Welcome to Our Mother’s House, a Portland-based program to address the needs of mothers who are trafficked, in prostitution or sex work, and their children.
Our Mother’s House (OMH) was founded in September 2007 by Brian Willis, Director of Global Health Promise (www.globalhealthpromimse.org), and a group of volunteers. We operated out the Downtown Chapel (now St. Andre Bassette Catholic Church, http://www.saintandrechurch.org) from 2007 to the end of December 2011. We then partnered with Rahab’s Sisters, which operates a weekly drop in center on SE 82nd Avenue in Portland, from January 2012 until February 2013 when Brian received a fellowship to do research in Cambodia. We are now exploring re-opening OMH and are in discussion with local partners.
About this website:
Unfortunately, due to a technical problem, the original website for OMH was lost. This website has been created and is still under development but provides basic information about OMH.
The mission of OMH is to assist mothers who are trafficked and in prostitution and the sex industry and their children.
We implement our mission through direct services and advocacy.
What we do:
We provide some direct services and also connect mothers and their children to existing services. If existing services are not available or cannot quickly respond to the needs of the mothers and their children we try and secure the needed services directly. For example, a number of women with whom we have worked have needed glasses but there are few agencies in the Portland metro area that help women get glasses. We make appointments for women and accompany them to the examination. As an example of how this helps women, one of our clients has very poor vision and was reduced to using one contact lens for months. By the time we learned of this situation and got her an appointment she had already developed damage to one of her eyes from using the contact too long. Fortunately the damage was caught in time and if she just wears her glasses for a year the damage will be reversed.
We also help mothers who have small infants. One mother we met in the last spring of 2012 had a 2-month-old infant. We met her at various locations about Portland when she needed diapers and infant formula.
We also accompany our clients to the emergency room and to their doctor’s appointments as well as visit them in the hospital.
We also provide baby clothes and blankets, toys and books, and hygiene products for the children.
Much of our time is dedicated to educating government officials, other organizations, and the public about the situation of mothers who are trafficked and in prostitution and their children. While there is increasing awareness of the situation of adolescent girls who are trafficked, few people appreciate that many adult women in the sex industry are also mothers.
Our position is that society needs to understand that first and foremost these are mothers and their children and are families. Therefore, society needs to address the situation of these families as we would for other families and not stigmatize the mothers or their children.
Who we are:
OMH was founded by Brian Willis and a group of volunteers.
You can also contact Brian Willis directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our greatest need is financial support to purchase infant formula, diapers, and other supplies as well as other items as the need arises, such as glasses, food, and to cover the cost of prescriptions for some of our clients.
We also need funding to cover the cost of our outreach, especially as gas prices are going up again. Our gas costs are approximately $50.00 per month.
We are currently looking for another 501(c)(3) to partner with but at this time, since we are not a 501(c)(3), unfortunately donations are not tax deductible.