Maybelle Center for Community

A nonprofit organization

24 donors

Maybelle Center has been serving Portland’s Old Town and Downtown community since 1991. Our work is centered on the principle beliefs that no one deserves to live in isolation, that every person has inherent worth and dignity, that as people, we have more similarities than differences and finally, that the health of a community can be measured by how its members care for each other.

Thousands of people in Portland, especially in our Old Town neighborhood, live in social isolation. Yet they are virtually invisible to most of us due to living in very small rooms in single room occupancy hotels (SROs) and low-income apartment buildings. To complicate matters these living situations provide little opportunity for social interaction and can feel physically confining, heightening the sense of isolation. They face serious challenges, such as a severe lack of resources, chronic mental illness, drug or alcohol addiction, physical disabilities, and criminal histories. Many feel pushed away by the larger Portland community, and often lack family or friends to share life’s joys and struggles. They face life, and its many opportunities and challenges, alone. In the absence of authentic companionship and community, loneliness often turns to hopelessness as people question the value of their lives as human beings.

Our vision is to build a healthier community and world. We believe that unconditional caring has a profound and lasting positive impact on the health of individuals and communities. Our model is simple yet powerful. It begins with a visit from a caring volunteer to a lonely person isolated by poverty, mental illness, addiction, or all three.

Each year we assist nearly 500 people, helping them to connect to the community and care the helps them live better lives.

  • Outreach and Visitation: Every week since our founding, volunteers have made visits to our members living in the single room occupancy hotels and low-income apartments that dot our neighborhood and downtown Portland.
  • Support Services: Helping our members foster new skills, practice problem solving and advocate for themselves, in order to address important issues that could threaten their stability.
  • Spiritual Support: Regardless of faith, we nurture each person on their quest for meaning, purpose, value and desire for the greater good in their lives.
  • Community Room: Our Community Room is a warm and welcoming place where Members can relax, play board games, celebrate birthdays and socialize with each other.
  • Educating for Social Change: Maybelle Center for Community plays an important part in the education of healthcare providers, especially nursing student, providing first-hand experience.
  • Macdonald Residence: This 54-unit assisted living facility opened in 1999. It offers 24-hour care to those who can no longer live on their own. Every resident is funded by Medicaid, the only facility of its kind in Oregon – and possibly in the nation.
  • Macdonald West: This 42-unit apartment building opened in 2012. It offers clean and stylish studio apartments to those who cannot afford standard rents.

Organization Data


Organization name

Maybelle Center for Community

Tax id (EIN)



Health Community


121 NW 6th Ave


(503) 222-5720