Artist and activist Dana Lynn Louis founded Gather:Make:Shelter in 2017 to create a collaborative model of engagement connecting people experiencing houselessness and poverty to creative opportunities. Intended as a year-long project, with the fervent support of the Portland community it quickly took on a life of its own. Today we are a 501(c)3 organization continuing to grow through the combined passion and imagination of our community. OUR MISSIONGather:Make:Shelter creates opportunities for people experiencing houselessness and poverty to engage in collaborative, skill-building projects in creative fields, bringing houseless and housed people together to empower each other. OUR VISIONWe are building a city of neighbors, a connected community where everyone looks out for each other. Bridge City means more to us than a series of structures over the river—we build bridges of hope and trust towards a healthy society where people believe in each other and recognize the value and impact of their neighbors’ lives on theirs. We see a future where decisions about houselessness involve unhoused people. We’re not afraid to dream big because we know the power of creativity and community is on our side. We believe that when people come together and have faith in each other, incredible things become possible. OUR VALUESCommunity is our biggest strength. We listen to each other and the people around us. We take direction from the people directly affected. We do our part to keep our community healthy and strong. Decolonize yourself. We recognize the harm caused by white supremacy and how it impacts everything we do and everyone we love—especially in regards to houselessness. We actively work to abolish systems of oppression in ourselves, our organization, and our community. Meet people where they are. We honor the humanity of every person and work to showcase the interests and skills of all. We believe everyone has a special something to share with the world. Nothing is impossible for artists. We think creatively and call on our artistic ingenuity to solve problems, adapt to changes, and surf the chaos. We know that sometimes all a project needs is a lucky mistake. Respect our earth. It’s the home we all share.

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