History of the Eugene Mission
The former Shield of Faith ministry operated a small mission on the second floor of an old store in downtown Eugene where the Eugene Hilton stands today. Meals were served to hungry, traveling men. No beds were provided.
The Eugene Mission was incorporated by three Christian area businessmen – Jack Gossard, Robert Freeman and John Huber.
The Eugene Mission relocated to a farmhouse at 1925 Roosevelt Boulevard, still providing meals only for a variety of men.
Ernie Unger became the Mission’s new executive director, replacing Roy Gable.
A new facility for men, complete with 50 beds and a cafeteria, was built in our current location at 1542 West 1st Avenue.
A dayroom was added, which provided a warm, dry place to stay, for guests at all hours – complete with laundry facilities, haircuts, and a gathering area, as well as additional dormitories for men. The population changed from traveling men to many with mental illness, addictions, criminal history.
A new women’s center was built with 50 beds. Refuge for homeless women; help for domestic abuse and addictions.
A mothers and children’s center with 34 beds was built. A safe haven from domestic violence, help for moms without jobs, quilts, teddy bears and stability for children!
Ernie Unger, 77, stepped down as executive director to join his wife, Pat in retirement after 50 years of serving the homeless in Eugene/Springfield.
Executive director Jack Tripp took over the helm of the 7.5 acre, 11 building campus with beds for 400 people each night and serving over 500 meals each day.
Sustainability efforts begin — bees, flower and vegetable gardens, and chicken coops have been established around campus.
Opening of the new, one-level, modern Women and Children’s Center, with beds with a capacity of 85-100.
The launching of our new Life Change Program – a faith-based, 12-18 month residential relapse prevention/recovery program for men and women – offered free of charge! Our in-house recovery team helps guests get to the root of their addictions, bad choices, and resultant homelessness, providing them with life skills, tools and hope for their future.
An expanded focus as a Wellness Center for the Homeless, providing a full range of social service case management to provide our guests long-term solutions out of homelessness. Still loving our neighbors by providing meals – 700+ each day, and beds – 400 each night, free clothing, toiletries, and God’s hope!