More than 170 asylum seekers have arrived in Portland in recent days, and more will be arriving in the near future. These individuals began their journey from a number of African countries, traveled through South America, and entered the U.S. through the southern border. The City of Portland is providing temporary shelter for these families at the Portland Expo. These families are not yet eligible for state and federal aid, and organizations and individuals from around the state have responded with donations and offers to volunteer. Efforts to coordinate these responses are under way. Dozens of organizations around the state work with and support asylum seekers and other immigrant families, including those at the Expo Center as well as others living around the state. We are working on a separate call to action to highlight volunteer and resource needs for those groups and how you can support them. We will share that next week. For now, advocates say the immediate need is for support of families at the Expo Center via the options below.
- At the City of Portland’s request, the United Way will process all applications for volunteers at the Expo. Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks, including interpreters, health care workers, child care, etc. This website replaces the Google spreadsheets that have been shared. If you signed up through that spreadsheet, sign up again through the United Way form. You will not be allowed to volunteer at the Expo without completing this form. SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER AT THE EXPO.
- The Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP) is providing legal information for asylum seekers. ILAP is in need of volunteer attorneys with experience in immigration law as well as interpreters who speak Portuguese, Arabic, Swahili, French, and Lingala. SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER LEGAL ASSISTANCE.
- Preble Street is providing all meals for families at the Expo Center. They need volunteers to assist with food preparation for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER FOR FOOD PREP.
- In addition to volunteers, the City of Portland is asking for financial donations. To make an immediate donation, text “EXPO” to 91999 or donate via THIS WEBSITE.