Epiphany Choir Fest raises more than $4,000 to help homeless in east Portland

The holiday season lived on at the 13th annual Epiphany Choir Fest, a Jan. 6 benefit at Rose City Park United Methodist Church that raised $4,406 for the Human Solutions Homeless Families Program.

The total includes a contribution from Pacific Power, that matched the first $1,500 donated.

PHOTOS COURTESY SARA FISHER, HUMAN SOLUTIONS
Nine church choirs and one community choir combine to sing the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah at the annual Epiphany Choir Fest, a benefit that raised $4,406 for Human Solutions’ Homeless Families Program. Pacific Power matched the first $1,500 in donations.

 

Participating churches in the Epiphany Concert include those in the network of faith organizations that contribute time and resources to the Daybreak Shelter Network, a year-round, 15-bed facility for homeless families located in the daytime in the basement of Peace Church of the Brethren, and the Family Winter Shelter, a seasonal 82-bed facility that provides overnight shelter to homeless families at Parkrose Community United Church of Christ in the Russell neighborhood of east Portland.

In addition to these shelters, the Homeless Families Program at Human Solutions is currently serving an average of 200 more homeless families each night. In total, about 750 homeless adults and children are sheltered or housed at Human Solutions on any given night, according to Executive Director Jean DeMaster.

Funds from the Epiphany Fest help ensure that Human Solutions can provide emergency shelter 365 days and nights per year to homeless families, DeMaster said. “We are seeing record demand for emergency shelter and other services, and rely on the community to help sustain critical programs that help homeless families permanently overcome their homelessness and attain self-sufficiency,” she said. “We are so grateful to our local faith partners, who each year contribute their time and talent to the Epiphany Fest and make it so successful. We are especially thankful this year for the wonderful gift from Pacific Power.” The presentation of the gift from Pacific Power was made by Regional Community Manager Sheila Holden.

As in years past, local church and community choirs sang traditional Christmas anthems and carols at the event, which culminated in the combined choirs singing “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah.

Retired local Pastor Charlie Ross once again presided over the event, serving as emcee and song leader.

Choirs from the following churches and community groups participated this year: Ascension Catholic, Central Church of the Nazarene, Colonial Heights Presbyterian, Eastrose Unitarian, Gethsemane Lutheran, Parkrose United Methodist, Rose City Park United Methodist Praise Band, Sacred Heart Catholic, St. Timothy Lutheran, and Voices of Hope Community Choir.

Human Solutions Executive Director Jean DeMaster, from left, is pictured with Sheila Holden, Regional Community Manager at Pacific Power, and retired Pastor Charlie Ross, who served as emcee at the Epiphany Choir Fest.

Human Solutions Executive Director Jean DeMaster, from left, is pictured with Sheila Holden, Regional Community Manager at Pacific Power, and retired Pastor Charlie Ross, who served as emcee at the Epiphany Choir Fest.

Human Solutions builds pathways out of poverty by promoting self-sufficiency for homeless and low-income families and individuals in mid and east Multnomah County. The agency’s four key program areas are homelessness prevention, affordable housing, employment and economic development, and safety net services such as rent and utility assistance. Human Solutions is located at 12350 S.E. Powell Blvd. in east Portland and 124 N.E. 181st Ave. in Gresham.

 

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