Community Services Consortium

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

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 or visit our website to volunteer, donate or learn more about CSC programs and services:

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Letter Carriers Stamp out Hunger!

Help CSC's Linn Benton Food Share 
Help your Letter Carrier Stamp Out Hunger! 
Leave bags of non-perishable food by your mailbox on Saturday, May 14.

The Annual Letter Carriers "Stamp Out Hunger" 

Linn Benton Food Share Food Drive is coming up! 

Mail carriers will be collecting donations of nonperishable food on Saturday, May 14, for the 24th annual National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive.

The annual “Stamp out Hunger” food drive asks mail customers to fill a bag with pasta, cereal, peanut butter, canned soups and stews, and other nonperishable food items and leave it by their mailboxes for carriers to pick up.

Food drive information cars and collection bags will arrive in the mailboxes of Albany residences beforehand.
Last year, Albany letter carriers collected about 28,000 pounds of food for Linn Benton Food Share, which distributed it through local food pantries. Volunteers are needed to help sort food at the Albany Post Office on Saturday May 14th. Volunteers are asked to spend an hour or two between 11:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. sorting food the mail carriers bring to the Main Post Office dock in Albany.  Please e-mail Susan James at to sign up or for more information. 

This is a fun family, individual or group volunteer project!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

CSC's Denise Downer Honored as Lebanon Woman of the Year

CSC Principal Youth Advisor Denise Downer was recently honored in Lebanon at the Distinguished Services Awards as the Woman of the Year. We are so grateful to have Denise as part of CSC team! She is a tireless advocate for youth, and we are so happy she is receiving some richly deserved recognition. Congratulations Denise!

To read more, click here to access the Albany Democrat-Herald story.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Barrel to Keg Relay Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for the 6th annual Barrel to Keg Relay – Race to End Poverty on July 16, 2016. 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.

Barrel to Keg Relay veteran Jeff Jones, who flew in last year from Georgia to make his first solo, 69-mile run of the course, said, “First you run Barrel to Keg in a 6-person team, and then you want more time on the road. So you run a 4-person team, then you run a 2-person, and finally, you just have to do the whole shebang.”

 “Scenery and variety is second to none on Barrel to Keg. I’ve ran them all, and while Cascade Lakes is a close second, nothing stands up to Barrel to Keg. You want time in your trail shoes - done deal; you want time on the road, say when. You start hot in the valley and finish cool on the coast – really, what more could you ask for? Combine this experience with a finish of great wine and/or fantastic beer and there is a little something for everyone.” said Jones.

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 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 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 in being a race official or event volunteer, please contact Dee Teem at 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 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 or visit the website at

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 Donations may be made through our website or mailed to our main office: Community Services Consortium, 245 Broadalbin Street, Suite 2A, Albany, OR 97321.

CSC YouthBuild Crew Hard at Work

Our CSC YouthBuild crew has been busy this spring! Here's a look at a beautiful produce stand that they designed and built for Trillium Children's Farm Home. Great work YouthBuild crew!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Enroll 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 (Lincoln City – Monday 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

Toledo Head Start
845 NW “A” Street
Toledo, OR 97391

Lincoln City Head Start
2130 SE Lee Street
Lincoln City, OR 97367

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Go Shopping and Help Change Lives in Your Community!

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 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

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.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Upcoming Second Chance Classes in April

“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. The deadline is Monday, March 21st.

To register, or for more information about Second Chance, visit 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 Community Outreach, Inc. building at in 865 NW Reiman in Corvallis. Registration deadline is Monday, March 21st.

Monday, April 4th
Wednesday, April 6th
Monday, April 11th
Wednesday, April 13th
Monday, April 18th
Wednesday, April 20th

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Hendrix Heating Shares Warm Generosity with Community

Thanks to long-time CSC Weatherization program partner Hendrix Heating, winter will be much warmer for a few local low-income households.

Hendrix Heating owners Carla & Roger Kaminga contacted CSC Housing Finance Specialist Kathy Stroud to ask for the names of some low-income households that were on the waiting list for furnace replacements. After identifying and getting permission from clients that were living with no heat source, Hendrix Heating then contacted the families and gave them the gift of heat - new furnaces or heat pumps.

"Over the years we've been serving CSC clients, we've seen so many folks that are in such need, and due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, they've had to wait a long time just to get a consistent source of heat in their home. Roger and I truly believe that God has placed us in the position we're in and it's our responsibility to try to manage what He's given us in a way that honors Him and blesses others whenever possible." said Carla.

"We found ourselves in the position to be able do a little extra this year and were glad that CSC was able to give us a list of people that needed help. It is such a blessing to be able to share with someone that we're going to come out and help them get heat in their home (maybe for the first time in
months) for FREE! All of the people we were able to help were so sweet. After the initial shock, there were tears, thank you cards, prayers, baked goods, and promises to "pay it forward". In the end smiles all around both on their end and ours. Good stuff!" said Carla.

CSC is so thankful to have such kind, generous partners like Hendrix Heating. Thank you for your amazing generosity!

HP Helps Make the Holidays Bright for Local Families

For the second year in a row, the HP Women's Network worked with CSC to make the holidays bright for local families in need.

The HP Women's Network received Christmas with lists for eight families - two more families than last year - in CSC's transitional and supportive housing programs. HP held a Christmas drive with their employees, and provided Christmas trees, decorations, dinner, and gifts to each family, which included 22 children. They delivered everything directly to the families' homes.

"They were all happily surprised that there were gifts for both the kids and the adults, including HP laptops! The families have said that the laptops were so helpful for them to do job searches, and they are now also able to do online schooling." said April Hein, CSC Housing Case Manager.

A huge thank you to HP, whose continued support to end poverty in our community makes them a local hero!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

CSC Recruiting New Community Action Advisory Council Members

Albany, OR….Helping people. Changing lives. Would you like to address issues related to poverty in your community? Community Services Consortium (CSC) is looking for new members to join our Community Action Advisory Council (CAAC) serving Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties.

The CAAC provides input to the CSC Governing Board and staff on key policy issues, assessment of CSC programs, and serves as a knowledgeable advocate for the agency and its programs and services in the areas of food and nutrition, education, economic stability and housing.

The time commitment is approximately 20-30 hours per year. There are four 2-3 hour meetings, plus one training session and voluntary agency events.

The application deadline is Friday, February 19, 2016. For more information about the council or to apply, please contact Linda Swaney at or at 541-704-7643.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Apply Now for Head Start!

Lincoln County, OR…. “It is not too late to be sure that your child is prepared for kindergarten.” says Head Start Director Dr. Suzanne Miller. Head Start has a rolling enrollment process that continues until mid-March. Head Start has added a classroom in Toledo, and it is important for residents in or near Toledo to know that there is a good chance your child could be enrolled for the remainder of the year. Head Start sites in Lincoln City and in Newport are still enrolling children as well.

Remember that Head Start is considered the gold standard for early childhood education, as the full services include health and social emotional supports, dental, hearing, and vision screenings, and family engagement in the education process. You cannot begin your child’s education too early, especially at Head Start where the “whole child” is cared for in a loving and supportive environment.

Call any of our sites for more information. Below are the CSC Lincoln County Head Start locations and contact information:

Newport Head Start
253 NE 1st Street
Newport, OR 97365

Toledo Head Start
845 NW “A” Street
Toledo, OR 97391

Lincoln City Head Start
2130 SE Lee Street
Lincoln City, OR 97367

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.