Frequently Asked Questions:

What we offer families.

We provide temporary, safe, well-maintained housing in small, self-contained, basic apartments. Both apartments are fully equipped, and include personal computers with Internet access. These rent-free facilities are available to homeless families needing short-term assistance due to severe economic setbacks.

Trained volunteers from the seven local church congregations provide direct support to the guest families during revolving two-week periods. Through daily contact, and most importantly, listening, volunteers work closely with guest families to encourage their self-sufficiency goals and to support their transition toward independence.

We can provide transportation for moving, shopping, appointments, classes or emergencies. We can also help with childcare and providing enrichment experiences for the children. Our goal is to support the family, even if the need is for training in cooking skills. Sometimes it's sufficient just to be present - to show a caring heart and to help provide resources at a time of need. A case manager from Clackamas County Social Services provides assistance with goal-setting, housekeeping skills, life skills, budgeting, etc.

Once permanent housing is secured, LOTSM assists in the physical move. Both the case manager and LOTSM volunteers continue to stay in contact with the families from then on.

How we are funded.

We receive donations from our seven participating Lake Oswego area churches, along with individual donations and church- and LOTSM-sponsored fundraising events and occasional grants. All monies received are used solely for the direct benefit of our resident families while they are in our apartments and after they move to permanent housing.

How the community benefits.

Our transitional shelters have received broad-based community support since we first opened our doors in 1988. Neighbors near the shelters have never lodged a complaint, and in fact, the shelters have drawn some neighbors to directly support and befriend guest families. Children of guest families often attend the same schools as children in the larger neighborhood.

The Lake Oswego Police Department has supported these shelters since LOTSM's inception and continues to be supportive. The shelters by themselves and LOTSM volunteers have helped to raise awareness in our community of the needs of families in crisis.

Why are we needed?

Clackamas County homeless count 2015