Community Services Consortium

Serving Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties in Oregon. Helping people. Changing lives.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gleaners Attend Grant Writing Workshop

On June 3, professional grant writer Jana Slater generously hosted a workshop for members of Linn Benton Food Share's network of gleaning groups. Jana instructed the gleaners about grant writing strategies, finding funders, and made sure there was time for the gleaner groups to network, brainstorm, and collaborate on grant writing for their specific group needs.

Many thanks to Jana for donating her time and expertise so that LBFS and our gleaning groups can get food on the tables of families in need in Linn and Benton counties!



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Upcoming Weatherization Training Classes

CSC's Weatherization Training Center is hosting a number of training classes in the following months. All of the following classes are held at the CSC Weatherization Training Center, 240 SW Washington, Corvallis, OR 97333 unless otherwise specified. For more information, e-mail Dennis Feeney at dfeeney@communityservices.us or call 541-753-0509.

July 28th – Lead Repair, Renovation and Painting Refresher - $200     
This EPA accredited refresher class is being taught by Glenn Hayden who has many years of construction and lead abatement experience.  This is for previously certified Lead RRP Technicians.
Class is scheduled from 8:00 to 12:30.
Register at: https://www.regonline.com/CSCWxLeadRRP_Refresher_July_2014

August 11th – Lead Repair, Renovation and Painting - $225
This EPA accredited class is being taught by Glenn Hayden who has many years of construction and lead abatement experience. Class is scheduled from 8:00am to 5:00pm.
Register at: https://www.regonline.com/CSCWxLeadRRP_Aug_2014

August 13th – CSC YouthBuild & Corvallis Canyons Project Trip
Corvallis Canyons Project will be taking 8 adventure-seeking YouthBuild Students on a canyoneering trip in the cascades.  For more information or to support adventure for underserved youth please visit their website: https://www.facebook.com/corvalliscanyonsproject                                

August 18th - CPR & First Aid Class – Sold Out
Join Todd Washington from CPR Works for a very engaging and informative First Aid & CPR Class.  Class starts at 9:00am and goes to 2:00pm. This class is full - e-mail dfeeney@communityservices.us if you are interested in having another class scheduled.
   
August 19th & 20th - Essentials for Healthy Home Practitioners - Free
John Davies of the Building Performance Center and Dennis Feeney will lead this NCHH class on a holistic approach to identifying the root causes of health problems in a home and linking them to the seven principles of healthy housing: keep it dry; keep it clean; keep it pest free; keep it ventilated; keep it safe and maintained. This class is for CSC employees or members of affiliate organizations. 8-BPI CEU’s. Space is limited, email dfeeney@communityservices.us or call 541-753-0509 to RSVP.

September 3rd – Combustion Safety and Evaluation 101 - $175 
Dennis Feeney will be leading this class on a House-as-a-System approach to evaluating and diagnosing heating system problems.  Topics include: heating system identification, sequence of operations, basics of sizing, distribution and combustion safety testing.
Register at: https://www.regonline.com/CSCWxCombustionSafety_Sept_2014

Monday, June 2, 2014

Clean Out Your Closets and Help to End Poverty in Our Community!

Community Services Consortium (CSC) has partnered with WebThriftStore to launch an online thrift store, allowing users to sell their unneeded items with proceeds donated to CSC’s poverty-fighting programs in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties. The site, https://csc.webthriftstore.com/, was launched this week.

The online thrift store is great for those that would rather give items instead of cash, or that are unable to make a monetary donation, to make a valuable gift to those in need in our community. WebThriftStore, with an interface similar to EBay, turns stuff into cash for charities, tax deductions for donors, and bargains for buyers. It's a way for buyers and sellers to do good, and for charities to engage supporters.

According to NPD Group research, the average US household has $7,000 worth of stuff they don’t want. Some items have never been used, and most will never be used again. With CSC’s WebThriftStore, that stuff can make someone else happy while allowing CSC to help people and change lives.

“Donations are critical to our ability to help people overcome poverty and become self-reliant. Every day, we experience how it feels to help people and change their lives for the better. Now anyone can help just by cleaning out their closet,” said Dee Teem, CSC Development Director. “CSC is the agency that keeps a roof over people’s heads, heats their homes, keeps the lights on, and puts food on the table. We also provide education, conservation and job training programs. WebThriftStore is a unique and easy way for anyone to contribute to our mission.”

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Helping People and Changing Lives for 50 Years – the Promise of Community Action

On August 20, 1964 in Washington, DC, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA). The EOA created a variety of programs—including Community Action Agencies—as part of his War on Poverty. This year, community action agencies across the country will commemorate the 50th anniversary of community action, including Community Services Consortium (CSC), the community action agency for Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties.

