Social Programs

Our social programs are created by and for members.

In a monthly community meeting, members decide on activities for the coming month. Socializing with others helps people with mental health diagnoses prevent relapse and have a higher level of life satisfaction.

Peer Run

FolkTime offers an opportunity for independent adults living with a mental health diagnosis to come together and create a supportive and safe atmosphere for each other. Participants in our programs have created a community where it’s safe to talk about their daily challenges, learn social skills, nurture community, refrain from isolation, and find the support they need. As a peer-run social program, our model does not include traditional caregiving roles. Our employees create a safe environment and coordinate the logistics of the programs, but do not provide caregiving services such as medication management or mobility assistance. Members create and provide their own monthly calendar with different activities and events at all three of our locations in the Portland Metro area.

COVID-19 Update for Social Programs

May 12, 2020Currently, due to COVID-19, all of our indoor social program locations are closed. We made this difficult decision with the safety of our members in mind. We continue to monitor infection rates and county safety guidelines daily, and will communicate with our members about their comfort level as virus rates change, worsen, or improve. We will let you know as soon as we are able to successfully re-open indoor locations safely.

In the meantime, we are offering outdoor in-person and virtual social programs to anyone recovering from mental health and substance use challenges that are looking for community.

Virtual Social Programs Groups

In response to COVID-19, we are providing participants with Virtual Social Program Groups through Zoom. These groups are provided alongside In-Person groups, all of which are reflected in our calendar downloadable here. Anyone is free to join our Zoom groups. You can also visit our calendar page (here) to access each group and its Zoom link.

On the first Thursday of each month, our participants gather to share what peer-run activities they would like to do together the following month. For virtual groups, FolkTime mails participants packets with all materials needed to participate.

If you are unfamiliar with Zoom, or don’t know how to use it, or don’t even know where to find it, you can contact us at the email below. We always welcome feedback and ideas that participants would like to see on our social programs calendar. If you would like to contribute to building the calendar, please email

Our Outdoor Social Program

Bliss Garden

Open from late May to mid-September.

The garden serves as a space for people in mental health and substance use recovery to get their hands dirty, and participate with peers in other activities, such as art and writing.

Bliss Garden is now closed. Join us between late May and mid-September when the garden is open every Friday from 2pm to 4pm. A referral is not needed. Water, snacks, and tools provided.

Hours of Operation: CLOSED until late May, 2022.

Location: 4837 NE Couch Street Portland, OR 97213

Contact:Social Programs Lead, TaMara Edens,

We are seeking community sponsors to help support the operations and materials for Bliss Garden activities for Spring 2022. Contact FolkTime Development at if interested.

Who is Eligible?

FolkTime’s Social Programs are the only ones of their kind in the Portland, Ore., and tri-county area that are free and open to anyone over 18, regardless of health care system affiliation. They are available to anyone looking for community because there is no referral needed.  If you are interested in financially supporting any of these important and impactful programs, please contact TaMara Edens at Since these are drop-in programs, we ask that all people interested agree to five criteria.

Social Program Members are asked to:

  1. Be 18 years or older.
  2. Self-identify as having lived experience with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges.
  3. Be actively seeking and embodying recovery to a point where they feel comfortable and safe participating in group activities.
  4. Be independent in their personal care and daily living need. Care-giving services are not provided at the FolkTime Social Programs. These types of services would include: bathroom support, mobility support, support during meals, medication management, transportation, etc.
  5. Complete new member orientation, held on the first Tuesday of the month at 12:00 PM PST.

If you have any questions or concerns about member guidelines, or about our social programs in general, please contact us at the Social Programs via

In order to provide a safe and supportive community, we accept members who have:

FolkTime's Social Programs are judgement free and value diversity.

There is no cost for membership though members are asked to donate $1 for lunch, when able.

We operate with volunteers and through your donations.


Social program members gather to participate in a variety of activities, including craft projects, guest speakers, games, and discussions on topics of interest.


Once a week members venture out to local parks, museums, and gardens, or participate in community events.

Sharing a Meal

Our hot lunches are prepared on site and shared together. Donations from our community partners help to create our meal selections.

Self Determination

Members are the primary leaders of all the activities offered at our social programs, which provides a training ground for leadership within the mental health peer community.

Our Social Program Locations

Free To Be Me

Free To Be Me is largely regarding as the founding program and foundation of FolkTime, a beloved social program founded in 1986. It is located in Northeast Portland at the Community of Christ Church.

Free to Be Me’s Impact:

  • 75% of our members reduced their use of  mental health services
  • 73% reported reducing
  • reducing need of hospital
  • 57% reporting using the Emergency Department less
  • 45% reporting less involvement with Police
  • 95% of the members surveyed felt they had built friendships through Folktime
  • 93% of participants felt that Folktime helped them get nutritious meals that were otherwise difficult to attain.

Hours of operation:
Mon, Wed, Thurs 10:00am-2pm

Community Church of Christ (unaffiliated)
4837 NE Couch Street
Portland, OR 97213

Social Programs Lead, TaMara Edens:

Oregon City

Our Oregon City Social Program has been in operation since 2008. It is located inside the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Willamette Falls, formerly known as the Atkinson

This program is funded by Clackamas Country Behavioral Health. We appreciate their partnership in making this social program location possible.
Hours of operation: Mon, Tues, Thurs 10:00am-2:30pm

Address: Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Willamette Falls (unaffiliated) 710 6th Street, Oregon City, OR 97045

Contact: Social Programs Lead, TaMara Edens:

Rural Outreach

Rural Outreach Social Program offers programs to Clackamas County in the cities of Sandy, Molalla, and Estacada. The Rural Outreach Program meets regularly by coordinated events within the community.
Hours of operation: Tues 10:00am-1pm Thurs 2pm to 5pm Fri hours and outings vary

Address: Locations vary based on participant engagement.

Contact: Social Programs Lead, TaMara Edens:

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