Community Services Consortium

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

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

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Event to Assist Homeless Veterans in Linn and Benton County

The first Stand Down for Homeless Veterans in the Linn and Benton County area will be held Thursday, November 12, 2015 at The River Center, 3000 South Santiam Highway, Lebanon, from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

The event will focus on helping homeless veterans in our area connect with the necessary services that are available here. Donations of clothing, food, and hygiene items are being coordinated by our local community action agency, Community Services Consortium.

Health screenings, Social Security benefits counseling, and dental services will also be provided. Veterans can also receive referrals to health care providers, health insurance, housing solutions, employment, substance abuse treatment and mental health counseling.

Transportation will be available to veterans who need a ride to the event. Shuttle service will leave Two Rivers Market, 250 Broadalbin Street SW, Albany, every two hours starting at 8:00 a.m. Corvallis and Benton County veterans can get bus passes from Community Outreach Inc., 865 NW Reiman Avenue, Corvallis. In Sweet Home, veterans should meet at the VFW, 580 Main Street, for pick-up and drop-off.

Volunteers are needed to help with food preparation and service, to be greeters, and to provide a friendly face to aid the veteran with a personal level of care. If you would like to volunteer, or make a donation of food, clothing, hygiene items, or money, please contact CSC, 250 SW Broadalbin Street SW, Suite 2A, Albany, Oregon 97321, or call 541-928-6335 and ask for Sarah Hilton.

Stand downs are collaborative events that provide basic necessities and services to veterans. Stand downs are collaborative events, coordinated among local veteran support organizations, other government agencies and community-based homeless service providers. This Stand Down is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Labor, Willamette Chapter 17 of Disabled American Veterans, Inc., local support agencies like Community Services Consortium, and concerned citizens.

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 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.

A Community Conversation: Race, Inclusion, and Making Community Action Available to Everyone

Please join Community Services Consortium (CSC) for a presentation by the Fair Housing Council of Oregon about the history of discrimination in Oregon, followed by light refreshments and a discussion about race, inclusion, and how CSC can make our wide variety of poverty-fighting services available to everyone available to everyone.

The event takes place on November 19, 2015 from 9am-12pm at the Community Services Consortium building, located at 120 NE Avery St. in Newport on the First Floor - Hylan Room. To RSVP, call or e-mail Pegge McGuire at 541-704-7627 or

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 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.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Low-Income Participants Wanted for Conference: Environmental Justice, Affordable Housing and Health

Housing Land Advocates is offering scholarships to low-income individuals to attend their November 6th conference on Environmental Justice, Affordable Housing and Health. The conference focuses on the intersection of housing and health. This year's speakers represent diverse perspectives, including environmental justice advocates working to bring healthy homes to low-income communities, local efforts to understand the epigenetics of poverty, design-based solutions to healthcare challenges, and rural efforts to integrate health services in residential communities.

Within all of this, there will an investigation of residential housing patterns in both rural and metro areas, and how changes are impacting the affordable housing stock and health outcomes for residents. HLA's 2015 conference will bring together national, regional and local experts to explore these concepts and consider ways to bring health home.

Basic Details 
2015 HLA Conference: At the Intersection of Housing and Health
November 6th, 2015
8:30am - 4:30pm
David Evans & Associates
2100 SW River Parkway
Portland, OR
Keynote Speaker is Steve Fishbach, Supervising Lawyer for the Rhode Island Legal Defense Fund and Co-founder of the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island.

Conference Webpage: 
Eventbrite registration page: 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

CSC Harvesting Good Things in Our Community

Linn Benton Food Share (LBFS) has partnered again this year with local nurseries for their Patio Project. The Patio Project is based on a simple concept - people growing fresh, healthy produce in their gardens to fight hunger in our community.

Carl Bass with his tomato plant
Local nurseries have donated more than 3,000 plants to Linn Benton Food Share to distribute so local gardeners can grow food to feed their neighbors in need.

Most of these gardeners are members of the numerous gleaning programs that work with Linn Benton Food Share. Gleaners are people with low incomes who participate in gathering donated foods for themselves and other low-income households.

The Patio Project will help LBFS increase the amount of healthy, locally grown produce available to those in need through their 68 local partner agencies that include emergency food pantries and shelters, soup kitchens, residential care homes, and gleaning groups.

LBFS Director Ryan McCambridge notes that Food Share has made it a priority to increase the amount of fresh, nutritious produce for emergency food boxes. It is expected that more than one million pounds of produce will be distributed this year.

“Linn Benton Food Share is thankful for the generous donations from local nurseries“ Ryan stated. “These plants 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 growing the plants have a new way to provide for their families.”

CSC’s Youth Garden has also been busy growing produce for both LBFS and the community, participating in the Corvallis Farmers’ Market. The CSC Youth Garden enrolls four to ten students looking to get their GED or diploma while learning food production and sales skills in a supportive environment.

Interested in gleaning? For more information on a group near you, please call Susan James 541-758-2645 or send her an e-mail at

For more information on the CSC Youth Garden or CSC’s Youth Programs, contact Armand Schoppy at 541-578-2776 or contact him at

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Community Services Consortium Welcomes Pegge McGuire as Director of Housing and Energy Services

Pegge McGuire has joined the poverty-fighting team at Community Service Consortium (CSC) as the new Director of Housing and Energy Services. Pegge has a long history working on poverty-fighting programs and civil rights in Oregon and Washington, and we are excited to have her skills, experience, and input directing the housing programs at CSC.

