Our mission is to champion the successful permanency of each child who comes to our door. We understand that each individuals unique history, culture and needs must be considered as they journey to stable, healthy homes.

Seattle Foundation Donates to Kinship House

Kinship House received a grant in the amount of $15,000.00 from FCO Selections and LLC, local non-profit service providers. Using a framework centered on human rights and equity, Seattle Foundation develops partnerships for philanthropic organizations seeking to make the greatest impact in their investments.  This generous donation to Kinship House was approved by Seattle Foundation this past summer and will be put towards general support.

Kinship House provides outpatient child and family services to help families bond and create secure attachments according to unique and individual needs. In addition to therapy and training, we regularly organize charity drives and outreach events to foster connection between our staff, patients and the greater community.

We thank Seattle Foundation for their support, and the generous contribution by CFO selections and LLC.

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Shop and support Kinship House

Every day, millions of Giving Assistant shoppers earn more cash back from their purchases at 3,069 of the most popular online retailers. They donate their cash back to the non-profits and charities of their choice, and Giving Assistant contributes to those donations by matching them, dollar-for-dollar.

Select Kinship House as your non-profit and we will receive a contribution from your purchases!


Use Giving Assistant to save money and support Kinship House


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#GivingTuesday – November 28, 2017

#GivingTuesday is a movement to celebrate and provide incentives to give—the 2017 iteration will be held on November 28, 2017. This effort harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners—nonprofits, businesses, and corporations as well as families and individuals—to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. #GivingTuesday inspires people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they celebrate and help create a better world. #GivingTuesday harnesses the power of social media to create a global movement dedicated to giving around the world.

It is our intention to raise awareness about our work in the community and participate in this global day of giving.

How you can participate:

  • Donate!  If you have some time to volunteer, drop us an email at info@kinshiphouse.org to learn how to get involved in helping out the organization with your time.  If you have financial resources, please donate as a little goes a long way. Becoming a sustaining donor goes even further!
  • Post an Unselfie – Download one of our templates (by clicking on one of the following images), take a selfie and share it out on your social networks.

unselfie-v1     unselfie-v2

Here is an example:


Be sure to tag us and use these tags as well:


Thank you!

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Volunteer Spotlight: Charity Adams

Our board members dedicate hours of volunteer time to lead our organization. Charity Adams – Portland Real Estate joined the Kinship House board over two years ago in February 2015. In her role as a board member, she sits on development committee and chairs our Light the Way auction.

She led the launch of the fundraiser last year and due to her dedication to putting together a successful event, we raised over $75,000 to support our work in caring for foster and adopted children. Our event this year (that took place just last week on October 26) was another success and we thank Charity for her leadership as our auction chair.

Thank you, Charity!

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Children’s Book Creators Join Forces to Provide High-Quality Books to Two Worthy Organizations

Members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators have joined forces as part of the organization’s SCBWI Books For Readers book drive to collect, curate, and donate new books that they have created to two worthy organizations. Chosen from over 300 nominations by a sub-committee of the SCBWI Board of Advisors, this year’s recipients are Kinship House in Portland, Oregon, and the Refugee Dream Center in Providence, Rhode Island.

SCBWI Books for Readers book drive is the organization’s first literacy initiative that grew out of the desire to join its regions’ individual efforts to make an even greater impact in increasing book access nationwide.

“In the U.S., many low-income communities have as few as 1 book per 300 children. We as an organization would like to help change this,” said Lin Oliver, Executive Director of SCBWI. “With our initiative, we can advance our organization’s mission as children’s book creators and literacy advocates, and help increase access to books for kids in desperate need of them. It’s a natural fit!”

For Refugee Dream Center, the books will outfit a classroom library for its ESL program and promote the center’s goal to help refugees work towards self-sufficiency and integration.

“Unlike most book-to-reader relationships, these books will be the first books that our children will read in their new language, that will assist them with their English mastery, and that will help them become part of their new culture—and feel part of it, too!” said Kara Skaling, Program Coordinator of the Refugee Dream Center.

As for Kinship House which provides outpatient mental health services to foster and adopted children and their families. the books will give a boost to Kinship’s lending library and offer hopeful and healing resources to the children they serve.

“Many of our children have lived lives most of us can’t imagine. These books will bring light, restore a piece of their childhood, and offer them the joy many families take for granted!” said Melissa Smith-Hohnstein, LCSW and Clinical Director of Kinship House.

The SCBWI Books for Readers book drive will have two “distribution celebrations” and take place November 4, 2017, in Portland, Oregon, and December 11, 2017, in Providence, Rhode Island. Festivities will include SCBWI author and illustrator appearances, interactive readings and story times, art demonstrations, crafts, refreshments, music, and of course, the book distributions. Local SCBWI members will be on hand to assist with the distributing and celebrating.

During the book distributions, books will be presented to the organizations’ lending libraries, and one book will be given to each and every child they serve to take home. In many cases, these books will be the first books these children will own.

“We cannot wait to get these books into these children’s hands!” said Oliver, “It’s why we create books. We hope that by giving books to these children we can help build their dreams. Every child deserves books and dreams!”

