeless camps exist in Hillsdale. Most camps are in surrounding forests and not readily visible, but campers at all sites are impoverished. The size and number of encampments in Portland are on the rise because of evictions, lack of affordable housing, financial stress, and the on-going fall-out from the COVID pandemic A largely unrecognized epidemic of methamphetamine use across Portland is also a contributing factor.
To understand issues impacting campers, HAT members visit the local sites and communicate regularly with the campers. While some Hillsdale residents fear the homeless, our team has found little to fear.
Our long-term goal
To help create sufficient housing so encampments in common spaces are no longer needed and are removed.
The City and County are awash in money to help the homeless in Portland, but they can't seem to organize effective, timely action. We've spent months writing letters, speaking with government officials and meeting with various agencies, but in vain.
What HAT has accomplished to date
Our initial focus is to deliver humanitarian aid to campers. HAT, with the financial support of neighbors, rent and service a Port-a-Potty and pay for monthly trash service at one site. We provide water, minor medical attention, ice, and cooking fuel when requested.
HAT works side-by-side with the campers on site clean-up efforts. Together we painted over most of the graffiti under the Bertha overpass and added decorative images to it to discourage future graffiti.
What you can do
First, learn about the issues driving homelessness and demonstrate kindness towards everyone in our neighborhood.
There is much to do and HAT seeks to be proactive where possible. We, along with representatives of the Hillsdale faith community and concerned neighbors, are exploring transitional housing options and drug rehabilitation services for Hillsdale's homeless.
Your donations can help us provide trash pick-up, Porta Potty servicing, upcoming winter necessities, and fund camp maintenance projects.
Our work is being supported by the Hillsdale Community Foundation. Donate electronically below or send a check to HAT c/o The Hillsdale Community Foundation, PO Box 80092 Portland, OR 97280