Our MissionGrounded in unconditional love reflected by our diverse faith communities, we commit ourselves to service with the poor, homeless, and vulnerable. Believing every person deserves to realize their God-given potential, we dedicate ourselves to passionately advocate for a compassionate and just society. Recognizing the dignity and worth of each person, we provide safety, shelter, food, life coaching, and hope.
Our HistoryThe United Caring Shelters, Inc. (UCS) began as an idea that came about in a Sunday School class at Bethel United Church of Christ in June 1991. Shortly thereafter, we opened a day shelter at St Anthony's Family Life Center and served about 25 to 30 people two meals a day. An emergency night shelter was added for single men with 12 bunk beds in an area of Emmanuel Lutheran. We added laundry facilities when we realized that this helped men and women save money in order to pay for the main necessities in life.
In 1996, United Caring Shelters bought an abandoned brick warehouse one block north of the YMCA. This building was four stories and had a basement. It was close to the main bus terminal and the services for employment, social service agencies and government offices that assist the homeless and needy in our area. Volunteers remodeled the first floor in seven months. It soon turned into a soup kitchen and day shelter.
The first floor provides meals for everybody, no questions asked. United Caring Shelters is the only local shelter to offer laundry and shower facilities and allow the use of the shelter address to people who need to use it for job applications, social security disability benefits and so that their family can keep in contact with them.
The second floor provides a safe haven for men to sleep from 7:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. There are bunk beds in a dorm-type atmosphere. We have a curfew at night and a wake up service for those who need to get to work on time in the morning.
The third and fourth floors have been renovated for our Transitional Housing program. Each apartment has a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living area. Each tenant is required to have a job and the rent is based on his income. The tenants can only be in the program for a total of 24 months and are they required to take many different classes. There are monthly house meetings and individual case management meetings with tenants are being conducted on a weekly basis depending on the tenant’s needs and work schedule.
In November of 2011 we opened an Emergency Night Shelter for single women. This program was located off campus in the former St. Anthony Convent at First Avenue and Columbia. On December 19th, 2012 the Board of Directors of United Caring Shelters and Ruth’s House approved a merger. The Ruth’s House facility became the new home of the UCS Women’s Emergency Shelter Program on January 1st, 2013. Ruth’s House continues to offer Services and Shelter to 26 single Homeless Women.
On July 31, 2013 United Caring Shelters announced, after a yearlong evaluation, they would rename the organization United Caring Services. The UCS Board of Directors agreed a name change would best reflect the growth of the organization and the movement to fulfilling the vision of ending dependence and creating a Community of Caring.