Community Services Consortium

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

Friday, August 25, 2017

Mid-Valley Stand Down for Homeless Veterans. Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017 @ 9am - 2pm. LBCC, 2nd Floor, Calapooia Center

Monday, July 10, 2017

Second Chance Renters Classes with CSC

Community Services Consortium will be holding the Second Chance Renter Rehabilitation classes from 1:30-3:30 at our Corvallis Office, 545 SW 2nd St. Suite A,  on the following dates:  

July 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, and 26th.            
Topics covered will be:  
How to be a Good Tenant, Landlord/Tenant Issues
Energy Education, Conflict Resolution
Goal Setting, and Basic Budgeting
One must attend all six classes to get a certificate  
Pre-registration is requiredspace is limited

Please contact Cindy Pratt-DeMarzo if you have any questions.   

The deadline for registering is Friday, June 30th.   

Please forward this on to others you think would be interested.    Thank you.

Cindy Pratt-DeMarzo
Housing Case Management
Community Services Consortium
545 SW 2nd St., Suite A
Corvallis OR 97333


Friday, June 16, 2017

Career Tech Students Take on Whale of a Project for Rose Parade

By Kendall S. Cable
Contributing writer

NEWPORT, OR. It all began with a used golf cart. Then came a metal frame welded by City of Lincoln City Maintenance staff. Next, seven students from Career Tech High School’s Woods and Metals Program created a plywood foundation for strategically-placed PVC and chicken wire to rise. Finally, from burlap, rice and thistle breached a whale of local distinction that migrated to Portland’s Rose Parade Saturday.

The float, a promotion for Lincoln City’s Pixiefest to take place June 24-25 at Chinook Winds Casino and Resort, was helmed by Pixie Captain and Lincoln City Councilor Kip Ward, who intentionally grew a beard for the event, according to Ed Dreistadt, Lincoln City Convention and Visitor Bureau director. The whale, accompanying pixies, and Pixiefest are a nod to Pixie Kitchen and Pixieland - former local establishments which catered to children.

“The Career Tech students saved the day,” stated Dreistadt. “We located a used golf cart and the city maintenance staff constructed the brackets for a wood platform to be attached to, but all the rest was courtesy of the Career Tech crew. They designed the platform, the whale, and the waves and then built it all.”

For the seven students (Corrie Martin, Jason Miranda, Tyler Rini, Kendra Arns, Cameron Ogle, Levi Huppert, and Jordan Serden), the project was an act of teamwork and patience – 40 hours of patience, according to John Kiser, Career Tech Woods and Metals Program crew leader.

“There wasn’t a lot of arguing or head butting with the design process,” Kiser said. “Everyone agreed on what we would do and got right to it.”

The 14-foot-by-8-foot float was built during Wednesday class time in Schooner Creek Designs’ woodshop. Students learned a variety of skills and worked with tools such as sanders and jig saws.
“I think it was a good project for the kids to learn how to use the power tools. It was good for them,” Kiser said. “Some of them have not used a sander or jig saw before. It was good hands-on training with those power tools.”

Just as important as tools and technique is teamwork, according to one student. From city hall to the students to the community, all made the project possible.

“The best part was working together as a group, teamwork,” Miranda stated. “It takes a lot of work to do the littlest things.  But if you do, you learn a lot.”

For more information regarding Pixiefest, go to Pixiefest is a collaborative effort led by Kiwanis Club of Lincoln City in partnership with Theatre West, Chinook Winds Casino Resort, Lincoln City Outlets and Farmers Insurance.

Career Tech High School is chartered through Community Services Consortium, the community action agency helping people in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln Counties. For more information go to or

Photo by John Kiser
Career Tech High School students who worked on Lincoln City’s float for Portland’s Rose Parade (Left to right): Cameron Ogle, Corrie Martin, Levi Huppert, Jordan Serden, Kendra Arns, Tyler Rini, and Jason Miranda.

Photo by Ed Dreistadt
Lincoln City Councilor Kip Ward steers the Pixiefest float during Saturday’s Rose Parade in Portland.

CSC's Head Start Expansion Project Is Really Taking Shape!

Our Newport Head Start school is expanding to include a new classroom and some much needed storage.

Friday, May 26, 2017

CSC Executive Director to Speak at Regional Asset Building Summit - Linn, Benton, Lincoln County

Neighborhood Partnerships will host a Regional Asset Building Summit June 13, at Linn Benton Community College.

The event officially begins at 12 noon but feel free to join us at 11:30 to network!

Are you concerned about the financial security of your employees, neighbors, clients, children, and friends? Do you worry about the number of people living paycheck to paycheck without the resources to absorb everyday emergencies? Do you wish you knew more about what was happening and about strategies that you can implement or support that will build a stronger, more resilient local economy?

