About Us

Explore our history and learn about our journey to becoming the organization we are today.

Traverse the timeline of our organization's growth, from its inception to the present day. Along the way, we've garnered valuable insights and achieved significant milestones, shaping our vision and emphasizing the importance of establishing the Stepping Stones Center.


Our Beginning

The journey of Stepping Stones Alliance Center began years ago with the experience of a volunteer at the Hermiston Warming Station. The satisfaction of seeing the positive impact on others of a safe, secure shelter during cold winter months led to the realization that for a larger portion of the year no such resource was available. Whatever the weather—cold or hot, wet or windy—the lack of shelter from the elements and any assurance of personal safety became a concern that couldn’t be disregarded.


A Transformative Visit to Walla Walla

In June of 2019, a visit was made to Walla Walla, Washington, where a sleep center operates that is open throughout the year. Additionally, it provides small housing units for one to two people. With that visit, the dream of providing safe year-round shelter for individuals in West Umatilla County was born and the work started!


Uncovering Inspiration for Stepping Stones

More visits were made by what was now a small group with a shared dream. The research took them from the Walla Walla Sleep Center to Watered Garden (Joplin, Missouri) to the City of Refuge (Atlanta, Georgia) to Bybee Lakes Hope Center (Portland, Oregon), Other Side Academy (Salt Lake City, Utah), The Church in the Park (Salem, Oregon), Community First (Austin, Texas) to the point of organizing under the new name of Stepping Stones of Hermiston. When interested neighboring cities and communities joined the group, the name evolved into Stepping Stones Alliance.


Navigating Unique Challenges

It was recognized that rural Eastern Oregon was different from large cities and unique from even other rural areas. It was also recognized that some individuals simply want a safe place to sleep at night, while others long to find their way toward housing of their own but face obstacles such as skill and resource gaps, and a mindset of flickering hope.


Fostering Change

Stepping Stones wishes to be there for each of those individuals. Our intent is to provide night time emergency shelter as well as a navigation center that will make support services accessible. For those committed to moving forward, transitional housing will add a level of stability while working toward permanent housing of their own.


Progressing Towards Stepping Stones Center

It has taken time, research, and work and it will take more before Stepping Stones Center is a full reality, but reaching out and helping individuals in need is worth our effort. People are important, whatever their circumstances. Our hope is to provide a welcoming and enlightening environment for those who need a hand – a far cry from tent cities huddled in dark spaces.