The mission of REACH is to accompany individuals in vulnerable situations toward greater stability and independence. In collaboration with community partners, our mobile case management and outreach focus on building trusting relationships in a compassionate and personalized supportive environment.
We pledge to treat every person with dignity, respect, and compassion.
Respect, Relationship, Compassion and Empowerment.
Our values help to remind us about what is really important in our interactions with each other, our guests, and the wider community. We reflect on these values when making decisions.
Founder and Executive Director
Stacey Witte is the founder, executive director and visionary of REACH. She and her husband moved to Bend in 2016 from the Seattle area, where Stacey was the Director of Case Management and Housing at Congregations for the Homeless for 10 years. In Bend, she wanted to engage with the community in a meaningful way. Stacey soon learned there were numerous supportive services and community partners in the area for those experiencing homelessness.
Providing Comprehensive Homeless Outreach
Stacey’s vision was to build a place where people could come to have a nutritious meal, a hot shower and to meet with many of the community partners all in one space. She was fortunate to find a breakfast program that was just waiting to grow to the needs of the community. Thanks to deeply-committed volunteers, support from faith-based organizations, local businesses and partner agencies, the program grew to serve 200 people each week.
Stacey brings 15 years of direct experience in this field, including private practice for at risk teens and youth, and crisis management Her background in special education and mental health has been a critical component in building this outreach /case management program. Stacey taught parenting classes, as well as conducted service trainings for teachers and other professional in the field of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), media and violence in young children, and communicating with youth and teens. Stacey earned her undergraduate degree at San Jose State University and received her Parent/Family Coaching certification at Seattle Pacific University, in partnership with the Parent Coaching Institute.
Stacey says, “Working with a vulnerable group of people in constant crisis is the most rewarding and the most challenging role I have ever had in my life. Treating people with grace and compassion is the foundation of building trusting relationships that are making a difference every day.”
Board of Directors
Karen Bates is a native Texan and graduated from University of Texas in Austin with a bilingual degree in Education. After returning to Salinas, CA in a Title One Program for eight years, she and her husband moved to Oregon to begin a new business. Karen served on the Board of Directors for the Ronald McDonald House at OHSU in Portland, OR for six years. She and her family moved to Bend in 1996 and soon became members of First Presbyterian Church, where she became involved with Family Kitchen. Karen has served as team leader for the church’s monthly meals for the last 16 years and is Chair of the Hunger and Homeless Task Force, which oversees all of First Presbyterian’s local community outreach.
Ann Havill worked in human services for 35 years with economically oppressed, culturally- and age-diverse populations on both coasts of the US. A significant portion of her career was spent in San Francisco working for a nonprofit agency in the Tenderloin. Ann and her wife have shared a home for 40 years, legally marrying in 2013. Over the years, Ann has been involved in peace and social justice work with many organizations and groups in Central Oregon and beyond.
Michele Knowles was born in Connecticut and raised in an enormous home with an extended family of grandparents, three uncles, parents, brother, sister and seven German Shepherds on five acres with an apple orchard. The family moved South Florida when she was 13, which she hated because she missed cooler weather and four seasons. After college, Michele became an art teacher and English as a Second Language teacher. She and her husband married in 1977 and they have two fine sons. Michele earned her master’s degree in the 1990’s and became a media specialist. She notes that she has always been good at networking and working with others, a talent that Michele’s husband says puts people at ease. After retiring, Michele and her husband moved to Bend in 2015, having grown to love the area during visits with their son. The Knowles have been active in the Open Door Cafe at Bend Methodist Church and the Family Kitchen. Recently she has continued to collect clothing for the homeless, giving the items to Stacey to distribute. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Michele has had to curtail direct contact.
Diane Berry, a Wisconsin native, started college majoring in social work but was sidetracked into criminal justice and political science. She ended up in law school. Diane received her Juris Doctorate and practiced family law for several years before returning to graduate school for a Masters in Social Work (MSW). She had decided she wanted to help couples stay together, rather than helping to break them apart. During graduate school, Diane spent three years working in Child Protective Services, conducting child abuse and neglect investigations, then working with kids and families in foster care, attempting reunification whenever possible. She also worked as Program Manager for a domestic violence shelter, where she did grantwriting and follow-up reporting.
After earning her MSW, Diane worked with a small mental health clinic where she was introduced to domestic violence (batterer’s) treatment groups. Six years later, Diane and her husband Terry opened a small mental health clinic, co-facilitating batterer’s treatment groups for 18 years, where she was director and only full-time therapist. Starting in 2008, Diane taught a psychology class at a local college. In 2011, she was hired by Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global) as an adjunct instructor in the Human Services Department, becoming a full-time faculty member in 2014. In 2020, Diane stepped back to an adjunct position, in which she teaches one course titled Legal and Ethical Issues in Human Services. Diane states she has always wanted to work with the homeless population.
Kendall Johnson is a member of the Storydwelling community and has lived in Bend for two years. After undergraduate studies in health and social sciences, she came to work with Thrive Central Oregon as a Community Outreach Advocate, assisting their work to reduce housing and financial insecurity in the tri-county area. Her passion for social justice and the opportunity to walk alongside in support of our neighbors moved her to work in this field and become a REACH board member. Kendall loves running, cross-country skiing, cooking and enjoying a good conversation or book over a cup of iced coffee.
Larry Price is retired from a career in fundamental physics research, mostly based in the Chicago area, where he participated in several discoveries important to the modern understanding of nature. Upon moving to Sisters in 2010, Larry became active in the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon. He has chaired their board and now chairs its Social Justice Committee. In that role, he initiated a series of meetings of clergy and lay people from several Central Oregon congregations that led to the founding of REACH. In addition to finding ways to make a difference in social justice, Larry loves reading history and biographies, hiking and cooking.
Donations to REACH are being used to provide essential needs to those experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis. With the closure of congregant meal programs, financial assistance programs and many social service agencies we are finding an increase in the need for hygiene items, dog food, feminine hygiene items, socks, underwear, diapers, laundry vouchers, formula, bus passes and medical co-pays.
In addition to these needs, our only Emergency Shelter closed on April 17, 202 so there is an increase in our most vulnerable community members that will have to resort to living on the streets, in the woods and in their vehicles. No new intakes are being done by shelter programs in our area; this is resulting in a increased need for tents, sleeping bags, blankets and gas cards.
We thank you for your donation; your assistance will be used to provide the many people in our community experiencing homelessness. REACH is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Federal Tax ID 84-3965548. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. If you have additional questions please contact Executive Director Stacey Witte (provide email link here and phone if available).
Most Requested Items
My Buddy Heaters
Underwear new only please
- Men’s M, L, XL
- Women’s S, M, L
Ibuprofen and Tylenol
AA and AAA batteries
Hairbrushes and combs
Green propane tanks
- Gas – Shell, Arco or Fred Meyer
- Dollar Tree
- Fred Meyer
- Grocery store
Items we have
We have lots of socks, dog food, dog blankets, soap, feminine hygiene items
Please use the contact form to get in touch with us. If you have an urgent question, please email us at email@example.com