State Program Paves Way for Agency’s New Home

ShelterCare’s new Center for Programs and Services has been up and running since late 2014, but it might not have been possible without the help of a state program called the Low Income Community Jobs Initiative, more commonly known as Oregon’s New Markets Tax Credit program.

Out with the old...
Out with the old…

The state’s New Market Tax Credits allowed ShelterCare to secure the necessary financing for an extensive remodel and expansion of a former timber warehouse purchased in 2011, transforming the old lumber building into a new hub for Eugene and Springfield services.

…and in with the new.
…and in with the new.

Located at the center of our 11-facility network, the Center for Programs and Services offers the benefit of having a variety of specialists located under a single roof – streamlining access to services for our clients, and enhancing our capacity to engage with partners to develop new programs that address homelessness, mental illness and poverty in our community. The new services hub also created seven additional full-time jobs.

Oregon’s New Market Tax Credit program was created in 2011 with a goal to create jobs in low-income areas by attracting new investors to the state and helping to fill financing gaps for organizations.

Like the federal New Market Tax Credit program, the state’s NMTCs are designed to enable job growth and retention in communities that historically have been underserved by traditional sources of investment capital. Since it began, Oregon’s NMTC program has helped to fund dozens of projects in economically distressed and underserved communities across the state.

ShelterCare Makes Big Difference for Former Pro Athlete

It’s pretty easy to see that Dennis E. is a thankful person. But he admits that hasn’t always been the case.

Dennis says he is very grateful to ShelterCare employees, including his former counselor Linsey Johnson.
Dennis says he is very grateful to ShelterCare employees, including his former counselor Linsey Johnson.

Dennis, 58, grew up in Cottage Grove, Ore., and developed an early appreciation for sports. The fact is, he excelled at them. Football, basketball, baseball … anything with hand-eye coordination came easy to Dennis.

His high athletic IQ even allowed him to share his insight with young athletes. He began coaching younger kids in baseball when he was just 10 years old and worked with children all the way through college.

Despite this success, he says he still felt like a “scared little kid” — anxious and uncertain. He moved on with his life and from an outsider’s perspective, all seemed well. He even got married and had two kids — a son and a daughter.

His natural abilities led him to play slow-pitch softball for a travel team during his late 20s. The experience allowed him to travel around the United States with a team comprised of men from accomplished sports backgrounds, including former NCAA athletes.

With this lifestyle came challenges and temptations, he said. His desire to fit in as “one of the boys” and excel on the field wore him down, and that “scared little kid” came back into his life.

“It became a situation where I became somebody I wasn’t,” he said. During those softball seasons on the road, gambling and alcohol got the better of him, and soon his family life crumbled.

Today, Dennis admits he has an addiction disorder. At the time, he says he lied to himself and his family about his problems.

“I really neglected my responsibility as a dad, and it was all about me,” he said. Soon he was divorced and health problems crept into the picture.

Before entering ShelterCare’s Supported Housing Program in 2014, Dennis said he had an epiphany. He was in the hospital in Portland, having the toes on his foot removed due to complications related to his alcoholism when he realized he had hit rock bottom. About this time his sister had passed away after a battle with cancer, and he had not gone to see her.

“After neglecting to see my sister, I knew I was sick,” he said. He was ready to change. He was ready for the “scared little kid” to go away.

Today ShelterCare provides Dennis with housing and counseling. He has been given a second chance, and he said he wants to make the most of it.

“You guys [ShelterCare] are selfless,” he said. “ShelterCare has been there every step of the way.”

Ari Hirschstein, a ShelterCare consumer skills trainer, said Dennis has formed a strong foundation to help him move forward.

“He uses his strong Christian faith to provide support to himself and those around him,” Ari said. “He wants to watch the world blossom and be a part of that process. I think that through his faith, he is finding inner peace and drive that will push him forward through his life.”

Since becoming a part of the Supported Housing Program, Dennis said ShelterCare staff helped him connect with health benefits and navigate the complicated system of care for his mental and physical health needs.

