In 1985 a group of Laguna Beach residents established the CARE program to provide temporary shelter and meals for the homeless, under the leadership of Fr. Colin Henderson. In just a short time it became evident that the need for comprehensive services was greater than the scope of the CARE program.
1987…Friendship Shelter Inc. (FSI) was incorporated as a non-profit organization.
1988… Friendship Shelter’s doors open to 18 homeless residents at the site of a former residential hotel, built in 1938, on South Coast Highway.
1991… With the help of Orange County’s building industry and a HUD Home Improvement Grant, and with support from the City of Laguna Beach, the facility was expanded from 18 to 29 beds.
1995… Recognizing the need for increased transitional housing to support shelter graduates, Friendship Shelter acquired and renovated two adjacent apartment buildings in San Clemente. Henderson House opened its doors to 25 shelter graduates, providing transitional living for up to one year.
1998…Renaissance Club was launched to help secure financial stability and continues as an important source of funding – members commit to $1000 per year for three years.
2006… A period of renewal begins, with improvements to the program, the organizational structure and both facilities. Friendship Shelter is now home to 31 homeless men and women at a time, with expanded services including case management, legal and financial counseling, an increasing network of pro bono medical and dental providers, personal development workshops and life-skills coaching,
2008… Project READY [[Relapse prevention Employment development Affordable housing Determined by You!] is launched at Henderson House to help equip residents for long-term success in the mainstream community. The shelter’s house supervision program is revamped to provide round-the-clock service. A professionalized case management system is put in place, with support from graduate school interns, to facilitate and monitor individualized personal development plans for every resident. A volunteer nurse provides health assessments to every new resident, and to monitor treatment. Continued facility upgrades include the establishment of resource rooms at both locations, including a bank of computers and meeting space. Friendship Shelter capacity increased to 32; at Henderson House: 24. Key Club launched for $5,000+ donors. 20th Anniversary Trustees are named to serve as advisors. Dawn Price is appointed chief executive.
2009...City of Laguna Beach contracts with Friendship Shelter to manage the overnight hours at its Alternative Sleeping Location shelter.
2011...Friendship Shelter joins facebook! "Like" us and follow the latest volunteer opportunities, pertinent news, upcoming events, inspirational quotes, pictures and networking with others who share a passion for helping Orange County's homeless.
2013! This year we celebrate 25 years of helping Orange County's homeless achieve self-sufficiency!
Since the beginning, more than 6,000 homeless adults have come to Friendship Shelter in despair and found hope and opportunity.