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About us..

Star of Hope Activity Center, Inc. (SOH) is a private, non-profit corporation that provides training, employment, and housing for adults diagnosed with developmental disabilities. SOH is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and operated by paid staff.

The Mission of Star of Hope is:

"To provide community support services in Southwestern Oregon to adults with developmental disabilities in a manner which encourages independence, productivity, and physical integration.

Our History...

  • 1964 - Ever since Star of Hope opened its doors, it has been providing assistance to individuals with developmental disabilities, helping them to become more independent and self-sufficient members of their community.
     

  • 1984 - The Star of Hope added a ten bed training residence in North Bend in response to a need for additional residential services in the community. This home, known as Monroe St. Group Home, became the entry level into the SOH Residential Program. Residents could then graduate to the training residence in Empire, a community of Coos Bay, there they developed the skills to live more independently. This training residence is called Cammann St. Group Home.
     

  • 1986 - A Semi-Independent-Living Program was added in April. In this program, residents lived in his or her home or apartment under the guidance of a support person. This program was met with great success supporting individuals in Southwest Oregon who had minimal needs in Coos County, but ended in 2006.
     

  • 1993 - The agency assumed the operation of a group home on Virginia St. that serves five medically frail individuals.
     

  • 1994 - The agency opened a fourth Group Home called Compass Circle. This home serves five non-ambulatory residents in a home setting; all of these residents are former residents of a State Hospital - Fairview.
     

  • 1994 - The Star of Hope was licensed to serve slightly more independent individuals in a Supporting Living Program. This is a Community Supports Program for clients living in their own apartments, which provides supports daily or weekly to help adults retain community living skills.
     

  • 2002- The Star of Hope, through an Ameri-Corps grant, added a Social/Leisure Program to help develop opportunities for community integration with the help of Volunteers.
     

  • 2003 - The Star of Hope developed a Semi-Retirement Program to meet the needs of our aging individuals.  This program currently serves eight individuals two days a week.
     

  • 2004 - The Star of Hope expanded once again; as services to the community were started in lawn care, wine bottle recycling and sales, commercial/residential cleaning services, confidential document destruction, handmade cards, hand woven rugs, and product assembly.
     

  • 2005 - The Star of Hope purchased the two adjoining buildings next to the SOH main offices, and a vacant lot at the other end of the SOH building. This allowed for expansion of the Wine Bottle Rescuer’s program and provided needed office space for the Human Resource Department and also provided a room to conduct company training and meetings.
     

  • 2006 - The Star of Hope purchased the Oregon Connection/House of Myrtlewood a retail establishment. The acquisition of The Oregon Connection provided an additional catalyst in supporting the overall mission of SOH in serving adults with developmental disabilities.  The Oregon Connection fits into the overall company’s strategic plan and goals which include:
     

    • Diversify vocational training opportunities

    • Develop additional employment options

    • Strengthen Star of Hope financial plan for adults with developmental disabilities
       

In managing the Oregon Connection/House of Myrtlewood, Star of Hope has kept the business exactly how its loyal customers have come to love and expect.  The expert employees have all been retained and have benefited by the Star of Hope clientele assisting in the factory, mill and store.  Star of Hope’s hand woven, one of a kind, loomed rugs, and handmade greeting cards, both produced by adults with developmental disabilities, are featured in the store, having already been introduced into the product line in 2004.

  • 2008 - The Star of Hope substantially increased the Community Supports Program. Services such as medication administration, shopping, cooking, apartment cleaning, doctor appointments, community inclusion, and many others are provided to 20 individuals living in their own apartments. This program is continuing to grow as an increasing number of individuals who want to become more independent learn of our services.
     

  • 2009 - The Star of Hope opened a 5th group home, Cedar Court Group Home. This home is a three bedroom home and serves 3 adult males with challenging behaviors in a residential setting. This year also marked the first annual fundraiser, “Star of Hope’s Bluegrass Bash!” held at the Coos Bay Speedway.
     

  • 2010 - The Star of Hope, opened the 6th group home, Lombard Street, for three male adults with challenging behaviors. Opened an Oregon Connection/House of Myrtlewood store at the North Bend Airport in July. Fundraisers continued with the 2nd Annual “Star of Hope’s Bluegrass Bash!” – a Free Concert at Mingus Park, in Coos Bay on August 7th.
     

