Community Services Consortium

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

Thursday, March 26, 2015

CSC Youth Garden Partners to Teach Preschool Children About Gardening

The CSC Youth Garden Crew will lead the Old Mill Center Relief Nursery preschool children in a ground breaking to create a garden on the Old Mill playground. Ground breaking will occur at 2:00 PM, Tuesday, March 31, 2015.

The CSC Youth Garden crew, well-known for their innovative garden project, showcased at Corvallis Farmers Market, will share their knowledge and experience with the younger children of Old Mill. The CSC Youth Garden is a program of the Workforce and Education Department of Community Services Consortium’s Benton County office in Corvallis. Every season, four to ten high school youth who are enrolled in the federal workforce program are responsible for caring for 40 raised beds, without the use of herbicides or pesticides.  These young gardeners will bring plant starts and bushes to the playground at Old Mill Center where both sets of kids will “break ground” on a new endeavor for the smaller children. This is a unique pairing between the two non-profits, both serving local children.

This joint effort between the high school youth and the preschool youth is an extension of their existing collaboration formed to introduce the farm to classroom concept at the earliest age.

Old Mill Center for Children and Families Relief Nursery program is designed to prevent child abuse and neglect for children birth to 6 years of age.  It is one of 5 disciplines provided as a service to the local community aimed at building healthy and nurturing foundations for all children.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Energy Assistance Still Available

Community Services Consortium administers the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a federally funded program which provides assistance to income eligible households once each heating season. The intent of LIHEAP is to help low-income households offset their winter heating costs. LIHEAP is not an entitlement program, and is dependent on available funds. 

To apply for the LIHEAP program in Linn, Benton and Lincoln County, contact Community Services Consortium (CSC) at the numbers below. To qualify, a household must have an income at or below the following limits:

To make an appointment contact CSC at:

LINN COUNTY 541-926-7163
250 Broadalbin St SW
(Two Rivers Market-Upstairs)
Albany OR 97321

BENTON COUNTY 541-752-2840
545 SW 2nd St (Upstairs)
Corvallis OR 97333

LINCOLN COUNTY 541-265-3293
120 NE Avery St (Upstairs)
Newport OR 97365

Appointments are necessary at each site, and take approximately a half an hour.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Go Shopping and Help Change Lives in Your Community!

Did you know you can help Community Services Consortium every time you shop at Fred Meyer? Just sign up for Fred Meyer’s Community Rewards program and enter CSC’s non-profit number, 87675. Then when you shop with your Fred Meyer Rewards Card, CSC will earn a donation from Fred Meyer. You will still earn your Rewards Points, Fuel Points and Rebates, just as you do today. Sign up for the Community Rewards program here!

CSC Youth Garden Hosts Farm to Preschool Day

The CSC Youth Garden crew was thrilled to have the garden buzzing with preschoolers on Thursday, February 19. Students from the Old Mill Center Preschool learned how to plant vegetables, as well as how to harvest and clean them. They got to meet the new baby chicks at the garden, and even got to try jams and jellies during snack time, all prepared by the Youth Garden crew. Everyone had a great time and is looking forward to the next visit!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Socks! Socks! Socks!

20,000 kids and tens of thousands of others experienced homelessness last year, and we're going to do something about it. 

Oregonians are donating 20,000 socks to raise awareness about homelessness and push our policymakers to increase attention and resources to the needs of our community members. $20 million for emergency rental assistance and shelters is on the line.

Sock donations will be piled high on the Oregon State Capitol steps on March 11, the Housing Alliance's Housing Opportunity Day. Afterwards the socks will be donated to folks who need them because they don’t have a warm place to sleep at night.

Help by donating socks today. Every little bit counts! You can drop off donations at any of our office locations:

CSC Corvallis: 545 SW 2nd St., Suite A
CSC Albany: 250 Broadalbin St., Suite 2A
CSC Newport: 120 NE Avery St.