For more information contact:

Tammy Brown
Director, Community Marketing and Engagement, SCBWI
PH: (323) 782-1010

Patricia J. Murphy
Children’s Author
Literacy Initiative Creative Consultant, SCBWI
PH: (847) 917-4963

Kinship House
Dennise M. Kowalczyk
Development & Communications Director
(503) 460-2796 ext. 205

Refugee Dream Center
Kara Skaling
Program Coordinator
(401) 300-0544

About Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization, which is one of the largest existing organizations for writers and illustrators. It is the only professional organization specifically for those individuals writing and illustrating for children and young adults in the fields of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia. The SCBWI acts as a network for the exchange of knowledge between writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, agents, librarians, educators, booksellers and others involved with literature for young people.

About Kinship House
Kinship House provides outpatient mental health services to foster and adopted children and their families. It specializes in championing children and families with target interventions during all stages of foster care, reunification, and adoption. Founded in 1996 it is a locally accessible facility based in the Lloyd District on the east side of Portland, Oregon.
About Refugee Dream Center
Refugee Dream Center is a post-resettlement refugee agency. It offers services targeting gaps within the refugee community by ensuring a continuation of services in their efforts towards self-sufficiency and integration. The Refugee Dream Center does referrals, social level assistance, and skills development such as English language education for adults, health promotion and cultural orientation, youth mentoring, and case management. In addition, the Refugee Dream Center is a strong advocacy agency for the rights of refugees. It is located in Providence, Rhode Island.

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Farewell, Heather!

Heather Jefferis has announced her resignation as executive director of Kinship House, effective October 13. Heather has spent the past seven years successfully leading our organization by growing it from 9 to 25 employees, strengthening our work with community partners, and championing mental health care for foster and adopted children in our community.

We are sorry to lose Heather’s compassionate leadership and integrity and wish her every success in her new role as executive director of Oregon Prevention, Education and Recovery Association working to help increase public awareness of the contribution that prevention and treatment make in creating healthy communities. Please join us in wishing Heather grand success in her new role.

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Community Spotlight: Forward Stride

Forward Stride is one of the nation’s leading and accredited Equestrian therapeutic centers in Oregon.  Forward Stride works with individuals from the Portland area whether they are child affected by autism; a teenager with a severe brain injury; a veteran returning from war facing PTSD or someone living with a condition or disease that diminishes their confidence or mobility.

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Community Spotlight: Rosemary Anderson High School

 Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center and  Rosemary Anderson High School is dedicated to  providing high quality education, job training, mentoring, family outreach  for students and graduates through the age of 25. Opportunities include credit recovery, extracurricular after school programs, community engagement activities.

Recently, development and communications director Dennise M. Kowalczyke visited with Carl Reinhold, principal at the east campus.

Get connected to learn more or enroll. 




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Light the way for foster children!

October 26, 2017 – The Exchange Ballroom
6 pm to 7 pm

Thanks to everyone who has already purchased their tickets for our Light the Way auction taking place on October 26. We are excited to enjoy an evening of fun at our annual event with you. If you haven’t done so yet, purchase your tickets today to ensure that you will be there to help light the way for foster and adopted children.

Here is another sneak peek at some of the fantastic items we will be offering:

Our live auction packages will include some incredible opportunities ranging from a drive just up I5 to our neighbor to the north, Seattle, to traveling abroad to either Italy or Bali!

Purchase your tickets today in order to join us for a delightful evening of food and fun at The Exchange Ballroom!

We look forward to seeing you on October 26. If you are unable to join us, please consider making a donation to provide support for new beginnings and healthy families for foster and adopted children.

Thank you!

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Community Collaborator: Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods

The Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN) was founded in 1975 as an independent nonprofit organization comprised of 11 neighborhoods in inner North and Northeast Portland: Alameda, Boise, Concordia, Eliot, Humboldt, Irvington, King, Sabin, Sullivan’s Gulch, Vernon, and Woodlawn.

NECN’s mission is to increase livability through highly inclusive civic engagement and grassroots community building.  NECN believes in creating healthy neighborhoods by engaging people to become directly involved in determining how their neighborhood evolves.

NECN provides support to neighborhoods through:

  • Information and Referral – NECN is a general reference point if you have questions or are looking for something in our coalition boundaries.
  • Project Assistance – We provide assistance for projects through funding, sponsorship, marketing, and more.
  • Skill-building – We provide or connect residents, organizations, and neighborhood associations with opportunities to build their knowledge base through trainings, events, workshops, and more.
  • Connections – NECN serves as a connecting point for residents, community organizations, and neighborhood associations to resources, organizations, and government agencies.
  • Policy Formation – We provide channels for residents and organizations to inform and influence policy that affect the inner North and Northeast area.

Today, we met with the staff of NECN (Fran, Jessica, Laura, and Adam) to talk about ways we can collaboratively raise awareness about opportunities and resources for foster families, as well as, share information about neighborhood happenings. Sixty-three percent of our services at Kinship House is family therapy and we see a need to grow the awareness around supporting foster families in our community.
Stay tuned for updates!

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