1992- Our story begins in the fall of 1992 as a number of churches joined together to form the County Shelter Program, a faith based, nonprofit 501 © (3), all volunteer organization whose sole purpose was providing emergency shelter. Shortly after its inception, the organization added meals in various church parish halls to its agenda. In the beginning, the County Shelter Program only served the Centralia/Chehalis area.
1999- Big things were happening for the organization in ’99. First was a name change: Lewis County Shelter Program. This meant an expansion of services to include the entire county. Second, by-laws were adapted. These changes meant a growing independence from the Lewis County Association of Churches that had been governing the program. Also, in 1999, the shelter program received a grant from the State of Washington to offer rental assistance and supportive services to families with children.
Shelter services were increased offering year-round shelter with donated space through various churches. There was no one, single shelter. Instead, the location would change month to month.
LCSP’s first property was purchased: The CC Wilson Apartment Building. The hope was that the building could be remodeled to accommodate 15 singles with low income transitional housing and a permanent men’s shelter.
2001- Lewis County Shelter Program hired its first executive director and was donated the use of a house that allowed for six shelter beds for women with children only.
2002- The transitional rental assistance expanded to serve additional households. This was the year that LCSP demonstrated its growing commitment to the community by responding to a need to assist in the relocation of residents of a mobile home park, as well as, being active participants in the county’s “Continuum of Care” planning.
2003- A watershed year for LCSP! The refinancing of the CC Wilson Apartments finally got the remodeling of the apartments and shelter underway AND another facility was purchased to provide office space for the ever growing program. That same year, Russell Road Apartments, LLC, a limited partnership was formed as a subsidiary of LCSP. Russell Road Apartments was awarded Low Income Tax Credit status to develop a 26 unit apartment complex in Centralia for low income families.
2004- Emergency shelter was unavailable for a portion of 2004. LCSP had completely broken away from the churches offering shelter and the remodel of the CC Wilson building was still being remodeled. By year’s end, LCSP had a permanent 14 bed capacity men’s shelter open in the Wilson Apartment building and received a conditional use permit to operate a 20 bed shelter for women and children in the United Methodist Church in Chehalis. The Methodist Church offered a lease for the basement of their building so that LCSP did not have to worry about where the clients would be sheltered from night to night.
Also in 2004, a second subsidiary, Russell Road Apartments II LLC, was formed and a second 25 unit low-income housing project was built. Both Russell Road Apartment projects were complete and fully occupied by 2006. As the general partner in both, LCSP provides case management services to the occupants of the ten set-aside units for the formerly homeless.
2012- The miniscule office building on N. Tower in which LCSP was housed was no longer adequate. After a short search, a new office space was leased at the current location of 621 S. Diamond in Centralia. To go from 2 ½ miniscule office spaces to 7 spaces was an amazing thing; room to breathe and more importantly, privacy for the clients.
2015- Through the years, the program has grown exponentially. From Social Security facilitation to Coordinated Entry to Building Changes, LCSP has flourished in an attempt to offer services to low-income and homeless. The evolution of the program brought on the need for a name change. Lewis County Shelter Program no longer described what was actually being offered. In January of 2015, LCSP became known as the Housing Resource Center. Shelter was only a small portion of what the program actually offers so a name that didn’t include the word “shelter” was warranted. Housing Resource Center is an “umbrella” name that reflects all the programs.
A huge step was taken in 2015 with the purchase of a 5 bedroom house for shelter for families and single females. Now the sheltered children have a fenced in yard in which to play and all of the business is centralized in Centralia. The Housing Resource Center is now owner of each of their shelters.
The Housing Resource Center is proud to provide the entire range of services to its clients, taking them from homelessness to permanent stable housing. HRC continues to seek to expand and improve its services to the homeless and low-income of Lewis County.