Gaby Diaz: I Support...

Outside In

The hard working staff at Oregon Wild are dedicated to defending Oregon’s wild lands, wildlife, and waters. But there is more to us than our efforts to protect old growth forests, recover gray wolves, or reform Oregon’s lax clearcutting laws. We are also part of our broader communities. At a time when reaching out to our neighbors and working together across causes is more important than ever, we wanted to take the opportunity to spotlight some of the work done by other organizations. Our staff has selected causes that are important to them, and explained why they think these efforts are worthy of your support.

Back in 1968 the United States was going through a revolution. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated, Star Trek aired American television’s first interracial kiss, and two black Olympic athletes raised a fist in protest of racial discrimination. Here in Portland a handful of doctors responded by opening a free community health clinic to care for transient youth who found themselves far from home and in need of help. When there was nowhere else to turn, Outside In opened its doors.

As the years passed Portland’s homeless population increased and the need for more comprehensive and holistic care grew.  Outside In believed (and still does) that medical care should not be a privilege but a right despite a person’s socioeconomic status, race, sexual and gender identity, ability, citizenship status, or drug use.  What started as a medical clinic morphed into a network of support systems. As of today, Outside In is comprised of a mobile medical RV, a school based health center in Clackamas County, a needle exchange program, an employment resource center,  a tattoo removal program, housing units, and Portland’s only nonprofit doggie daycare center, Virginia Woof.

Outside In has been a Portland staple for decades now, and has done incredible work to help homeless youth and other marginalized people move towards improved health and self-sufficiency. At a time where millions of people are under threat of losing their health insurance (and much more), this nonprofit needs our help more than ever in supporting their mission. After all, health care should be a right and not a privilege, and I believe that’s something we can all get behind. 

Please consider donating to Outside In through Willamette Week’s Give!Guide and support health and wellness here in Portland.