“I am very excited to be working with the great team at CSC. The staff are passionate and innovative in their approach to achieving the agency’s mission.  Martha is a visionary leader and is a master at planting the seeds of creativity for problem solving, and a holistic approach to service delivery. I am eager to learn from her.”

Prior to joining CSC, Pegge spent ten years as the Executive Director of the Fair Housing Council of Oregon (FHCO) where she provided vision, leadership, and management to the organization, setting and directing operational goals.

Pegge also worked for five years at Oregon Housing and Community Services, where she was the Community Resources Division Manager, providing administrative oversight for the state’s anti-poverty and social equity programs. Pegge worked extensively with the network of statewide community action agencies (the Community Action Partnership of Oregon). She was awarded CAPO’s prestigious “Community Action Partnership Award” for her dedication and hard work to fight poverty in Oregon.

Pegge has been an expert witness in fair housing litigation, has written and published many articles on fair housing issues, and has provided technical assistance to a number of municipalities and housing providers to expand equal opportunity access to housing in their communities. She has conducted training nationally and internationally on housing equity issues. She is the former chair of the Governor’s Reentry Housing Task Force, and a member of the Governor’s Veteran’s Reintegration Task Force.

Pegge’s education includes training at the Chinook Institute for Civic Leadership, Portland State University, Institute of Real Estate Management, Pierce College, Santa Barbara City College, and the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA. Pegge is also an honorably discharged Army veteran.

Enroll Now at CSC Lincoln County Head Start!

CSC Lincoln County Head Start in Lincoln City is now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 school year. We accept applications throughout the school year. 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.

Applications are accepted in-person at each site on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and 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. Call for an application or come by with the necessary papers and fill out the application on site.

Below are the CSC Lincoln County Head Start locations and contact information. A few spots are also available at the Newport and Toledo locations:

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, August 13, 2015

Above and Beyond – When a Job Isn’t Just a Job

by Suzanne Miller, Director of CSC Lincoln County Head Start

It is my pleasure to be the Director of CSC Head Start and work with our wonderful staff in Lincoln County. All staff members are excellent, hard-working people who truly serve our community. There is one person on our staff who has given me a new perspective on the definition of “work ethic.” That person is Angela Oleman. Angela was born and raised in Toledo in a family that did everything together - work, play, team sports, vacations, house projects; you name it. Angela grew up in a natural “team;” her family was that team.

I sat down with Angela one afternoon to ask her why she is such a hard worker - always finding solutions, always going the extra mile. “I don’t know any other way to be” was her answer. “We were raised to participate, to work together—if it needs doing, then let’s do it.” Angela is a powerful force on our team, always a smile on her face, a great attitude of positivity and patience and understanding for others. She is always looking for ways to make the Head Start program better.

Angela also recruits her “home team” for projects at Head Start sites. Her husband Mike and her sons, Tyson and Kyle - when not working, helping at home, going to school and doing their own sports - are often seen at the sites helping with projects. Angela was able with the help of another staff member to find a volunteer to paint the Toledo classroom over the summer. The only caveat was that all the prep work be done by someone else. So, Angela had her family come down to help accomplish that, saving the program quite a bit of money too!

This is just one of many examples. Angela has the same sense of economy for Head Start as she does for her own family finances. She is an employee who “owns” her work, her sites and the many areas she manages. I asked her how she does it all so well, and why. “Head Start is a great place to work and our staff are all very caring people.” Angela further said that she cares for everyone around her.

Angela feels that it is important for her sons to develop a social conscience and to be part of the community. This is generational social activism and citizenship of the highest order. Her mom Bonnie crochets scarves for the Toledo Head Start children, and is making some treats for the returning staff first day training as well.

When I am stressed and not my best self, Angela will ask “Are you grumpy today?” I can tell you I quickly straighten up! I never want to disappoint her. I may be her “boss” as she says, but I think she may be my teacher.

It is important that we celebrate those who give so much, people like Angela, Mike, Tyson, Kyle and Bonnie. I know I’m grateful.

Suzanne Miller, PhD, is a writer and the Director of CSC Head Start in Lincoln County.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

CSC Natural Resource Crews Participate in Marbled Murrelet Study

The CSC Natural Resource Crew took part in the 10th annual Marbled Murrelet citizen science survey this July on a spectacular stretch of Oregon's coast near Yachats, Oregon. The experience was a wonderful way for crew members to learn first-hand how scientists are monitoring populations of a threatened species, and how those species are managed for conservation in Oregon.

The primary objective of the survey is to address the key question of status and trend of Marbled Murrelet populations and nesting habitat in the Northwest Forest Plan area.

Oregon State University ornithologist and Marbled Murrelet expert Kim Nelson led the surveys in the Cummins, Ten Mile, and Yachats landscapes. The area included the recently designated ‘Globally Significant’ Central Coast Murrelet Important Bird Area, with 100,000 acres of Murrelet habitat in the Siuslaw National Forest and adjacent near-shore waters.

The crews took part in viewing and discussing old-growth forest habitat, as well as the recently designated Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve and Seabird Protection Area. During the morning surveys, Murrelets could be seen and heard on breeding territories and in their near-shore feeding areas.

Upcoming Second Chance Classes in September

“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 (and one Tuesday due to Labor Day) from 3:00pm - 5:00pm at 545 SW 2nd St. (upstairs) in Corvallis. Registration deadline is Thursday, September 3rd.

  • Monday, September 14th
  • Wednesday, September 16th
  • Monday, September 21st
  • Wednesday, September 23rd
  • Monday, September 28th
  • Tuesday, September 30th

The next chance to take this set of classes will be at our Albany office in November/December.

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.

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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.