ShelterCare Marks 45 Years

FIRST MET INWe did it! With the help of amazing people like you, ShelterCare, last year, changed the lives of nearly 1,200 individuals who had been struggling with homelessness, mental illness, and traumatic brain injuries. Thank you for your generous support!

In 2015, we also marked an important but bittersweet milestone, our 45th anniversary. When ShelterCare opened its doors on Christmas Eve 1970 and welcomed homeless families into a safe but temporary shelter, the founders thought the organization would be short-lived. At that time, homelessness was not a serious problem in Lane County; that’s not the case today. About 1,500 people remain without homes. Nearly half have been homeless for a long time. More than a quarter suffer from a mental illness.

Over the years, as needs arose, ShelterCare stepped up with solutions. In 1978, we offered the area’s first permanent housing for individuals with psychiatric disabilities; today our Supported Housing program helps more than 220 people. In 1990, we opened Oregon’s first apartments for brain injury survivors; in 2015 the Uhlhorn Program celebrated its 25th anniversary and serves as a model for other states. In 2006, we launched Lane County’s inaugural Housing First initiative; next year, a new state grant will allow us to expand Housing First to a total of 130 clients.

Even with these successes, many needs remain unmet. Adults with untreated mental illness are living on our streets and families struggling with financial burdens are living in their cars. As a community, we must do better. Yet as daunting as the challenges seem, those of us at ShelterCare know that over the next 45 years and beyond, we won’t be working alone. We take heart in friends and supporters like you, partners in our mission to provide hope, opportunity, and dignity to every person living in our community.

Thank you for all you do!

On behalf of everyone at ShelterCare, I wish you and your family health and happiness in 2016.

Susan Ban | Executive Director


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