Last year, Riverfolk provided Sunday brunch for an average of 19 people each week. Our current data suggests we will be serving at least 25 people each week, if not more as we enter into the peak summer season. We currently spend between $50-75 per week on the weekly Sunday brunch food service. Since 2016, we’ve also replaced over 15 birth certificates and 30 identification cards. At the 2017 Project Homeless Connect, we received another 16 requests for assistance with birth certificate and/or identification replacement. Obtaining birth certificates and identification cards can solve obstacles to obtaining services that these underserved community members need.
Many of those we serve don’t have any IDs. Having an identification card can make it possible for them to apply for and obtain employment, enrollment in school, and help them to access social services for basic needs like housing, food, and transportation. The cost of obtaining a birth certificate by mail and a replacement state identification card totals $64.50.
We experience some very extreme weather here in Clatsop County, especially in the winter. Keeping in close contact with folks through our other programs, we become aware of people in need of jackets, clean, dry pants, rain gear, and tents, and do our best to find what they need. We have an extremely generous community that always seems to step up in these individual cases. From time to time, we hold food, clothing and shelter drives to try to stock up in advance of winter.
We take part in as many local opportunities to showcase our organization as possible. Last year, we were chosen by Safeway for their “Turkey Bucks” program, and partnering with the Astoria Armory and United Way of Clatsop County, served a huge Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings. We also took part in the annual “Gifts That Make a Difference” program at the Liberty Theater. And a couple times a year, Elizabeth Tisdale open her Hair Salon, Hygge Hair Company, to give free haircuts to the homeless.
Our biggest annual event is the Riverfolk Benefit Concert. Held at the CCC Performing Arts Center, this major fundraiser is a super-fun evening of live music from some of the best talent from the Northwest and beyond! Along with home-baked goods and a raffle worth hundreds of dollars, it is one of the highlights of the year in Astoria!