Why are community action agencies different from other social services agencies? Because their funding allows the flexibility to design programs addressing the specific needs of the communities in which they operate, and to implement comprehensive solutions to meet local needs.

In the Linn, Benton, and Lincoln county areas, CSC, established in 1980, helps residents to secure affordable housing, assists with rental and utility payments, provides home weatherization, and gathers and distributes more than 5 million pounds of nutritious food per year through the Linn Benton Food Share program.

CSC also paves the road to prosperity through education and job training. Head Start in Lincoln County provides a free preschool education to children ages three to five years, and youth programs such as YouthBuild, the CSC Youth Garden, and the Natural Resource Conservation Crews give at-risk young adults the support they need to complete their educations while providing valuable work training and experience.

Finally, CSC helps adults with job search assistance and even administers a scholarship program that enables adults to train in high-need industries like healthcare. The scholarship program was life-changing for Heidi, a recipient that used the program to get her CNA certification, and also for one of her patients.

“I was working as a CNA last summer and one of my patients, who was in hospice, was unable to afford the care she needed. I was able to work for her at a reduced rate because my spring term tuition, fees, and supplies were paid for by the CSC scholarship. I saved enough money that my budget allowed me to help out my patient.” said Heidi.

“CSC’s track record in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln county highlights the positive impact we’ve had helping our neighbors through a variety of financial and personal challenges,” said Martha Lyon, CSC’s Executive Director. “We help tens of thousands of individuals each year change their lives with a variety of programs, like the 31,500 people receiving utility assistance, 9,000 adults receiving job assistance, and the recipients of the 51,319 food boxes we distributed through Linn Benton Food Share last year. Our success stories underscore our ability to achieve measurable results.”

Royce Markley would agree with Lyon’s statement. Royce, a 20-year old from Benton County, was in foster care or living with people outside his biological family for most of his life. Before receiving a job at the CSC Youth Garden, he was a high school student struggling to find a steady job in the seasons when he wasn’t playing basketball.

“I was told about the opportunity to apply for the CSC Youth Garden crew by my Independent Living worker, and it was one of the greatest opportunities I have ever had. Working in the gardens gave me an opportunity to gain experience working a steady job in a helpful and educational environment. I practiced skills such as working a cashier, communication and of course learned a lot about gardening.” said Markley. 

Markley credits his experience at the Youth Garden, as well as his participation in the CSC Independent Living Program for foster youth, with giving him the confidence and skills for success. Markley became a FosterClub All-Star, which is an internship that picks twenty foster youth out of the five hundred or more that apply. During the internship, he worked in the office and traveled around the United States presenting workshops and providing leadership at conferences for foster youth. Markley is currently enrolled at Linn Benton Community College.

 “In the last fifty years, Community Action has been extremely successful helping people achieve and maintain economic security despite experiencing budget cuts, shrinking resources, and increased
demands for services during challenging economic times,” said Don Mathis, President and CEO of
the Community Action Partnership national office. “We understand our residents’ unique needs, and
have developed programs that will best serve them and their families.”

To support CSC’s poverty-fighting programs and services, visit our website at www.communityservices.us. Donations may be made through our website or mailed to our main office: Community Services Consortium, 245 Broadalbin Street, Suite 2A, Albany, OR 97321.

Less Than Two Months to the Barrel to Keg Relay – Race to End Poverty!


Presented by the Harris Bridge Vineyard in Philomath (the Barrel) and Rogue Ales Brewery in Newport’s South Beach (the Keg), the Barrel to Keg Relay is a benefit for Community Services Consortium (CSC) to raise money for CSC’s mission to end poverty in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties.

The race starts in Philomath at the Harris Bridge Vineyard, winds through the beautiful backcountry of the Oregon Coast Range, crosses the scenic Yaquina Bay Bridge, and ends at the Rogue Ales Brewery in Newport with carousing and live music at the Finish Line Party.

The proceeds from the race have a real impact on our community. The money raised helps people in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties to keep the lights on, put a roof over their heads, and put food on the table. Last year, our Linn Benton Food Share program distributed 5.2 million pounds of food in the community. The proceeds also provide an education to children through our Head Start program in Lincoln County, and helps youth and adults get to back to work so they can succeed in careers and life through programs like YouthBuild, the CSC Youth Garden, and our Natural Resource Conservation Crews.

There are several ways to get involved. Runners and walkers may form teams of up to seven people and can register online at www.barreltokeg.com. Most creative team names, costumes, and best-dressed vehicles will receive special honors, as well as those that raise the most money for CSC. It’s all about the fun!

