Rahab's Sisters was founded by a small group of Episcopal clergy wanting to offer outreach to vulnerable women on 82nd Avenue in Southeast Portland. On December 5, 2003, Rahab’s Sisters opened the doors of Saints Peter and Paul Parish to welcome women in from the street for a hot meal, coffee or cocoa, hygiene supplies, and no-strings-attached conversation. Volunteers walked up and down 82nd Avenue inviting women to check out “the church with the light on.” Candles in the windows offered a warm and welcoming glow on a cold night.
As more and more women found their way through our doors on Friday nights, Rahab's Sisters' offerings grew, along with volunteer numbers. We added a regular stock of hygiene supplies community members can request every week, along with community activities, from craft projects and karaoke to haircuts and foot care. A Friday Circle therapeutic support group meets weekly, and counselors are available all evening for anyone who seeks additional support.
COVID-19 turned our community inside out, and we have found new ways to connect with one another and nurture relationships. Our Community Support Team connects with community members via phone, email, text and online gatherings weekly. Friday night meals and supplies are provided to-go and to anyone of any gender who is in need. And Sunday outreach teams deliver food and supplies directly to folks living outside in our neighborhood.
A common thread weaves through nearly two decades of care for the women and gender-nonconforming people we serve: our commitment to radical hospitality. From the beginning, radical hospitality has said to our guests: you are part of our community, exactly as you are.
There are many ways to connect with Rahab's Sisters: through monetary donations, in-kind donations, being part of a meal team, or inviting a speaker from Rahab's Sisters to visit your congregation or workplace.