Historic Black Church building in Glenwood becomes sanctuary for Lane County homeless

A new emergency homeless shelter had a grand opening in Glenwood on Thursday. The renovated 12-bed facility was once an African-American church.

Shankle Brooklyn Street Shelter is named after Reverend Arthur Shankle who, with his wife Luvenia, founded Bethel Temple Church on Brooklyn Street in the early 1960s.

The Shankle Brooklyn Shelter is named after the late Reverend Arthur J. Shankle who, with his wife Luvenia, founded Bethel Temple Church right here on Brooklyn Street in the early 1960s. When the building became too small to its faithful, the church moved to the 18e Street. And the old church is now a sanctuary for the most vulnerable in the community.

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Michelle Shankle Brown is the daughter of the founders of Bethel Temple Church. The original church building was renovated to become the Shankle Brooklyn Shelter. She spoke at the opening ceremony.

Several members of the congregation participated in the opening ceremony of the shelter. Michelle Shankle Brown cut the ribbon with encouragement.

“Cut Michelle!” And the small crowd cheered.

“What I love most about it is that my dad always wanted to help people,” Shankle Brown said. “And that’s something he would be very proud of.”

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Shankle Brooklyn Street’s new emergency shelter has 6 rooms, some singles, some doubles, accommodating up to 12 residents at a time. The renovated church building also has a kitchen, bathrooms, and common areas.

Shankle Brooklyn Shelter offers bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms and common areas. Lane County Health and Human Services provides residents with access to medical and behavioral health resources and assistance in transitioning to permanent housing.

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