‘Sunshine Division’ opens Stark Street office

Discover why this charitable organization decided to open an outer East Portland facility. And, see how you can help them on December 16 …

An auto repair shop for years, this building now is an outpost for the Portland Police Bureau Sunshine Division, here in the Hazelwood neighborhood.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Just in time to serve families during the holidays, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Sunshine Division opened their second food pantry and clothing room facility on November 15 at 12436 SE Stark Street.

“In response to the growing shift in poverty to the outer areas of East Portland, the organization is making the most significant, mission-related expansion in its 95-year history by opening this facility,” explained Sunshine Division Executive Director Kyle Camberg.

As at Portland Adventist Community Services and other food pantries, clients can “shop” for items their family will enjoy at the new Sunshine Division facility.

“Here, we’re making our no-cost food and clothing assistance programs more accessible to qualifying families and individuals in outer East Portland,” Camberg said.

As part of a two-year planning process, the organization was looking to open another facility, and this location made sense, Camberg remarked at the November 6 ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Ready to cut the ceremonial ribbon are Sunshine Division Finance Coordinator Bill Edlefsen, Executive Director Kyle Camberg, and Board Chair Wendy Edwards.

“Our other building is eight away; but, if you don’t have a car, it might just as well be 80 miles,” Camber reflected. “So, I am profoundly proud that now we have this facility in a part of our city where it is really needed.”

After the ceremonial ribbon was snipped, Camberg told East Portland News, “With this new facility, thousands of households a month will be able to come here for services in this part of Portland; we’re excited to fill a need.”

The Sunshine Division’s Debby Willis shows a supporter a sample “shopping list” provided to clients.

PPB East Precinct’s Captain Dave Golladiday and Commander Bryan Parman check out the shelves, stocked with food that outer East Portland officers can now access, any time of day, to help people in need.

More than providing a “store” where families can pick out food they need, the facility provides East Precinct officers the ability to access services for those needing it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For Thanksgiving, the new Sunshine Division headquarters provided clients with about 65 pounds of food per average-size family, Camberg said, adding that they expect to serve 10,000 low-income families with children, as well as seniors, veterans, and disabled individuals – offering food and clothing assistance – in the first 12 months of operation.

Sunshine Division Operations Supervisor Robb Kruger loads in more boxes of food.

Be a ‘Sunshine’ volunteer driver on December 16
You can help the Sunshine Division on December 16 by being a volunteer driver, delivering complete Christmas dinners to families in need, who live in outer East Portland.

You can deliver a single box, or as many as your vehicle will hold. And, they’ve got coffee and hot chocolate for you, as you drive in to pick up your boxes.

There’s no sign-up required; just come to the Bureau’s East Precinct, located at 737 SE 106th Avenue, 97216 – the delivery vehicles usually queue up across the street in the Floyd Light Middle School parking lot.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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