For more drop-off locations and information, visit:

Thank you for your support!


Martha Lyon
Executive Director, Community Services Consortium

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Kick Off 2015 with a Resolution that Changes Lives!

You can do it!  This is your year!  How many resolutions have you made to improve your life, change your circumstances, make a difference in the world? CSC has an opportunity for you to resolve to make a difference in the lives of people right here in your own community. CSC’s monthly giving program allows you to make a gift each month to the CSC program of your choice or where your donation is needed most.

Don’t miss this opportunity to make a real difference to the people in need in your own community. Shine a light on someone’s future; keep a family warm this winter; put food on the table; help a senior live independently in their own home; educate a child; provide a work experience for a teenager; help an adult get a job.

Be the hand up for someone that really needs it. Sign up today!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Training Teens for Tomorrow Program Provides Alternatives

Community Services Consortium has partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Santiam and the Lebanon School District to give at-risk students the support needed to complete their educations and a chance to gain valuable job and leadership skills in an innovative new program aimed at stopping cycles of poverty.

Photo courtesy Mark Ylen/Albany Democrat-Herald
The Training Teens for Tomorrow Program kicked off this month with 33 students participating. The program is made possible by a grant from the State of Oregon. The students were identified by the Lebanon School District as having a risk of dropout, as well as having potential for success in an alternative program.

Students complete mostly online classes at the Lebanon High School Alternative Education Center each morning, where instructors are available for support. The self-paced program works well for many students, with an attendance rate of 85%.

After working on classes, students focus on the job skills training portion of the program. Each student completes a 60-hour work experience, either volunteering at local businesses and schools or working at a job. The program provides pre-employment training, teaching good work habits and how to be a good employee.

After completing the Training Teens for Tomorrow program, students can transition to a workforce program where they create a post-secondary plan. The Beyond LHS program involves a paid 120-hour work experience and opportunities to earn college credits.

“The goal is for every student to complete their education and get the skills they need to participate in the workforce, which is critical for nipping poverty in the bud.” said Denise Downer, Principal Youth Advisor with Community Services Consortium.

To learn more about the program, click here to read the feature story in the Albany Democrat-Herald.

To support this CSC program please visit and click donate or contact Dee Teem at 541-574-2277 to talk about volunteering or other opportunities.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Working Together with HP to Spread a Little Joy

The holidays were much brighter for five families that were the recipients of some unexpected and abundant generosity.

The HP Corvallis Women’s Network reached out to Community Services Consortium (CSC) to see if they could spread a little holiday cheer in the lives of some local families in need. CSC connected the HP Corvallis Women’s Network with five families in CSC’s Transitional Housing and Supportive Housing programs, which help to place families in to housing that are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The families were located in Philomath, Corvallis, Albany and Sweet Home.

Once the families were identified and there was a list of needed items, a site-wide communication was distributed to all Corvallis HP employees. The entire HP Corvallis site rallied. A surplus of gifts, including food for a complete holiday dinner, games, clothes, diapers, bicycles, gift cards, Christmas trees with decorations, and cash was donated.

Their Women’s Network only had one request: to meet and connect with the families. The Women’s Network hoped to have a stronger connection to the community and see first-hand the impact they could have through their efforts. They wanted to meet with the families and experience the joy and gratitude the families felt at receiving the contributions. The experience lived up to what they hoped for.

“I was privileged enough to get to deliver the gifts and tree to the Philomath family. They were extremely grateful for the kindness and generosity everyone showed. The best part was when 4-year-old Justin came running outside and started squealing with delight over the Christmas tree (and he hadn’t seen any of the presents yet!)” said Michelle Thompson.

The original plan was that each family would receive a tree, a food box, and gifts for the children and family. But once the HP Corvallis Women’s Network heard that these families had some additional needs, they sprang into action, rounding up items like firewood, a couch, and even a washing machine and dryer for some of the families.

