Share had its beginnings in 1979 when a group of caring people came together with the common goal of caring for the homeless and hungry in the Vancouver area.
Share’s mission is to lead the hungry and homeless to self-sufficiency by providing food, shelter, housing, education, advocacy and compassion through the strength of our community.
Individuals are often the public face of homelessness. About 20% of all homeless people suffer from chronic homelessness. As they are often without health care of family support, these individuals become frequent users of public services such as emergency rooms, police and social services.
Families typically become homeless as a result of a financial crisis, medical emergency, domestic violence or death in the family. Nationally, approx. 85,000 families experience homelessness each night. Homeless families require rent assistance, housing placement services, job assistance and other short-term, one-time services before being able to return to independence and stability.
Veterans often become homeless due to war-related disability or due to the difficulties of readjusting to civilian life, which can be worsened by substance abuse and violence. In 2009, the Dept. of Veterans Affairs estimated that nationwide there are approximately 131,000 homeless veterans, accounting for 20% of the entire homeless population. There are between 4,000 and 6,800 homeless veterans in Washington State.
Youth often become homeless due to familial disruption, including divorce, neglect or abuse. A large majority of young people who experience short-term homelessness return home or rejoin family or friends. Youth homelessness represents a challenge due to little definitive data on the population.
You can help Share and the hungry and homeless in our community in a variety of ways: Gifts of Hope is a great way to get involved, volunteer – prepare and serve a meal, provide assistance to Share Outreach clients, help fill backpacks for local school children, etc. – or donate new or gently-used clothes or non-perishable food items. and pick where you want to help!
You can also make a financial contribution; this can also be done in a variety of ways: make an on-line donation at sharevancouver.org or send a check to: Share, 2306 NE Andresen Road, Vancouver WA 98661. And, consider this: you can set-up monthly payments, take advantage of corporate matching (ask your employer for more information) and you can determine where your gift will help – you can indicate a specific program or you can ask that the donation be dedicated to where it is needed most.
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