Please join your fellow community leaders for a lunchtime discussion of the local, state, and national trends that affect the financial security of Linn, Benton, and Lincoln County families. Come prepared to learn about the approaches, tools, and strategies that have been developed and meet the local partners that are using them. From workforce development to financial products, from home ownership to credit building, we know there are things we can do to build stronger households and a more vibrant community. And, come prepared to share your own tools, strategies, and ideas with others as we work to build a network for resource sharing and action.

Lunch will be served. 

Speakers include Martha Lyon, Executive Director of the Community Services Consortium, and regional economists, Patrick O’Connor and Erik Knoder. Panelists include Brigetta Olson, Emily Reiman and Jill Winsor.

For More Information Contact:  Jill Winsor, Financial Innovations Director at Neighborhood Partnerships: 503.226.3001x118.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Newport Head Start Expands into 2017-18 School Year

By Kendall S. Cable
Contributing Writer

Newport, OR. Just as the sound of children’s laughter faded from the hallways of Community Services Consortium’s (CSC) Head Start program and into the summer, thunderous rumbling and scraping echoed against the colorfully - painted walls. A bulldozer, challenging the height of the NE 1st Street building, broke ground Monday for what is to become a new expansion.

The school will gain a new classroom as well as much-needed storage and teacher preparation space, stated CSC Executive Director Martha Lyon. Head Start won a federal grant that covers most of the costs to increase to full-day classes for one program at each of the three CSC Head Start locations: Toledo, Newport, and Lincoln City. Only Newport needed additional space immediately.

“I am excited for the kids, families, and especially our teaching team and kitchen helpers who have been squeezed into preparation space that was not ideal,” Lyon said during Monday’s ceremonial ground breaking.      

Celebrated during the commemoration of the 52nd anniversary of Head Start’s creation by Former President Lyndon B. Johnson, the ground breaking was attended by many, including Lincoln County Commissioner Bill Hall.

“It is wonderful,” said Hall. “It is expanding opportunities for students to access full-day school year programs through Head Start. Head Start is changing for the community and families. That is why I am excited to see this project started.”   
In addition to a growing floorplan (designed by Crow/Clay Architects and constructed by Hoffman Construction of Lincoln City), Miller said more staff will be hired and teaching hours increased. In three classes hours will be doubled, and another month added to the school year.

Lincoln County Head Start Director Suzanne Miller urges families interested in applying for the upcoming school year to come to any of the three sites as soon as possible, especially if they are interested in the full-day classes.

“We will be open all summer for applications. Don’t let the construction in Newport keep you from coming in and applying,” Miller stated. Office hours will be finalized next week and posted at each site and on the phone message.

Families are encouraged to apply as soon as possible and are free to apply at any of the three sites. For further information, contact Newport Head Start at (541) 574-7690, Toledo Head Start at (541) 336- 5113, and Lincoln City Head Start at (541) 996-3028.

Photo credits:
Photo by Kendall S. Cable: A ceremonial ground breaking was held behind Newport Head Start building Monday. Construction is expected to be completed prior to the first day of school.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Barrel-to-Keg Relay & Ride

CSC's Annual Barrel-to-Keg Relay & Ride
A Race to End Poverty
Saturday & Sunday, July 22 - 23, 2017

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Career Tech Drone Class Makes Buzz

By Kendall S. Cable
Freelance Writer

Lincoln County, OR… At first listen it would appear bees were swarming Lincoln City’s Kirtsis skate park last Monday. Low frequency buzzes bounced off the heights and depths of the lunar-like cement structures. The sounds’ source, however, was not of the insect variety, but rather mechanical as seven students from Lincoln City Career Technical High School (Career Tech) guided their drones through the damp, coastal air.

As part of a pilot program, students enrolled in Career Tech’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses were presented the opportunity to learn about and earn licenses for flying drones. Divided into 100 and 200 level courses, students are introduced to such concepts as: knots, cloud clearance, visibility, drone repair, and mapping. Inside a brick and mortar classroom only, such subjects may glaze over an eye or two. With the addition of hands-on repairs and flying, student learning becomes interactive.

“Whatever we do here is fun,” said Teacher Chuck Getter. A pilot and PhD marine science researcher, Getter will use drones to teach Career Tech students ecology while working for the City of Lincoln City to map invasive species and monitor coastal erosion on beaches. “I am really trying to introduce high paying jobs in technology and science,” Getter explained. “There is nothing wrong with trade jobs that take as much training as this.”
By the end of a year, students may sit for the Federal Aviation Administration Part 107 Drone License Test funded by the school, Getter shared. Said licensure would open job opportunities in areas such as mapping, videography, and study and monitoring of invasive species. As incentive to complete the program, students are awarded the drones on which they trained during several runs throughout the school year.

“It is cool,” Junior Jacob Helton remarked. “It is not something everyone gets to do normally. It makes it more interesting and makes me want to learn it.” Jacob served as the group’s mechanic (one of eight jobs available) during last Monday’s drone flight and repaired propellers, and switched out engines and batteries. He said he is interested in pursuing a job as a mechanic in the future.

