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Free To Be Me

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


4837 NE Couch Street
Portland, OR 97213

Free To Be Me is our original program, founded in 1986. It is located in Northeast Portland.

FolkTime Peer Support Centers are the only social programs in the tri-county area that are free and open to anyone over 18, regardless of health care system affiliation.

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

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 peer support specialists create a safe environment and coordinate the logistics of the programs, but do not provide caregiving services such as medication management or mobility assistance.

The positive impact:

75% of our members reduced their use of mental health services including:

  • 73% reported reducing the need for hospitalization

  • 57% reporting decreased utilization of the ER

  • 45% reporting less involvement with Police

Program Requirements

There is no referral needed for FolkTime social programs which are available to anyone looking for a community. Since these are drop-in programs, we ask that all people interested agree to these four criteria.


FolkTime members are asked to:

1.     Self-identify as having lived experience with mental health challenges or substance use.

2.     Be 18 years old or older

3.     Be actively seeking and embodying recovery to a point where they feel comfortable and safe participating in group activities and can be together with their peers in a positive and hopeful way. 

4.     Be independent in their personal care and daily living needs. Care-giving services are not provided at the social programs. This includes: bathroom support, mobility support, support during meals, medication management, transportation, etc.

To provide a safe and supportive community, we accept members who have:

•        A desire to participate in a community focused on recovery

•        The ability to be with others in a positive way that promotes mutual benefit

•        The ability to accept all people, personalities, and walks of life


FolkTime Social Programs are judgement free and value diversity.


How Much does it cost?

There is no cost for membership to FolkTime social programs.


Members are asked to donate $1 toward lunch if they are able.

FolkTimes financial support comes from many community sources, and reflects our grassroots affiliations. We receive support from individuals, churches, civic groups, special fundraising events, and community grants. We welcome and encourage your financial support of this worthwhile program.

Get in Touch

To get in touch with our Social Programs team, fill out our contact form!

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