Outside In is a non-profit that provides a safe, supportive, and inclusive place for healthcare, along with services to help the underserved and people experiencing homelessness achieve independence. With continued demand for medical and counseling services in their main facility in downtown Portland and the growth of patient types beyond the homeless and disaffected to encompass the working poor and low-income families, Outside In saw the need to expand to provide more of these services. Rather than expanding in downtown Portland, Outside In chose to develop a new facility in Rockwood, a low-income, diverse suburban area in the neighboring city of Gresham. Although suburban, the area is dense with multi-story, lower-rent older apartment complexes and is served by the MAX light rail system.
The new building is adjacent to a MAX station and train line, so is designed to be a landmark in this high-profile corner location. Services include medical care, individual counseling, and group counseling. There are six exam rooms in the medical clinic and six counseling rooms. The adjacent site area is preserved for medical clinic expansion and/or a possible future transitional housing project. An exterior courtyard is directly connected to the entry lobby for patients and visitors for waiting, a safe area for children to play, and gathering space. The building exterior is designed to be low-maintenance and resistant to vandalism but meets Gresham’s design standards requiring a welcoming, street-friendly presence. The corner of the building fronting East Burnside and 162nd Avenue features a prominent, colorful mural as an uplifting feature. This mural relates to Outside In’s downtown Portland location, which also has a mural by the same artist, Michael Hensley facing a busy freeway. Inside the building, exposed roof structure, exposed concrete floors, and bright colors signify the non-traditional nature of Outside In’s mission and clientele.