The primary service of Shelly’s House is to provide a safe place for women to live while transitioning to independent living, free of criminal activity and the use of illegal drugs or alcohol. Residents are assigned to Shelly’s House by their supervising Parole/ Probation Officer, and can be referred by Marion County Parole and Probation, Marion County Adult Corrections, Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, or Marion County Drug Court. But for this facility, our residents face a very serious risk of homelessness and relapse into substance abuse. Without this safe, clean housing resource, they would very likely live on the streets or return to the same living situation, friends, maybe even family, that contributed to their prior addiction and crime.
A secondary service provided by Shelly’s House is the monitoring, oversight, encouragement, and accountability delivered by our Resident Manager and our volunteer board members, most of whom have had long careers in the field of adult corrections, education, or alcohol/drug counseling. The Resident Manager gets to know each resident. She is attuned to behaviors, temperaments, and anxiety that may signal problems for the household or for individual residents. She provides oversight and direction to each resident, and supports them as they face the daily challenge of living without the crutches of illegal drugs and alcohol. They get positive peer support from their housemates, feeling both pressure and strong support for remaining clean and sober.
Finally, residents of Shelly’s House are held accountable for their choices and their actions. They are expected to find employment as quickly as possible, and to provide volunteer service in the community until they do find employment. They are expected to actively participate in their treatment programs each week. They are under Parole/Probation supervision and must report to their PO weekly. They are assigned weekly household duties, and they face consequences for failing to perform in any area. Because they are new in their recovery, and relearning how to live independently without the structure of prison schedules and restrictions, the residents have a strict curfew and must log in and out each day. They are required to attend weekly house meetings and to follow house rules, being respectful of each other and the Resident Manager.
Shelly’s House residents receive coaching and mentoring in how to look for a job and how to develop a good work ethic. They must make weekly job contacts until they have a job, and may also be pursuing a vocational training program or taking classes at Chemeketa Community College. Our residents are also often mothers separated from their children by their addiction and the crimes they have committed. Yet most want to maintain a connection with their children, and many are actively pursuing a safe home where they can fulfill the role of mother and reunite with their children, forming once again a family unit that enriches each member’s life.
The average length of stay at Shelly’s House is approximately six months, although it is Shelly's House’s policy to encourage a resident to stay until she is stable and can move on safely to her own apartment or home. No one is turned away for inability to pay, however each resident is expected to assume responsibility for her cost of living at Shelly’s House as well as for her own personal living expenses as quickly as possible. Approximately 40 women pass through Shelly’s House each year, and some have returned several times over years before they finally get it right. Each time another women succeeds at living independently, free of crime and substance abuse, our community is made safer!