“People don’t want a handout, they want a hand up. That’s what ShelterCare has done for me: given me a hand up,” he said.

PeaceHealth and Trillium support have allowed him to deal with his medical concerns (the toes on his other foot also required amputation), and his church and family — including his ex-wife — have all reappeared in his life.

Dennis has asked for their forgiveness and now is beginning to repair bridges. He even wears his wedding ring in the hope that someday he can remarry his wife. But he holds no expectations, just hope. Every day is a gift, he says.

“I want to show God’s love in my actions with whatever time I have left on this earth.”

ShelterCare Scavenger Hunt Wraps Up

ShelterCare's first scavenger hunt, which was organized by ShelterCare supporters Carlos Barrera and Rebecca LaMothe, is officially in the books. The pair challenged ShelterCare supporters to be on the lookout for yard sale, antique store and estate sale treasures to donate to our clients in need.

Don Gulbrandsen, ShelterCare’s Agency Recruiter (right) presented scavenger hunt organizers Carlos Barrera and his fiancé Rebecca LaMothe with a trophy to recognize their efforts in organizing the Scavenger Hunt.
Don Gulbrandsen, ShelterCare Agency Recruiter (right) presented scavenger hunt organizers Carlos Barrera and his fiance Rebecca LaMothe with a trophy to recognize their efforts in organizing the hunt.

Thanks to their hard work, ShelterCare clients will have a nice selection of household goods to choose from when they move into their new homes. Thank you Carlos and Rebecca for "ShelterCaring" about homelessness!

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Moss Adams: Volunteering is ‘right thing to do’

For employees at Moss Adams LLP, volunteering at area nonprofits is not only a benefit to the community — it's a lot of fun.

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"We believe it is our responsibility to provide what we can to the nonprofit/social service sector of our community," said Michelle Meador, Regional Sales & Marketing Manager with Moss Adams. "Aside from the fact that it is just the right thing to do, we always have fun when we are out volunteering and giving back."

Last month, volunteers built raised garden beds at Uhlhorn and helped power wash the property.
Last month, volunteers built raised garden beds at Uhlhorn and helped power wash the property.

Moss Adams is a full-service accounting firm dedicated to partnering with its clients to provide exceptional client service and business consulting that goes beyond the standard tax and audit requirements.

"Our purpose is to make a difference for our people and clients," Michelle said. "Moss Adams has been in Eugene for close to 50 years – this is where we work and live."  

The company has invested its time in a "Community Service Day" for the past two years. Last year, they helped to beautify the grounds at ShelterCare's Family Housing Program (now called the Housing, Health and Wellness Program). This year, they built garden boxes at ShelterCare's Uhlhorn Program — which houses and supports adults with traumatic brain injuries — much to the delight of the program's residents.

Thank you Moss Adams!
Thank you Moss Adams!

"ShelterCare is an amazing organization," Michelle said. "The depth of services they provide to our community is unparalleled. We have been fortunate to have one of our partners (Brad Smith) on the board of ShelterCare, and to have volunteered at a ShelterCare site for the last two years."

Thank you Moss Adams for your partnership!

There’s Still Time: Be Part of the Hunt!

ShelterCare's first scavenger hunt is nearly halfway complete! Throughout July, we challenge ShelterCare supporters to be on the lookout for yard sale, antique store and estate sale treasures to donate to our clients in need.

Don Gulbrandsen, ShelterCare's Agency Recruiter (left) with scavenger hunt organizer Carlos Barrera.
Don Gulbrandsen, ShelterCare’s Agency Recruiter (left) with scavenger hunt organizer Carlos Barrera and some of his scavenger hunt treasures.
Scavenger hunt organizer and ShelterCare supporter Carlos Barrera hopes to organize five teams that will gather household furnishings for ShelterCare clients during the month.

Think Goonies, with a twist! 

Teams may be made up of family members, church groups, co-workers, etc. 

Want to get involved? For more information or to register your team, e-mail Kelly Johnson at kjohnson (at) sheltercare (dot) org