“I helped deliver to one of the Sweet Home families. The family was extremely grateful, wanting to know the names of all of the folks who donated (we had to say the whole HP site!). We drove up and delivered a load of firewood in their driveway, and helped rearrange the dry and wet firewood. We brought in the presents, and then helped set the tree up. The Mom just couldn’t get over the “smell” of Christmas with the tree being in the house.” said Lauren Burkum.

Besides the amazing donations from HP Corvallis employees, generous donations came in from other businesses in the community as well.  At Home Furniture donated a couch and dresser, Sunrise Tree Farm donated the Christmas trees, and North Coast Electric donated the Christmas decorations.

 “The women from HP were so enthusiastic throughout the whole process. We are so thankful to have such great community partners that support not only CSC, but the individual families in need in our community.” said April Hein, CSC Housing Case Manager.

One of the missions of the HP Corvallis Women’s Network is to “Matter to our Community.” The purpose of the group is to create a strong, connected network in support of women reaching their potential. They seek to make a difference in the community where they live and work, and to increase HP’s visibility and impact in our local community. By enabling activities in which the women of HP Corvallis can participate, they create meaningful links to the communities in which they live.

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

To support any of CSC’s poverty-fighting programs and services, visit our website at 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, November 28, 2014

Upcoming Second Chance Classes in January

“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 or contact Cindy Pratt-DeMarzo at 541-758-2632 for Linn and Benton counties, and Kacy Jensen at 541-574-2281 in Lincoln County.


Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00am - 12:00pm at 250 SW Broadalbin St. (upstairs) in Albany. Registration deadline is Monday, January 19.
  • Monday, January 26th
  • Wednesday, January 28th
  • Monday, February 2nd
  • Wednesday, February 4th
  • Monday, February 9th
  • Wednesday, February 11th

Gifts of Happiness and Hope!

The Giving Season is here, and Community Services Consortium’s (CSC) gift catalog makes it easy to give a gift that will help local families this holiday season and any season. The Giving Season Catalog ( allows you to make a gift in your name or on behalf of a loved one.

Every gift makes a difference to a local family living in poverty, hunger, and homelessness, as well as giving people hope for tomorrow through education and job training. Donations support Linn Benton Food Share, Head Start of Lincoln County, Community Housing Services, Utility Assistance, CSC Youth Garden, CSC YouthBuild, Career Tech Charter School and CSC’s other education and job training programs.

CSC’s socially conscious gifts offer a specific impact in a wide range of amounts, such as supplying the Youth Garden crew with tools for $25, keeping the lights and heat on for a family for $50, or providing housing for someone in need for $100. You can also choose the option to give any amount to the highest need, or to the program of your choice.

For gifts made on behalf of a loved one, CSC will send a hand-written holiday card letting the recipient know about the gift in their name. All gift givers will receive a donation receipt for their tax-deductible gift.

“We so appreciate the generosity of our local community,” said CSC Community Relations Director Diana Teem. “Your gifts bring smiles, light and warmth into the lives of people struggling with poverty in your own community. Thank you for making a real difference, and happy holidays from all of us at Community Services Consortium!”

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

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

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Heart of the Valley Homebrewers Fills Linn Benton Food Share’s Cup

For beer lovers in the Willamette Valley, Heart of the Valley Homebrewers’ Septembeerfest is a summer festival staple. The family-friendly festival celebrated seven strong years in Benton County this past September. Community Services Consortium’s (CSC) Linn Benton Food Share (LBFS) also celebrated seven great years of partnership with the festival, which raised $21,000 this year for LBFS to eliminate hunger in Linn and Benton counties.
Patrick Gorman, Septembeerfest event organizer, and
Armand Schoppy, Heart of the Valley Homebrewer member
and CSC Youth Garden teacher, share a toast

The festival has evolved over the years, and started out as a way for the Homebrewers’ club to kill some time between competition judging and award announcements. The first year only made $200, and involved a small group of outside brewers. The festival grew, moved to the fairgrounds, and is now held in September to help ensure good weather for the outdoor event. With 3,100 attendees this year, the festival is bigger and better than ever, and helping more people in the community too.

