ShelterCare is a private, nonprofit human services agency directed by a board of community volunteers. Program services are provided in key areas:
- a range of mental health programs from supported living to intensive residential care, with numerous programs specifically for people who are homeless;
- residential training programs for survivors of an acquired brain injury;
- emergency shelter and transitional housing support for families with children who are homeless;
- homelessness prevention services for families, who with individual, specialized services, have a good chance of remaining in their homes and avoiding homelessness.
ShelterCare was organized in 1970 to serve homeless families. Today, emergency shelter and support services for families are provided in 6 units at Family Housing Program in Eugene. Transitional support programs for families leaving shelter began in 1989 and currently serve over 20 families in Lane County.
The agency expanded its mission in 1978 to provide shelter and services for individuals challenged by the disabling symptoms of a severe, persistent mental illness (SPMI). Hawthorn Apartments (1982) hosts a supported housing community with 35 apartment units. Supported housing expanded in 1994. Today, ShelterCare's Supported Housing serves nearly 200 adults with SPMI in community housing settings. Garden Place (2001) is an intensive residential program serving 12 individuals. SPMI clients also are served at The Afiya Apartments and Brethren Housing in Springfield as well as at Family Housing.
The Heeran Center Residence (1994) is a unique partnership between the State Addictions & Mental Health Division and ShelterCare. HCR is a safe, structured environment for 16 adults with a severe and persistent mental illness who need a high level of psychiatric care but do not require a hospital environment. The program offers the alternative of being served in a community-based residential facility.
Agency services for SPMI individuals who have been habitually homeless began in 1997 in Glenwood with 16 beds at the Shankle shelter and outreach program, serving 16 residents onsite. The outreach serves an additional 12 clients and 12 more individuals are served in community supported housing. Most Shankle participants have had difficulty with traditional treatment programs and now find success with the Shankle program.
Services to people who are homeless with SPMI expanded in 2006 with The Inside Program (TIP), a program in which clients are given 'housing first' and then are supported in exploring the underlying issues of homelessness.
Supported Employment, a program began in 2001 through a grant with the U of O, and Peer Advocacy (2001) positions offer residents opportunities for employment.
The most recent addition of services is for survivors of brain injury. Brain injury (BI) rehabilitation is a phenomenon of the late twentieth century and has allowed many survivors an opportunity to return to active, independent community living. The Uhlhorn Program (1990) offers transitional housing for survivors residing at the Uhlhorn Apartments and longer term residential support for survivors at the River Kourt Apartments (1996).
The program is named after Bill Uhlhorn, agency director from 1976 to 1988. Though he died before seeing the program completed, he is acknowledged for helping create and guide the first expansion of services for people with SPMI and BI.
The Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP) started in 2006 and provides financial support & case management to keep families with children in their homes.