Community Services Consortium

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

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Get Your Taxes Done for Free!

File your taxes for FREE and access the Earned Income Tax Credit – a refundable federal income tax credit for eligible low-income working individuals and families.

If you worked during 2016, and your household earned income was less than $53,930, you may be eligible to claim and receive the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) of up to $6,318*. To qualify for the EITC, you must:
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident
  • Have a valid social security number
  • Earned income during 2016
    • $48,340 ($53,930 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children 
    • $45,007 ($50,597 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children
    • $39,617 ($45,207 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child
    • $15,010 ($20,600 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children
  • EITC amounts can range from $1 to $6,318
Free tax help is available in Linn and Benton counties. For more information, click here to view the flyer. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Second Chance Renter's Rehabilitation Workshops Coming in February

“Second Chance” is for those who are having difficulty finding stable housing because of bad credit or a poor rental history. Even if things are better now, it can be hard to get away from a past eviction or because of property damage that you couldn’t fix.

Consisting of six classes taught by qualified instructors from the community, Second Chance gives you the opportunity to learn about landlord-tenant issues, conflict resolution, energy education, money management, goal setting, and the characteristics of a good tenant.

This education program prepares you for the responsibilities of renting and gives you the skills necessary to be the kind of tenant your landlord will hate to lose!

Second Chance prepares you to approach landlords with confidence and encourages landlords to view prospective tenants with a more open mind.

Topics covered include How to be a Good Tenant, Landlord/Tenant Issues, Energy Education, Conflict Resolution, Goal Setting, and Basic Budgeting. Those who successfully complete all six sessions of the class will receive a Certificate of Completion and a Letter of Recommendation to attach to future rental applications.

Pre-registration is required. To register, or for more information about Second Chance, visit CSC’s website at www.communityservices.us or contact Cindy Pratt-DeMarzo at 541-758-2632 for Linn and Benton counties, and Kacy Jensen at 541-574-2281 in Lincoln County.

UPCOMING SECOND CHANCE CLASSES: ALBANY

Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00pm -3:00pm at 250 Broadalbin St., 2A (upstairs) in Albany. Registration deadline is Monday, February 13.

Monday, February 27th
Wednesday, March 1st
Monday, March 6th
Wednesday, March 8th
Monday, March 13th
Wednesday, March 15th

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Read CSC's End-of-Year Newsletter!

CSC's end-of-year newsletter is out! Read more about how YOUR support has helped CSC to do great things this year!

CSC Giving Season Newsletter

CSC Youth Program Makes a Difference

Kennhy came to Corvallis and CSC from Southern California, where he was laid off from his bakery distribution job. Kennhy dropped out of high school to work entry-level, and worked his way up. He came to Corvallis with his spouse and two children, and recognized that he needed to get his GED before moving forward with his life. When he first connected with CSC, he had third-grade reading and math skills. At the age of 22, he had made a decision to better himself.

Within a few months, Kennhy raised his reading level while being tutored at the CSC Youth House. His progress was remarkable, and one day we started discussing books. We commented that he had made so much progress since he arrived. That’s when he said that one of the main reasons he was working so hard was so he could read to his young children. Specifically, he liked to read them Harry Potter. He said that it was good practice for him, and that his kids loved the story and hearing him read it to them. That was his motivation, and he took that to heart.

Kennhy has not only brought up his reading level and math skills - he received his GED and will be going to truck driving school. Kennhy has immersed himself in the community through volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, his church, and by being a positive person while moving forward with his life.

Monday, December 12, 2016

RFP Open for Head Start Construction

CSC is seeking proposals from Registered Architects to provide architectural and engineering services for the planning and design, and the construction of a building expansion project at their school site in Newport, Oregon, at 253 NE 1st Street, 97365. For more details, view the full RFP here.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Enroll or Renew Your Oregon Health Plan & Healthcare.gov Plan!

Certified application assisters will be available to help with health coverage enrollments and renewals at the following dates, times, and locations:

When: Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Time: 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Where: Samaritan Center for Health Education, 740 SW 9th St, Newport, OR 97365

When: Thursday, November 17, 2016
Time: 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Lincoln City Community Center, 2150 NE Oar Place, Lincoln City, Oregon 97367

Assistance is available in English and Spanish, with translation for other languages.

Please bring:
• Birthdates for everyone applying for coverage
• Social Security number or Permanent Resident Number for all who are applying
• Federal tax information (2015)
• Employer and income information (pay stubs for the last 2 months)
• Policy number(s) and plan name(s) for any current health insurance

For more information, call 503-584-4208.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Second Chance Renter's Classes Coming in October

“Second Chance” is for those who are having difficulty finding stable housing because of bad credit or a poor rental history. Even if things are better now, it can be hard to get away from a past eviction or because of property damage that you couldn’t fix.

Consisting of six classes taught by qualified instructors from the community, Second Chance gives you the opportunity to learn about landlord-tenant issues, conflict resolution, energy education, money management, goal setting, and the characteristics of a good tenant.

This education program prepares you for the responsibilities of renting and gives you the skills necessary to be the kind of tenant your landlord will hate to lose!

Second Chance prepares you to approach landlords with confidence and encourages landlords to view prospective tenants with a more open mind.

Topics covered include How to be a Good Tenant, Landlord/Tenant Issues, Energy Education, Conflict Resolution, Goal Setting, and Basic Budgeting. Those who successfully complete all six sessions of the class will receive a Certificate of Completion and a Letter of Recommendation to attach to future rental applications.

