Collaborative Unity Shelter to Serve Area’s Unhoused, Shawn Collins Returns

  New umbrella organization, Unity Shelter, will serve three Corvallis programs for the area’s unhoused. The programs include the Corvallis Men’s Shelter, SafePlace, and Room at the Inn.  

Leadership and staff will remain the same at these programs, with Unity Shelter adding overarching financial and operational management and leadership. More programs could be added later, if proving to meet the organization’s standard of providing safe shelter via collaborative care. 

The role of Executive Director was given to Shawn Collins, current program manager at the Men’s Shelter. President of the Board of Directors was announced as Rev. Jill McAllister, senior minister at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Corvallis. The fellowship has a long history of working with the area’s unhoused population, and has served as the fiscal agent to the Men’s Shelter.  

The Men’s Shelter serves an average of 40 to 50 unhoused individuals each night from November to April. The shelter has also provided hygiene and food services during the current pandemic.  

SafePlace, located at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Corvallis, provides a Safe Camp for area unhoused, and has recently added microshelters at the Corvallis Evangelical Church and the First United Methodist Church – to house individuals, couples, or single parents deemed medically fragile. 

Located at the First United Methodist Church, Room at the Inn also now includes four microshelters. 

Unity Shelter was officially registered with the office of the Oregon Secretary of State in January, and is in the process of obtaining a 501(c)3 tax-exempt designation.  

“When it all boils down, the point of creating Unity Shelter is to do what the programs are doing, better,” said Collins. “Looking across the programs at training and staff development, policy, partnerships and service connections, and operations, Unity Shelter will look for ways to strengthen and streamline. We will build on successful partnerships to improve the health, safety and well-being of some of the most vulnerable in our community, and help people make progress on the path to safe and stable housing.” 

Donations can be made to the three aforementioned programs. For more information on the organization or how to donate, visit unityshelter.org. 

By Stevie Beisswanger