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>>Outside In
Mission Statement: To help homeless youth and other marginalized people move towards improved health and self –sufficiency.
Outside In is a service organization with historic ties to the First Unitarian Church of Portland.First Church has had a long history of involvement with social justice issues in Portland. When it was discovered that the arsonist responsible for the fire that all but destroyed the Church sanctuary on a July night in 1965 was a young transient, it was not out of the ordinary that his story should motivate members of the church to turn their attention to the growing problems facing the disenfranchised members of our community. Thus the Charix coffeehouse was established. Located in the “undercroft,” the space below the sanctuary of what we now know as the Eliot Chapel, it quickly became a popular gathering place for many of the young people who had “dropped out of society.” Doctors in the congregation soon recognized the growing need for health care for these teenagers. With locally raised money, they began providing medical services for those in need. Outside In was the result of their efforts.

With this small beginning Outside In has grown into a well-respected organization that provides services for more than 10,000 people each year. We, as a church, can take pride in our involvement in it’s founding. This is an important part of our history and, because of the growth of the church in recent years, it is important to be reminded of these connections. For more information about Outside In’s programs and their impact on the community, visit