Pre-registration is required. To register, or for more information about Second Chance, visit CSC’s website at www.communityservices.us or contact Cindy Pratt-DeMarzo at 541-758-2632 for Linn and Benton counties, and Kacy Jensen at 541-574-2281 in Lincoln County.

UPCOMING SECOND CHANCE CLASSES: CORVALLIS

Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00pm -3:00pm at 545 SW 2nd St. (upstairs) in Corvallis. Registration deadline is October 14, 2016.

Monday, October 24th
Wednesday, October 26th
Monday, October 31th
Wednesday, November 2nd
Monday, November 7th
Wednesday, November 9th

Event to Assist Homeless Veterans in Linn and Benton County

Save the date for the second Stand Down for Homeless Veterans on Thursday, November 3, 2016 at The River Center, 3000 South Santiam Highway, Lebanon, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m!

The event will focus on helping homeless veterans in the Linn and Benton County area connect with necessary services that are available here. Health screenings, Social Security benefits counseling, and dental services will be provided. Veterans can also receive referrals to health care providers, health insurance, housing solutions, employment, substance abuse treatment and mental health counseling.
Transportation details are being worked out and will be announced soon.

Stand downs are collaborative events that provide basic necessities and services to veterans. Stand downs are coordinated among local veteran support organizations, other government agencies and community-based homeless service providers, including our local community action agency, Community Services Consortium.

For more information or if you're interested in helping with the event, contact Connie Barkdull at cbarkdull@communityservices.us or call 541-758-2761.

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.

Go Shopping and Help Community Services Consortium!

Did you know you can help CSC just by shopping with your Fred Meyer rewards card? By signing up with the Community Rewards program, every time you shop and use your Rewards Card, you can help CSC earn a donation! You still earn your Rewards Points, Fuel Points, and Rebates, just as you do today.

Here’s how the program works:
  1. Go to http://www.fredmeyer.com/communityrewards to link Community Rewards to your Fred Meyer rewards card.
  2. You can search for Community Services Consortium, Linn Benton Food Share, or Head Start of Lincoln County by name or by their non-profit numbers:
  • Community Services Consortium: 87210
  • Head Start: 89698
  • Linn Benton Food Share: 80781
If you do not have a Fred Meyer rewards card, they are available at the Customer Service desk of any Fred Meyer store. For more information, please visit www.fredmeyer.com/communityrewards.

To donate to CSC, visit our donation page here. To donate by mail, please send your donation to CSC, 250 Broadalbin Street, #2A, Albany, OR, 97321.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Apply Now at CSC Lincoln County Head Start for the 2016-2017 School Year!


Lincoln County, OR….CSC Lincoln County Head Start is now accepting applications for the 2016-2017 school year at their Newport, Toledo, and Lincoln City locations. Apply now to increase your child’s likelihood of enrollment – spots are filling quickly!

Head Start provides a free preschool education to children ages three to five years old. Head Start will be moving to a full day/full year program, the date to be determined.

Applications are accepted in-person at each site Tuesday through Friday. To apply, you will need to bring proof of income (pay stubs, W-2 forms, unemployment summary, record of child support payments, or a letter from your employer) and proof of immunizations.

Below are the CSC Lincoln County Head Start locations and contact information:

Newport Head Start
253 NE 1st Street
Newport, OR 97365
541-574-7690

Toledo Head Start
845 NW “A” Street
Toledo, OR 97391
541-336-5113

Lincoln City Head Start
2130 SE Lee Street
Lincoln City, OR 97367
541-996-3028

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Celebrate: May is Community Action Month!

CSC is Community Action in Action!
CSC Helping People. Changing Lives.


On August 20, 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act which created a variety of programs, including Community Action Agencies, as part of his War on Poverty. He knew then as we know now, that the war against poverty must be won in the field, in every private home, in every public office, from the courthouse to the White House.

Community Services Consortium, CSC was established in 1980 as the Community Action Agency serving people in poverty in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties by promoting self-sufficiency for those of limited income, ensuring that all residents are able to live in dignity; by implementing innovative and cost-effective programs to improve the lives and living conditions of the impoverished; and by providing support and instruction for everyone in need of assistance.

“Community Action Month is a wonderful time to honor and celebrate the impact Community Action has in the lives of families and communities across the country,” stated Executive Director Martha Lyon, “Agencies are successful every day in helping families achieve economic security. Given that the needs of each family and community are unique, Community Action is able to use a range of resources and programs to meet local needs in creative and impactful ways.”

CSC’s statistics underscore a positive impact on local neighborhoods. CSC helps countless individuals improve their lives each year by providing them essential services and life-changing opportunities through financial education and job training as well as making available affordable housing, Linn Benton Food Share, access to health care, energy assistance, Head Start in Lincoln County, and more.

Despite experiencing budget cuts, shrinking resources, and increased demands for services, CSC has been remarkably successful assisting the low-income veterans, senior citizens, families, children, and youth in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties to achieve and maintain economic security. As Martha Lyon attests: “Our staff is committed to their task of replacing disadvantages with opportunities because it is right, because it is wise, and because, in our hearts and minds we believe it is possible to conquer poverty in our lifetime.”

Follow CSC activities at www.facebook.com/CommunityServicesConsortium/ or visit our website to volunteer, donate or learn more about CSC programs and services: www.communityservices.us.

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!