Community Services Consortium

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

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fourth Annual Barrel to Keg Relay a Huge Success!

Nearly 700 runners and walkers traversed a backcountry race route from Philomath's Harris Bridge Vineyard to the Rogue Ales Brewery in Newport for Community Services Consortium's fourth annual Barrel to Keg Relay – Race to End Poverty (B2K) on Saturday, July 12. More than 150 volunteers were also stationed along the route, helping the day to flow smoothly.

Relay participants came from as far as Canada to raise money for CSC. Walkers covered seven legs totaling 32 miles, and runners covered 14 legs totaling 69 miles. There were 111 teams of runners and walkers, mostly comprised of six team members.

Solo ultrarunner Seth Paredes
This year's B2K also included a solo ultrarunner, Seth Paredes of Newport. Paredes did the full course in 14 hours and 44 minutes, at an impressive 12:49 pace.

“I'm glad I was able to finish. I really shocked myself with the last 15 miles to go.” said Paredes.

One walker, Roger Sinks, also chose to solo the route, completing 32 miles in 10 hours and 55 minutes at a pace of 21:09.

Running team “We Got the Runs” came in first place overall with a total time of 7 hours, 25 minutes and 6 seconds at a 6 minute, 28 second mile pace. This is their fourth first-place finish at B2K.

First place in the Women’s Open division was “Bad Mother Runners,” and first place in the mixed Open division was “Mixed 6.” Team Mixed 6 included CSC’s own Youth and Education Manager Sean Larsen.

In the Master’s division, “Coast Hills Bootleggers” received first for Men’s, “Easy But Not Cheap” placed first for Women’s, and “Santiam Snot Rockets” placed first for Mixed.

Walking team "Don’t Worry Be Hippy” came in first with a total of 8 hours, 30 minutes and 52 seconds and a 16 minute and 29 second mile pace.

With the help of the Lincoln County Emergency Radio Operators, Newport Police Volunteers and TCB Security, the course was kept safe and communications ran smoothly.

When participants completed the course against a beautiful backdrop of the Yaquina Bridge, they were greeted with a celebration inside the Rogue Brewery headquarters. B2K sponsors made the Finish Line Party possible, with Rogue providing food and beer, Oregon Coast Event Rentals providing an elegant and comfortable setup, Harris Bridge Vineyard serving up wine, Franz providing bread and cookies, Bespoken Roasters brewing fresh coffee, and Cabot Cheese providing delicious cheeses. Cytomax energy drinks and Odwalla bars were also available. Participants and their families refueled and enjoyed live music by the Valley Cats and Island Joy. Verterbrata Chiropractic welcomed participants with free massages.

During the celebration, the best costumes award was given to "#oldladyproblems" and “What’s With the Pound Sign? #.” The best team name award was given to "Seven Deadly Shins," and the best-dressed vehicle award was given to "Shamble in the Bramble."

Costume contest winners #oldladyproblems and
What's With the Pound Sign? #
CSC Executive Director Martha Lyon said this year’s B2K was the most successful relay yet, with a preliminary estimate of $37,000 raised.

“The proceeds from this race are used to help stabilize people in poverty in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties, and then help them acquire the skills and tools to move out of poverty.” said Lyon.

The agency will use the money raised to support programs and services for low-income families with housing, utilities, food, education, and job skills training, as well as weatherization to better insulate their homes and bring down monthly heating bills.

CSC would like to thank the many race participants and sponsors for their support - we hope to see you again next year!

To learn more about B2K - Race to End Poverty contact info@barreltokeg.com or visit us at www.barreltokeg.com.  

LBFS Planting Seeds to End Hunger

Wilma Whitmore poses with her towering tomato plant
Linn Benton Food Share (LBFS) – a CSC program – has been busy this summer with two innovative programs aimed at increasing the amount of healthy, locally grown produce available to those in need in Linn and Benton counties.

