CCS has recently partnered with Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) to help sustain the operation of St. Joseph Shelter and to help more families facing extreme adversity to stay together. There will be some operational changes as a result of the partnership. Families will be screened and referred by DHS, instead of referring themselves, with an emphasis on those found to be at imminent risk of losing their children to foster care if they cannot find safe, drug-free housing.
Positive aspects of the partnership and new screening process include:
• Families will receive additional support such as mental health counseling, alcohol and drug counseling, vocational training, child-care and transportation;
• DHS will contribute to the annual cost of operating the program;
• With the continued support of the community, the Shelter and Mission Benedict are expected to be more financially sustainable over time.
In addition to evaluating the initial DHS partnership proposal, the St. Joseph Shelter Advisory Board has appointed a master planning committee of local leaders to consult with CCS to ensure that the Shelter, Mission Benedict, Casa Adele and the property they occupy continue to meet the needs and aspirations of the community for years to come. The committee hosted an open house in July and distributed a community survey to guide future recommendations.
Mission Benedict will remain unchanged and will continue to serve all who come to the door in need of help. A new community garden has been installed to ensure community members in need have access to more fresh produce.