New Narrative is a nonprofit mental health wellness agency providing integrative mental health services for adults age 18 and older with moderate to severe mental health symptoms.

Our goal is to ensure people seeking mental health care can develop the tools to thrive, not just survive.

Our first site opened with the guiding thought that hope, compassion, and community were the keys to mental wellness. We have since grown from a single site to an agency made up of outpatient clinics; residential treatment; peer programs; a transitional age youth program; supportive, transitional, and independent housing; homeless outreach; and housing navigation, with peer support specialists embedded throughout our programs. We still believe that hope, compassion, and community are the keys to mental wellness. But we also know that there are many ways to get there.


The early days: A foundation of hope

Our roots trace back to 1975, when Pastor Ed Sandvig and his wife Dorothy learned of a friend who needed a place to stay and recover after her commitment to the Oregon State Hospital. She had cycled between the state hospital and homelessness, with little hope for independence and lasting recovery. Her struggles inspired Pastor Sandvig to seek a new way to support the community.

In 1977, Ed and Dorothy incorporated Luke-Dorf as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and launched the first residential home for adults with mental health concerns in Washington County — a residence still in operation today. Luke-Dorf was built on a foundation of compassion, hope, and healing.

Energy and expansion

A new era debuted in 2002, when Howard M. Spanbock took the helm as Executive Director. His unparalleled energy led to 10 years of strategic expansion. Howard envisioned a complete continuum of care, responsive to the wide variety of service needs for those we walked beside. Our leadership team has expanded on his legacy in both breadth and selection of services since his passing in 2012.

Our evolution: Rewriting the narrative

In 2020, we began developing a new strategic plan, in recognition of our continued growth. We’ve evolved from an agency that provided respite and support to people exiting the state hospital to a provider of alternative services for a broadening and evolving group of participants.

Our strategic plan supports our drive to have an equity-focused and inclusive culture — and to infuse equity and inclusion into every one of our services.

We are intentionally working to change a system that identifies people by their diagnosis into a system that values the person. A system that understands a diagnosis is something a person experiences but isn’t who they are.

Just as we’ve evolved, our brand needed to evolve to reflect who we are and what we believe. In October 2020, we became New Narrative.