(Courtesy Catholic Charities)
(Courtesy Catholic Charities)
On Dec. 18, 2021, Catholic Charities of Oregon’s Housing Transitions Program celebrated its 15th anniversary.

“We are incredibly proud of our program’s staff, volunteers, and clients and how the program has lifted up our unhoused neighbors over the years,” said a statement from Catholic Charities.

Since its inception, the program has aimed to remove barriers to permanent housing and provide housing services to women experiencing homelessness. While many housing opportunities cater to single mothers, the Catholic Charities program fills the gap by assisting women who are at least 25 and do not have children in their care.

A major part of the Housing Transitions Program is drop-in service. Clients can come take a shower, wash clothes, use the phone, receive mail, eat in community, and build relationships with other clients, staff and volunteers.

The Housing Transitions Program has faced unique challenges, mourned the loss of friends and celebrated success.

Gail, a longtime client of Catholic Charities, became homeless young and continued to struggle to find supportive housing. She eventually found herself at a Catholic Charities drop-in site and began to build relationships.

While the Catholic Charities team was able to get Gail into subsidized housing, as a result of her childhood trauma she continued to turn to drugs and alcohol to cope. After she became involved in the legal system and because of that involvement, Gail went into alcohol and drug treatment. She worked hard on achieving sobriety and began to move away from her old way of coping and instead utilized her new support system — Catholic Charities — to achieve her goals.

After graduating from treatment, Gail was eager to give back to the recovery community that had helped her reclaim her life. She studied to become a drug and alcohol counselor and graduated from college. After graduation, she was hired as a peer recovery mentor for a program serving women involved in the justice system who are in early recovery.

With the support of her community, Gail was able to lift herself up, obtain her goals, and ultimately give back to others facing similar hardship.

“We are proud to have witnessed Gail’s success and the success of many of our clients over the past 15 years,” said the statement from Catholic Charities, “and are grateful for the hope they provide to others.”