ShelterCare was organized in 1970 to serve homeless families. Today, emergency shelter and support services for families are provided in 7 units at Family Housing Program in Eugene and in four units at Brethren Housing (started in 1985) in Springfield. 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 Eugene Supported Housing serves more than 100 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 (16) and Brethren Housing (5) in Springfield as well as at Family Housing (19).
The Heeran Center Residence (1994) is a unique partnership between the State Addictions & Mental Health Division and ShelterCare. HCR is a safe, structured enviornment for 16 adults with a severe and persistant mental illness who need a high level of psychiatric care but do not require a hospital enviornment. 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 Safe Haven shelter and day room program. The day program serves an additional 12 clients and serves 12 more individuals in community supported housing. Most Shankle Safe Haven participants have had difficulty with traditional treatment programs and now find success with the Safe Haven 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.
Crisis Management and Intensive Care for SPMI adults expanded the agency’s mental health programs with the opening of Royal Avenue Program in 1987. The program currently has 19 units offering crisis management services for persons with severe, persistent mental illness who are experiencing a mental health crisis.
Supported Employment, a program begun 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 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.