Our History

Our History

My Father’s House is a nonprofit agency that began in January 2001 because of the overwhelming need for family-shelters in Oregon. The housing authority in Multnomah County tells us that on any given night, there are more than 3,000 families that are homeless in our area and without hope. These families have been fragmented and broken by physical abuse, addiction, and a culture of poverty, helplessness and dependency that attacks every attempt to rise to a healthier level of existence. This culture is often generational in nature, producing individuals who are incapable or unknowledgeable of how to create a permanent solution to the instability in their lives.

My Father’s House reclaims at-risk homeless families from street life by providing them with the life skills necessary to become permanently independent and productive members of our community. It is our mission that they not only become self-sufficient, but that they discover their ability to contribute to a better community. We provide a safe environment where families begin their transition in a small private studio apartment within the shelter building. Residents develop skills and confidence in parenting, vocational, financial and recovery classes. Residents receive physical and emotional support to heal relational issues and help with spiritual and family growth. Our program and services are specifically designed to address the issues significant to families with children.

Our program has a great success rate of 75 to 80%. Each adult family member is expected to meet with a case manager who helps them set attainable goals for themselves, and work with them on developing their skills, holding them accountable for their progress. Our desire is to help them achieve these goals while teaching them that it pays to work.  My Father’s House is also unique amongst shelters, in that we take the entire family and we house families longer, usually 6 months, instead of the 30 day stay provided by most government funded agencies. In addition, 

Family Shelter - My Father's HouseWith the help of more than 140 churches, 95 businesses, and hundreds of individuals we know we can reach more families.  In 2008 we opened our new larger facility in East Multnomah County. The new shelter is paid in full, with over $3.9 million raised to complete this project. Today the new facility houses as many as 28 families at any time for a total of over 100 families every year. 

Then in 2015 we completed our new building.  This transitional housing program we call, Stepping Stones.  This new building is adjacent to our main shelter.  There are 12 two bedroom units providing additional housing for one year and continues with educational opportunities for families who need additional time to overcome their housing barriers and better their lives.

Also at the end of the 2015 year we purchased the house next to us on Powell Blvd.  As we planned what to do with this property we decided that we had our hands full with 40 families and what we really needed was a jobs program.  To help young adults learn how to get and keep a job.  Job skills some of us take for granted.  We also needed a place to repurpose unused donations.  The Journey was developed to meet both needs.  Erecting a thrift store/coffee shop along with a classroom and program for training was birthed.  In January 2021 we allowed the Gresham Fire Dept. to use the house for training and burn it down.  This same year we began the process of building The Journey, A learn & earn program.  Stay tuned for more info coming on this exciting project!

As you can see, My Father’s House has come a long way since 2000.  And the wonderful part is that we have done it all debt free!  We have hundreds of people to thank for all the financial support, volunteer support and encouragement within the community.  But most of all the organization chooses to thank God for His grace and love which makes us able to commit ourselves to the work of helping families change their lives.

We’d love to have you join us on this incredible journey in helping families transform their lives!

Cathe Wiese