You don’t have to run or walk to participate - anyone interested can help support CSC. Create your own “Fun–Raising” page and share with friends to compete for prizes and support a great cause! Being a race official or event volunteer, please contact info@barreltokeg.com or call 541-574-2277.

We also welcome individuals and businesses who would like to join our fabulous list of sponsors for the Barrel to Keg Relay event. If you would like to support the work of CSC’s poverty-fighting programs, see our Sponsorship opportunities at http://communityservices.us/barrel-to-keg/detail/category/become-a-sponsor/.

Grab a friend or family member, lace up those running shoes, and support CSC’s efforts in the region! For more information, find the race on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BTK.relay or visit the website at www.barreltokeg.com.

Community Services Consortium (CSC) is a state-designated Community Action Agency serving Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties with housing, nutrition, economic stability, and educational assistance programs since 1980.

To support this event or any of CSC’s poverty-fighting programs and services, visit our website at www.communityservices.us. Donations may be made through our website or mailed to our main office: Community Services Consortium, 245 Broadalbin Street, Suite 2A, Albany, OR 97321.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Seed Donation Will Nourish Local Residents in Need

Linn Benton Food Share (LBFS) – a Community Services Consortium program – is the recipient of a very kindly offer from FOOD for Lane County to share in a generous BiMart donation of vegetable seeds. LBFS accepted seven pallets of seeds, valued at $25,000, and immediately started distributing them for the upcoming summer growing season.

BiMart’s donation of seeds will help LBFS increase the amount of healthy, locally grown produce available to those in need through their 74 local partner agencies that include emergency food pantries and shelters, soup kitchens, child and senior care centers, residential care homes, and gleaning groups.

Seed packets have gone out across Food Share’s two-county area. As temperatures start to rise this spring, tender little veggie starts will be making an appearance in gardens aimed at helping people in need access fresh produce. 

Cindy Rice, manager of the Sweet Home Emergency Ministries food pantry in Linn County, took some of the seeds and began distributing them to clients accessing emergency food boxes.  She reports that many clients are excited to grow vegetables at home, and are planning to contribute excess produce back to the pantry.

Also receiving seeds were members of LBFS’s 14 gleaning groups, which serve more than 7,000 low income people in Linn and Benton counties. Many of these low-income gleaners are seniors with gardening experience, as well as families eager to learn how to grow food for their children. Access to free seeds is a real benefit for them.

In addition to individuals who received seeds, LBFS offered seed packets to several local programs. The CSC Youth Garden, for example, will grow some of the seeds in their garden at the corner of 2nd and Western in Corvallis, as well as the plot donated to the Youth Garden by Trillium Children’s Farm Home on Trillium’s acreage in Corvallis.  A portion of what these young people learn to grow is given to partner gleaning groups.


LBFS Director Mike Gibson notes that Food Share has made it a priority to increase the amount of fresh produce for emergency food boxes. With an increase of 28% this year, a total of over one million pounds of produce will be distributed. Gibson also reports that the overall need for emergency food in Linn and Benton counties is at its highest point ever, with LBFS distributing 5.5 million pounds of food in FY 2013-14 compared to 5.15 million pounds last year.

“Linn Benton Food Share is thankful for the generous donation from Bi-Mart,“ Mike stated. “These seeds will provide produce for people who are at risk of going hungry. We always feel good when we can increase the nutritional content of the food we distribute—and in this case, the people planting the seeds have a new way to provide for their families.”


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

22nd Annual Letter Carriers' Food Drive Benefits Linn Benton Food Share

Linn Benton Food Share had a great turnout for the 22nd annual Letter Carriers' Food Drive on May 10th, with several volunteers coming out to sort more than 45,000 pounds of generous donations gathered by letter carriers in Albany, Corvallis and Lebanon. The nationwide food drive is the country's largest one-day food collection event.

The food will go a long way in meeting demand for food in Linn and Benton counties, which hit a high of 5.5 million pounds for fiscal year 2013-2014, an increase from 5.15 million pounds the previous year.

Thank you to United States Postal Service Letter Carriers for gathering the food and all of our volunteers for coming out to lend a hand!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

2nd Annual Garden Gnome Run a Success

Great fun was had by all at the 2nd Annual Garden Gnome Run on May 4, a benefit for the CSC Youth House Garden. More than 300 runners and walkers came out to support the Youth Garden, show off their clever gnome costumes, get a little exercise, eat some delicious crepes, and listen to the sounds of Island Joy.


Thanks to all of the wonderful sponsors below, as well as everyone that came out to enjoy the race!