Jacob’s brother, Tyler, concurred. “It makes it more fun,” he said. “Especially since I get to fly drones.” Tyler, a freshman, explained their cousin uses a drone to help film the television show “Gold Rush.”

To help keep the program growing Career Tech staff are applying for Measure 98 funding, which is geared at improving high school graduation rates. To learn more about Career Tech and/or the drone program, call (541) 351-8551 and/or visit the website at Community Services Consortium (CSC) is the parent organization of Career Tech, which is part of CSC’s Workforce and Education Department.


Photo 1: Photo by Kendall S. Cable: Lincoln City Career Technical High School Student Seth Martin inspects his drone after a few flights while at Kirtsis skate park.     Note: (Student with blue hair)

Photo 2: Photo by Kendall S.  Cable: Trainer drones are used for students to learn how to maneuver and maintain. Teacher Chuck Getter said more expensive drones, such as the Phantom used for class, are easier to fly after learning on the drone pictured.

Photo 3: Photo by Kendall S. Cable: Lincoln City Career Technical High School Junior Jacob Helton serves as the drone class mechanic. Helton repairs propellers, engines, exchanges batteries and performs other duties to make sure drones are in working order.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Congratulations Keith Kolkow - City of Albany Human Relations Awardee

Since 2011, the Albany Human Relations Commission (HRC) has recognized individuals and Albany organizations or businesses that have worked to promote harmonious relations among the citizens of Albany. Selection of award recipients are based on a demonstrated commitment to promoting human relations, diversity, and/or equality through community programs and activities in Albany.

The ceremony for the 2016 Human Relations awards was held [Wednesday, April 26th] during the Albany City Council meeting and [CSC's] very own Keith Kolkow won the award for the individual category! As a committed community member of the City of Albany, Keith is involved in many committees and volunteers countless hours for various events throughout the year.

Stand Down for Homeless Veterans Changes Location

By Kendall S. Cable
Contributing Writer

Albany, OR…  United States Navy Veteran Kevin Rose, 68, and his wife of Halsey were living out of a car in 2015. The veteran, who served in Vietnam as a gunner’s mate, set his sights on finding a way out of their situation.  Rose contacted Community Services Consortium (CSC), where he not only was assisted with housing, but also learned about the area’s Stand Down for Homeless Veterans event.

Stand Down for Homeless Veterans is a nationwide movement locally coordinated by CSC in which businesses, agencies, and community partners offer services and items to homeless and low-income veterans. However, all veterans are encouraged to participate. This year, the third annual event will be held September 21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Linn-Benton Community College, 6500 Pacific Blvd. SW, in Albany. This is a change of venue from Lebanon in years past.

“We decided to move to Albany to be closer to I-5, also Benton County,” said Dina Eldridge, CSC Housing Services Manager. “We just think most of the VA (Veterans Administration) providers are based in Albany. We just hope we get a bigger turnout since it is easier to find.”

Last year 93 veterans, including Rose, attended the event where 56 agencies and organizations offered a hand up such as: mental health and addiction counseling; employment; VA health insurance opportunities; dental van; Samaritan Health Service health screenings; clothing; hygiene products; housing through CSC; camping gear from the Department of Defense; IDs with Legal Aid assistance; free food; benefit assistance from Social Security; and more, according to Eldridge.

“I have never seen such a turnout for veterans my whole life. It was awesome last year,” said Rose. “I never, ever heard of anything like this.”  Rose received clothes sleeping bags, cots, sunglasses, and a haircut. “Stand Down is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. It was the first haircut I had in years.”

Around the same time, Rose and his wife also moved into a rental home with CSC’s assistance. He said he is thankful for the help he received from CSC Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)Case Manager Connie Barkdull, Eligibility Clerk Scott McKee, and Department of Labor Disabled Veterans Outreach Representative Stephen Hickson.
Additionally, Rose said the event served as a place for veterans to meet other veterans. He feels this is very important, especially to younger veterans.

“They should go, if not for anything else, to talk to one another,” Rose encouraged. “There are a lot of vets that still need help. I’d like to see them get it.”

This year’s event is in the planning stages. Sponsorships and cash donations from local businesses and groups who want to help veterans are sought. Food, services, and haircuts are just a few areas of need. Eldridge explained the United States Department of Labor provides limited funding, but the money is specifically earmarked and does not cover such services as the dental van. Transportation for veterans to and from the event is also being coordinated.

Interested businesses and agencies can contact CSC Case Manager Connie Barkdull at 541-928-6335 x 312 or for more information.  Landlords interested in renting to veterans can contact Eldridge at 541-928-6335 x 324 or  Homeless veterans in need of housing contact McKee at 541-704-7638,, or CSC is a community action agency for Linn, Benton, and Lincoln Counties.


Photo Credit: Photo by Community Services Consortium Staff

Stand Down for Homeless Veterans in Lebanon was attended by 93 veterans in 2016. Homeless and low-income veterans are encouraged to attend this year in Albany.

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 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 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

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.