“Most of the profits from the festival go to Linn Benton Food Share. We wanted to partner with local organizations that provide services to those in need in the area. Linn Benton Food Share was a great fit,” said Patrick Gorman, Septembeerfest event organizer.

The $21,000 donation will go a long way to provide nutritious food to those in need. LBFS depends almost exclusively on community support, which makes it possible for them to gather and distribute over 5 million pounds of food annually through their 74 member network. LBFS keeps overhead costs at around 1%, which is 6.5% less than similar organizations according to Charity Navigator.

“We are extremely happy to be the beneficiaries of Septembeerfest. The Homebrewers are a fun bunch, and how can you beat an event where people have fun drinking good beer, while providing funds to feed people in need? It is this kind of community support that allows our food pantries to provide 50,000 emergency food boxes each year, as well as providing the food needed by our member soup kitchens and shelters to provide an additional 272,000 hot meals.” said Mike Gibson, Director of Linn Benton Food Share.

To support Linn Benton Food Share or any of Community Services Consortium’s poverty-fighting programs and services, visit our website at Donations can be made through our website or mailed to our main office: Community Services Consortium, 245 Broadalbin Street, Suite 2A, Albany, OR 97321.

To support Septembeerfest through sponsorship or to find out more about the festival, visit

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

CSC Head Start Celebrating Head Start Awareness Month – 50 Years of Opportunity

October marks Head Start Awareness Month, and this year also marks Head Start’s 50th anniversary. Head Start locations around the country are celebrating, including Community Services Consortium’s (CSC) Head Start locations in Lincoln County.

Teacher Saka Coy sings with children on Button Day
 On Friday, October 24, CSC Head Start locations participated  in “Button Day,” where staff, students, parents and community partners wore buttons in support of Head Start. It was a fun day and a great reminder of the important work being done at Head Start locally and nationally today and for the past fifty years.

“The buttons say “Head Start Works,” and every day we see that it does—both for growing and learning children and their families, who also receive our support, referrals, partnership and our friendship.  Our community partners help make our Head Start a true success,” shared Suzanne Miller, Director of CSC Lincoln County Head Start.

Suzanne Miller with
Reverend Dr. Paul Hayden

Community partners in attendance included Reverend Dr. Paul Hayden, the new reverend at the Chapel by the Sea Presbyterian Church. The church has been a generous and committed supporter of Head Start, hosting an annual luncheon for Head Start Lincoln County staff, giving the children holiday gifts, and giving backpacks with school supplies at the end for the school year for children needing supplies for kindergarten. 

“Their support, care, and compassion in action has been a real inspiration!” said Miller.

CSC Head Start provides a free preschool education to Lincoln County children ages three to five years old, offering a nurturing learning environment that includes parents as important resources for their children’s learning.

Head Start has locations in Lincoln City, Newport, and Toledo. Head Start focuses on the “whole child” and includes the child’s educational, health, family, and social needs.

CSC Head Start’s educational program is designed to foster intellectual, social, and emotional growth. It meets the needs of each child and is sensitive to the child’s cultural identity, as well as any health or academic challenges.

Head Start staff on Button Day
CSC’s Head Start program doesn’t just focus on education, it also emphasizes the importance of the early identification of health concerns that might get in the way of a child’s success. Every child has a comprehensive health screening, which includes immunizations; medical, dental and mental health assessments; and nutritional needs.

For more information, call or stop by the following CSC Head Start locations:

Lincoln City: 2130 SE Lee Avenue, 541-996-3028
Toledo: 845 NW “A” Street , 541-336-5113
Newport: 253 NE 1st Street, 541-574-7690

To show your support for Head Start, please visit and click the “Donate” button or call Dee Teem at 541-574-2277.

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.