NorthStar's mission is "to engage people with mental health challenges in a working community."
Through the work-ordered day at NorthStar, members in attendance help each other regain their self-confidence and reconnect with their talents and skills. The employment department of NorthStar assists members to find both supported and independent employment opportunities. NorthStar members assist each other in the application process for low-income tri-met fares and affordable housing options. Membership is free and life-long; for many members NorthStar becomes their family of peers.
In the Nutrition and Wellness Unit, members come together to prepare menus, shop for ingredients, cook the meal and serve a healthy lunch for themselves and other members/guests five days a week. They also cam participate in a daily neighborhood walk, a monthly hike and a six week class entitled Food as Medicine.
The work of the Operations Unit includes clerical tasks such as reception and registration of members, thank you letters to donors and related outreach to inform those in the wider community about NorthStar, internal database and website updates, assistance with social media on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and publishing the weekly newsletter, The Navigator. Members regularly give presentations about NorthStar to discharging psychiatric patients to let them know there is a welcoming place for them in the community. Members work together on many of these activities, thereby gaining both social skills and job-related skills