Members of LBFS’s 14 gleaning groups took part in the Patio Project, growing 900 vegetable plants at their homes, with vegetables distributed by LBFS. Many gleaners are seniors with gardening experience, and have families eager to learn how to grow food for their children.

FOOD for Lane County also shared a generous BiMart donation of vegetable seeds with LBFS. LBFS distributed seven pallets of seeds, valued at $25,000, across their two-country area for the summer growing season.

Cindy Rice, manager of the Sweet Home Emergency Ministries food pantry in Linn County, distributed some of the seeds 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.

LBFS also offered seed packets to several local programs including the CSC Youth Garden. The group will grow the seeds in the garden, and a portion of what these young people learn to grow is given to partner gleaning groups.

Many generous local businesses provided the vegetable starts and supplies to grow the seeds.

The donations of seeds and starts 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.

LBFS Director Mike Gibson notes that Food Share has made it a priority to increase the amount of fresh, nutritious produce for emergency food boxes. With an increase of 28% this year, a total of over one million pounds of produce will be distributed.

“Linn Benton Food Share is thankful for the generous donation from Bi-Mart and local nurseries,“ 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.”

Interested in joining a gleaning group in Linn or Benton counties? E-mail Susan James at sjames@communityservices.us or call her at 541-758-2645.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Happy Retirement Terry, Hello Marisha!


Marisha Johnson has been appointed as CSC's new Director of Housing and Energy Services. Prior to joining CSC, Marisha was the Mental Health Planner for the Oregon Health Authority Addictions and Mental Health Division, where she administered the State’s Community Mental Health Services Block Grant. She also led the statewide initiative to implement Supported Employment for individuals with serious mental illness and staffed the Addictions and Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council.

Before moving to Albany, she was Transitional and Legal Services Coordinator with Battered Persons’ Advocacy in Roseburg, Oregon, where she managed their transitional housing program and worked to provide safety for victims of domestic and sexual violence. She was also a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor II at ADAPT providing substance abuse counseling services for adults and adolescents.

Marisha received an Executive Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Portland State University, and a BA in Psychology from Northwest Christian University.

Marisha is filling the shoes of retiring Director Terry Knoll. Terry took on a number of roles in her 27 years with our agency, excelling in each of them as her dedication to serving our community shined through.

"I’ve known true joy in community service in my various roles as an energy assistance receptionist, intake worker, energy education coordinator, case manager, program manager and department director. My career at CSC has been one learning experience after another and every day I have been inspired through the association with my coworkers." said Terry.

We will all sincerely miss Terry's smiling face, positive outlook, and upbeat personality, and look forward to working with Marisha and continuing to improve housing options for those in need in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

CSC Head Start Accepting Applications for September 2014 School Year

CSC Head Start is a nonprofit federal and state funded preschool. The program is family centered, with comprehensive services to assist not only in the education of children, but also in their overall health and well-being.

Families are supported in a variety of ways and encouraged to participate fully in their child’s education and in school events. If you want your child to be fully prepared to succeed in kindergarten and beyond, Head Start is the way to begin.

The CSC Head Start program is open to Lincoln County children ages three and four, based on family income eligibility, needs assessment and space availability. Call us or stop by for more information:
  • 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
Se habla Espanol!

Upcoming Second Chance Classes 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.

Those who successfully complete 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 1:00 - 3:00pm at 545 SW 2nd St., Suite A in Corvallis. Registration deadline is Monday, October 6.

  • Monday, 10/13- How to be a Good Tenant
  • Wednesday, 10/15 - Landlord/Tenant Issues
  • Monday, 10/20 - Energy Education
  • Wednesday, 10/22- Conflict Resolution
  • Monday, 10/27 - Goal Setting
  • Wednesday, 10/29 - Basic Budgeting   


Thursday, July 10, 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 unwanted stuff. 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.”

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, 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.

Sunday, May 25, 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

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!


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!