Michelle’s Corner 6.9.2021
Over the past several months, ShelterCare staff and board volunteers have examined and evaluated the statements that define our culture: mission, vision and values. We did interviews internally and externally, we discussed, disagreed and came to conclusions. Finally, our board of directors voted unanimously to adopt our new mission statement.
The mission of ShelterCare is to provide compassionate housing and behavioral health services for individuals and families wanting a safe and stable home in our community.
I want to spend a few minutes with you to talk about the important aspects of this statement and how we felt certain words and phrases were vital to communicating what ShelterCare does in Lane County each and every day.
First I want to direct your attention to the word “compassionate.” Compassion literally means “to suffer together”. While compassion is related to the concepts of empathy or altruism, it adds another dimension to the idea of considering the perspective of the emotions of another individual. Compassion occurs when not only can you feel someone’s suffering, but then feel inspired and motivated to relieve that suffering. It’s not just saying, “that is a problem” but actually seeking ways to fix that problem. And ShelterCare is actively working on solutions, not just talking about them!
Next, there are many needs in our community, but ShelterCare is focusing on the housing crisis and in particular, the mental health crisis that feeds into homelessness. We follow the Housing First approach that prioritizes providing permanent housing to people experiencing homelessness, which serves as the platform from which they can pursue other goals, such as behavioral health treatment. The two go hand in hand: finding a home, and keeping a home.
Thirdly, ShelterCare understands that the needs of individuals and families are different, and has programs that are created to specifically address those different needs. Staff, partnering with our program participants, create plans to address housing goals that match identified goals.
Finally, our mission uses the broad phrase “wanting a safe and stable home” because our programs address everyone from those at risk of losing their homes, to those who have been chronically homeless, to those who have been successful in finding housing and need continued support with their mental health to remain stable in their housing. What all of our program participants have in common is the desire to be safe so that they can work, learn and be part of our community.