  • 2011 - The Star of Hope had the 1st Annual “Star of Hope’s Valentine’s Dinner and Dance” at the Mill Casino on February 12th which was a tremendous success. The 3rd annual “Star of Hope’s Bluegrass Bash”! August 27, 2011, a free concert in Mingus Park, Coos Bay, was a resounding success with the added Classic Car Competition won by 1967 Green VW Bug and the Fire Station Chili Cook-Off won by Coos Bay Fire Department!
     

  • 2012 - The Star of Hope opened our 7th Group Home, Marple Street Group Home, a three bedroom home serving 3 female clients with challenging behaviors. Had our 2nd Annual “Star of Hope’s Valentine’s Dinner and Dance” at the Mill Casino on February 18th which was very successful! We doubled our profit from the previous year!
     

  • 2013 - Star of Hope opened our 8th Group Home, Ash Street Group Home, a three bedroom home serving 3 female clients with higher needs. We had our 3rd Annual “Valentine’s with the Stars, Dinner Dance and Bachelor and Celebrity Auction” at the Mill Casino. This Fundraiser was very successful again this year and continues to grow in popularity each year we have had it. Star of Hope’s recycling program, with a lot of help from International Paper, has expanded to take all paper products including cardboard again, vacuum cleaners, and some plastics.
     

  • 2014 - Our 4th Annual “Valentine’s with the Stars, Dinner Dance and Bachelor and Celebrity Auction” was again held at the Mill Casino on February 8th and once again was a wonderful success! We doubled our profits from the prior year and a record crowd attended!
     

  • 2015 - The State has begun the process of closing down Sheltered Workshops so Star of Hope began our Customized Employment Program where we work with Vocational Rehabilitation to place clients into jobs in the Community.  Our 5th Annual “Valentine’s with the Stars, Dinner Dance and Bachelor and Celebrity Auction” was held at the Mill Casino on February 14th and this year we had to turn people away at the door as we had sold out!
     

  • 2016 - Our 9th Group Home, Forest View, is located on Ash Street in North Bend. It is a three bedroom home serving 3 male clients with challenging behaviors. It opened on January 19th this year. Our 6th Annual “Valentine’s with the Stars, Dinner Dance and Bachelor and Celebrity Auction” was held on February 13, 2016, and was very successful once again! This year, our Executive Director Dr. Gerald H. Miller retired and Ms. LouAnn Dewater was promoted to Executive Director. LouAnn had started her career at Star of Hope 18 years prior as an on-call and worked her way through all Star of Hope programs. Before being hired as Executive Director, she served as Deputy Director for Star of Hope.  LouAnn attended classes at Southwestern Community College, also is a graduate of Leadership Coos, NISH Institute for Leadership, Development and Performance and Certified through Cornell University Leadership Academy.  She is a member of Soroptimist International and is an active community member.
     

  • 2017 - Was a very busy year! Our Fundraising Committee met and they felt that we needed a change this year as our Annual Valentine Event seemed to have run its course and we were going up against other agencies doing the same kind of event so, the Fundraising Committee decided to have several smaller fundraisers which would get our name out in the public more often than once a year. We did have those fundraisers and they proved to be as successful as our Valentine Event. Star of Hope was also very busy making transformations to our building as we had applied for and received a transformation grant from the State of Oregon. We transformed our document destruction room into several smaller meeting rooms. The meeting rooms were used for our clients for interviews with possible employers and practice interviews. We also created some classrooms for computer classes and other classes that will help our clients to get jobs. As the year progressed we were successful in placing most of our clients into jobs in the community! Near the end of the year it was with much sadness that we decided to sell the Oregon Connection/House of Myrtlewood. With the changes the State of Oregon had made we were unable to allow our clients to get employment experience there anymore and that had been the main reason we had originally purchased the Oregon Connection.
     

  • 2018 - In January our Cedar Court Group Home moved to 8th Street in Coos Bay. The staff and clients wanted to keep the name of the group home Cedar Ct. even though they now lived on 8th Street so the Director said it was okay, they remain Cedar Ct.