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Dates of existence
The Stella Maris House, a lay Roman Catholic social justice group based in Portland, Oregon, was founded in 1951. Funded by charitable donations, the group maintained a small staff that included director Mary C. Rowland, Irene Chavin, and Jim Guinan. The group sought to enact change through close community involvement; consequently, it established headquarters inside neighborhoods it wished to serve. The group's Portland headquarters were located at 208 NE Weidler until the mid-1960s, when they moved to 3106 NE 11th.
The storefront facility soon branched out from the work of the Catholic Interracial Apostolate to include many educational and social causes such as education and childcare, urban renewal, and housing and employment equality. In cooperation with the Valley Migrant League, the Stella Maris House became particularly involved with improving the living conditions of migrant workers during the 1960s. The group worked with numerous additional organizations, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Albina Citizen's War on Poverty Committee (ACWOPC), the Metropolitan Interfaith Commission on Race (MICOR), the Albina Neighborhood Council, the U.S. Office for Economic Opportunity (OEO), the National Urban League, and dozens of small, locally-based groups.
The Stella Maris House closed in the early 1970s.