The Challenge

Thousands of people in Portland, especially in our Old Town neighborhood, live in social isolation. Yet they are virtually invisible to most of us due to living in very small rooms in single room occupancy hotels (SROs) and low-income apartment buildings. To complicate matters these living situations provide little opportunity for social interaction and can feel physically confining, heightening the sense of isolation. They face serious challenges, such as a severe lack of resources, chronic mental illness, drug or alcohol addiction, physical disabilities, and criminal histories. Many feel pushed away by the larger Portland community, and often lack family or friends to share life’s joys and struggles. They face life, and its many opportunities and challenges, alone. In the absence of authentic companionship and community, loneliness often turns to hopelessness as people question the value of their lives as human beings.

The Solution

Our vision is to build a healthier community and world. We believe that unconditional caring has a profound and lasting positive impact on the health of individuals and communities. Our model is simple yet powerful. It begins with a visit from a caring volunteer to a lonely person isolated by poverty, mental illness, addiction, or all three. Over time, and with patience, we build larger, interlocking circles of connection, community, health, and love—all radiating outward into the world from those first visits. Imagine the possibilities!

Our Values

No one deserves to live in isolation

We all share more similarities than differences

Every person has inherent dignity and worth

The health of a community can be measured by how its members care for each other


Our Mission

Maybelle Center for Community nurtures the body, mind and spirit of the forgotten poor in
Old Town-Downtown Portland by building connections and community.

Programs and Services

Each year we assist more than 500 people, helping them to connect to the community and care the helps them live better lives.

Outreach & Visitation

Every week since our founding, volunteers have made visits to our members living in the single room occupancy hotels and low-income apartments that dot our neighborhood and downtown Portland. LEARN MORE…

Support Services

Helping our members foster new skills, practice problem solving and advocate for themselves, in order to address important issues that could threaten their stability. LEARN MORE…

Spiritual Support

Regardless of faith, we nurture each person on their quest for meaning, purpose, value and desire for the greater good in their lives. LEARN MORE…

Community Room

Our Community Room is a warm and welcoming place where Members can relax, play board games, celebrate birthdays and socialize with each other. LEARN MORE…

Educating for Social Change

Maybelle Center for Community plays an important part in the education of healthcare providers, especially nursing student, providing first-hand experience. LEARN MORE…

Electa, Member and Maegann, Maybelle Center staff
Support Services:
people served in 2017
Outreach and Visitation:
people served in 2017
Spiritual Support:
people served in 2017

Our Members In Action


When I come here, people know who I am. I am a name not a number. Yes, I have autism but that does not mean I am stupid. I want to live as productive a life as possible, and Maybelle Center helps me do that.- Michael, Member Since 2011
These are the people I call family; the people I celebrate my joys with and I share my sufferings with.- Vince, Member Since 2004
Can I tell you what Maybelle Center really means to me? It means support spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally...these people here are like my family.- Wendy, Member Since 2010