Thanks to Sohel Kahn for taking some great pictures too!

To view race results, click here.

Friday, May 2, 2014

HEART to Heart Resource Fair on May 16

The Albany Homeless Enrichment and Rehabilitation Team (HEART) and Community Services Consortium will host the ninth annual HEART to Heart Resource Fair Thursday, May 15, 2014, for individuals and families in Linn County who are homeless or living in poverty. The event is scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Boys & Girls’ Club of Albany, 1215 Hill Street SE.

Representatives of more than 40 organizations will provide information and help with disability or Social Security benefits; identification; finding a job; health care; housing; help with rent or utility bills; alcohol and drug treatment; and special housing, medical, and employment programs for veterans.

Individuals who need dental care can see a dentist at the Club’s dental clinic for extractions and examinations, first-come, first-served, from 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Stylists from SuperCuts will give free haircuts, volunteers from SafeHaven Humane Society will have some pet supplies to give away, and a bicycle mechanic will be on hand to do quick tune-ups.

A limited number of reading glasses, sunglasses, daily living kits, shoes, new socks, items for children, and first-aid kits will be available. Love INC will provide lunch.

The Resource Fair began in June 2006 when the City of Albany cleared out a long-established homeless camp in Simpson Park. The HEART Board of Directors includes representatives of local health and human service agencies, homeless shelters and advocates, the City of Albany, faith-based organizations, and Albany businesses.

For more information about the event, contact 541-917-7507.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Oregonians Have Until April 30 to Apply for Private Health Insurance

Oregonians now have an additional month to apply for private health insurance. The new deadline to apply is April 30. This gives people who have not yet applied for insurance through Cover Oregon more time. More time to apply. More time to find out what financial assistance they may qualify for. More time to get covered.

As of April 3, there have been more than 200,000 enrollments through Cover Oregon. And right now, certified Cover Oregon partner organizations, like Community Services Consortium (CSC), are working hard to spread the word and help individuals and families get the health insurance they need.

Right now, CSC can help Oregonians apply and enroll in health insurance free of charge. Partners and agents can enroll people online, and oftentimes in one meeting, making the process faster and easier than before. Individuals and families in Lincoln County can make an appointment with CSC today.

Please contact:

Aracelly Guevara
Health Program Coordinator
Certified Assister for Cover Oregon
541-961-4073
120 NE Avery Street, Newport Oregon 97365 (2nd Floor)

Schedule:
Monday - Thursday
8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
1:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Spanish available.

Oregon's extended application period is targeted to people purchasing private health insurance coverage either through Cover Oregon or directly from an insurance carrier. People who purchase through Cover Oregon can access tax credits and other financial assistance. Oregonians who are eligible for the Oregon Health Plan or Healthy Kids can apply for coverage year round.

Visit resources.coveroregon.com/new-deadline-QA.html for more information about the extended application period.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Workforce Investment Act Scholarships Available

Scholarships made possible through CSC are now available to eligible dislocated workers. Those pursuing programs of study leading to employment in the health care sector are highly encouraged to apply. For more information, view the questionnaire and scholarship description here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

More Time to Apply for Cover Oregon

Oregonians now have an additional month to apply for private health insurance. The new deadline to apply is April 30. This will give people who have not yet applied for coverage through Cover Oregon more time.

There have been more than 175,000 enrollments through Cover Oregon so far. Now with the extended application period, even more Oregonians can get the coverage they need.

More information about the extended application period is available at resources.coveroregon.com/new-deadline-QA.html.

CSC is a certified Cover Oregon partner in Lincoln County. If you need help applying for health insurance, contact:

Aracelly Guevara
Health Program Coordinator
Certified Assister for Cover Oregon
541-961-4073
120 NE Avery Street, Newport Oregon 97365 (2nd Floor)

Schedule:
Monday - Thursday
8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
1:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Spanish available.

Welcome to CSC's blog and e-newsletter!

These communications tools can be used to make announcements, acknowledge donors and volunteers, post videos and slideshows–whatever we want to share with our online community.

There are 3 ways to deliver info to stakeholders:

  1. The blog itself, which can be linked to our current website
  2. Email news blasts (blog articles sent via email as eNewsletters)
  3. RSS Feed (subscribers read in Google Reader or other feed reader, can also send posts to Facebook and Twitter)
We're excited about these communication tools and look forward to both your input and feedback for continuing improvement and positive information-sharing.

If you have agency/program information you'd like posted on this blog, please send full text and/or photos and videos, ideas, or suggestions to Janet Hessel and she will take the next steps.

Enjoy!