Share Newsletters

‘Sharing Lives’ Newsletter Fall 2016

First-time Family Homelessness On the Rise

Nationwide, a more than 50% increase has been seen in rural and suburban family homelessness. The following is a story as told by single mom, Nicole, mother of three children (two teenagers, one elementary-school aged) who spent time earlier this year at Share Orchards Inn.

“Share Orchards Inn opened up the door to lots of services for me. This is my first time experiencing homelessness. I’ve never even had any major hardships in my life and I’m not familiar with the systems of getting help.

“Since coming here, it’s helped me to identify my barriers to housing, helped me get some credit counseling, so that I can get things back under control and get back into housing.

“I’ve been working the whole time, which is probably a little bit odd for some to think of when they think of homeless people. But any more it’s the experience of homelessness, not just someone who doesn’t work or abuses drugs or chooses to be homeless. It’s actually a very hard world out there and once you lose your home, I had no idea how hard it was to try to find another one.

Click here to read more of Nicole’s story.

16-summer-newsletter_smDownload a PDF version of the Fall 2016 Sharing Lives Newsletter to read all the stories from this quarter.

‘Sharing Lives’: Spring 2016 Edition

Share Partners with Clark College Foundation to Provide 8:1 Savings Match for Students

“I like to take challenges and try new things,” said Sameayah. “One day, I’d like to open my own early childhood education center.”

Which is why Sameayah was a great candidate for a new opportunity through our Individual Savings Account (IDA) Program: Share and Clark College Foundation have partnered to provide an 8:1 savings match for students who qualify for the Share IDA Program. Students agree to save $500 and will be matched with $4,000 for tuition, books, and fees that will be paid directly to Clark College.

“It’s a very beneficial program that teaches you how to be a better saver and manage your assets,” shared Sameayah. “It’s not just saving, you have to work and learn from the process, which has been inspiring for me.” Click here to read more about Sameayah and our IDA Program.

16 Spring Newsletter_smDownload a PDF version of the Spring 2016 Edition of ‘Sharing Lives to read all the stories from this quarter.

‘Sharing Lives’: Holiday 2015 Edition

Dedicated & Supportive Staff Help Share ASPIRE Client Reach Goal

A little over two years ago, Amber’s life was not so great. She had been in and out of prison several times and struggled with “how to live the correct way in the real world.” And then she found Share. After a short stay at Share Orchards Inn, Amber was accepted into our ASPIRE Program.

It was so awesome to be accepted into ASPIRE and move into our own apartment, but it was overwhelming with all the classes. And I wasn’t used to people helping me,” said Amber. “But my case manager, Cara, and Tom, the Assistant Program Director, were amazing—always there for me whenever I reached out for help. They helped me break the destructive cycle I was living in.

Amber took baby steps, eventually “learning to walk on my own.” Classes helped her accomplish everyday tasks like grocery shopping. She learned the importance of prioritizing, making a list and staying on budget. Click here to read more of Amber’s success story.

15 Holiday_cover_smDownload a PDF version of the Holiday 2015 Edition of ‘Sharing Lives’ to read all the stories from this quarter.

‘Sharing Lives’: Fall 2015 Edition

Alternative Housing Program Makes Successful Matches for Home-owners & Home-seekers

Rents are rising in Clark County. In fact the average rent for a two-bedroom, one-bath unit inched from $668 in 2010 to $716 in 2013; then last year it leapt to $924 – a 29% increase. As costs continue to rise, new solutions are needed to help people find an affordable place to call home.

Thanks to a Community Development Block Grant and the generosity of the Vancouver Housing Authority (VHA), the Alternative Housing program was created. It is now entirely funded by VHA and has Shared Housing Section 8 vouchers available. This free program links homeless, low-income individuals, couples or families with other home seekers in similar situations with landlords in Clark County.

It’s an affordable, mutually-beneficial housing program that fosters community, financial independence, security and self-sufficiency, all under one shared roof. And the program is successful! In just the past three months, we have served 28 people (room seekers and home providers), including Drew, Ryan and Bill.

Drew was homeless and came to Share in desperate need of affordable housing. He was sleeping outside or couch surfing at many different places. Living outside and the constant stress of finding a bed to sleep in was really taking a toll on his body, mind and young spirit. Drew works part time at Salvation Army, but does not make enough money to afford his own place. (cont. page 2) Click here to learn more about Drew, Ryan & Bill.

15 Fall Newsletter CoverDownload a PDF version of the Fall 2015 Edition of ‘Sharing Lives’ to read all the stories from this quarter.

‘Sharing Lives’: Summer 2015 Edition

Summer Meals Program to Serve 27,000 Meals at 18-24 Locations

Summer can be the hungriest time of year for kids in need. When schools close, school meals disappear, and for many of these children, summers are a time of hunger and anxiety. Below is an excerpt from the No Kid Hungry/Share Our Strength web site, citing statistics on hunger during the summer months:

For too many kids from low-income families, summer isn’t a time of vacations and backyard barbecues – it’s a time of hunger. Summer meals programs exist, but they operate under a set of outdated regulations that stop them from working very effectively. As a result, they only reach a fraction of the kids who need food and for every kid who eats regularly at a summer meals site, there are six more who miss out. That adds up to millions of children.”

We at Share want to reach those six children who are missing out and will expand our program to 18 sites – or, with more volunteers, we can expand to 24 sites! We partner with numerous community organizations that provide activities for children – and we provide the food. Share plans to provide 27,000 free meals to children during seven weeks from June 29 to August 14. In addition, from July 20 to August 7, we will make and deliver an extra 550 meals per day to three school programs. Click here to read the full story..

15Final_Summer Sharing Lives_smDownload a PDF version of the Summer 2015 Edition of ‘Sharing Lives’ to read all the stories from this quarter.

‘Sharing Lives’ Spring 2015 Edition

Backpack Program Expands with Addition of Fresh Food Pantries

More than 40 families from the Marrion Elementary neighborhood come regularly to the Family & Community Resource Center (FCRC) for one important reason: they can choose what food they bring home to their families. And because Share is able to stock the pantry differently than the backpacks sent home, they are able to choose from fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meat. On these Fresh Food Pantry days, the inside of the FCRC looks like a very small grocery store: boxes filled with bananas, potatoes, oranges, avocadoes and bread; coolers filled with lettuce, yogurt, hummus, frozen steaks and pizzas.

No longer simply the domain of canned corn and peanut butter, Share’s Backpack Program has expanded with the opening of four Fresh Food Pantries, one each at Marrion, Orchards, Washington and Sarah J. Anderson Elementary Schools. The food offerings change from week to week, based on donations received at the Clark County Food Bank, with whom Share partners for this program. Click below to read the full article and learn more about our Fresh Food Pantry Program.

15Final_Spring Sharing Lives_single_smDownload a PDF version of the Spring 2015 edition of Sharing Lives to read all the stories from this quarter.