View from the Board: Tom Harburg

I have been on the board since June 2018. A lot has happened since my last spotlight in 2019. In April 2020 , I retired from my primary care practice. I have used my medical knowledge to become a COVID-19 tester and, more recently, to vaccinate people mainly in Lane County at the new Kaiser Permanente Chase Gardens Clinic. ShelterCare has done a magnificent job protecting its clients and employees from the virus.

COVID-19 has changed everything including many programs at ShelterCare. Some programs went forward, like the recently opened MLK Commons, with 51 units. ShelterCare is providing behavioral health services for the residents at this facility. Unfortunately, a program like the ShelterCare Medical Recuperation (SMR) has had to operate at 50% capacity. We now have an arrangement with PacificSource as well as Trillium to be paid for this service.

This period has been a challenge for all of the nonprofits, including ShelterCare. We did get some financial relief with the first payout from Congress which was lifesaving. COVID-19 has worsened the houseless situation even more than 2 years ago. There are fewer places for people to be sheltered or assisted. The Board is committed to expanding our services as pandemic effects lessen. I am excited to be a part of this future expansion.

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