Mission

Our mission is to provide a community where people can be responsible and accountable for meeting their basic needs, and to equip them with tools to overcome financial difficulty.

Values

We seek to be:

  • Compassionate and loving

  • Respectful of the dignity of every person

  • Excellent stewards of all that is entrusted to our care

We seek to provide:

  • Practical help in a loving community

  • Education for strengthened employment and wise living

  • Responsibility and accountability that lead to sustainability

Who We Are

Dee Dee and RaylinWe are a group of people who are addressing the roots of hunger and poverty in our community.  The BCS theory of change is based on accountability and the power of human dignity. We believe everyone has something to give. At its core, our model assumes that personal responsibility empowers people to develop their own capacity to be self-sufficient and that the best context for this transformation is within a community in which participants work together to attain their goals.  We believe this kind of community can stabilize families and individuals near the edge of financial difficulty. We believe that receiving help should not mean a person has to check their dignity at the door.  That’s why we develop programs which are built on the “dignity of the exchange”.  Dignity grows when someone contributes their part and we grow stronger together as we serve one another.

What We Do

4A3A0546Birch Community Services (BCS) facilitates building healthy families through financial stability and a debt-free ethic.  BCS employs a two-pronged strategy by:

  1. Re-distributing millions of pounds of wholesome food, clothing and household goods deemed surplus by product donors; and
  2. Providing workshops and courses designed to equip families with new knowledge and skills for achieving fiscal stability.

BCS gives families the means to reach their goals of decreasing or eliminating consumer debt, catching up with mortgage or car payments, meeting medical bills, or helping pay for vocational training to earn a livable wage.

Why It Matters

Nearly 1 million Oregonians, about one-fourth of the state’s population, try to survive with incomes below 180% of the Federal poverty line ($50,240 for a family of five) or below a basic family budget. The average BCS participant family of five is at about 150% of poverty. These households face increasing financial risks due to factors including the gap between rising costs of living and average wage-rates, declines in liquidity, and mounting personal debts. Some of these families also are held back from improved incomes due to little or no computer skills and/or knowledge of ways to cut household costs and/or find better-paying jobs. For all of them, there is a high risk of stress that can result in significant deterioration of the family unit. Over 300,000 people in the Portland Metro area struggle to put healthy food on their table consistently.  A significant portion of them are children who have little capability to secure their own food.  Learn more about the problem of poverty in Oregon.

Working Poor Infographic