Our mission is to significantly reduce the rates of recidivism in the Portland metropolitan area. We help our clients change their lives to become more productive citizens. By doing so, we are contributing to the health and safety of our local communities.

William "Chip" Shields, Founder
Better People was founded in 1997 by William “Chip” Shields (now an Oregon State Senator). In the early 90’s Chip was working as the Director of Development of the Employment Connection, an ex-offender employment agency in St. Louis, Missouri. During that time he volunteered with several of the nation's most successful job placement and offender-rehabilitation programs to learn their systems. With encouragement and support from many generous supporters and partners, Chip created a plan to integrate Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) with employment services for people with legal histories. Better People began serving clients in 1998.

History of Success
From 2000-2014 Better People enrolled an average of 300 clients per year with 50-100 achieving full-time employment within months of enrolling in the program each year.

In 2004, Clariner Boston took over as Executive Director. Under her passionate leadership Better People introduced many new collaborations and programs. After 11 years as Executive Director, Clariner retired in 2014.

In 2014, recognizing that technology and culture have changed dramatically, Better People took a hiatus to update our program. We will begin serving clients again in October 2015.

Chip Shields speaks at 2005 graduation ceremony

Chip Shields speaks at 2005 graduation ceremony