Community Services Consortium

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

Friday, December 4, 2009

Homeless Persons’ Memorial Service

Homeless individuals, social service providers, faith-based organizations and the public are invited to gather at the Albany City Hall Plaza, 333 Broadalbin St. SW, at 2:00 p.m. Monday, December 21, 2009 for Albany’s first observance of National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day.

The event is an opportunity to remember the people who have died on Albany streets, in abandoned properties or open places, from illnesses or conditions directly related to homelessness. Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day is a national observance.

The memorial event will include a proclamation by Albany Mayor Sharon Konopa, the reading of the names and lighting candles for those who have died in Albany and other Linn County communities in recent years, words of remembrance, and a 21-gun salute by the American Legion Post 10 Honor Guard. Refreshments will follow.

The observance is sponsored by the City of Albany, the Homeless Enrichment and Rehabilitation Team (HEART) board of directors, American Legion Post 10, Community Services Consortium, and Samaritan Health Services.
Donations of socks, thermal underwear, stocking caps, gloves, hooded sweatshirts and gently-used coats will be collected for Albany Helping Hands and Signs of Victory shelter guests.

The national observance has been held annually since 1990 on or near the first day of winter (and the longest night of the year.) In 2008, more than 120 memorial events took place in cities across 46 states, honoring more than 3,200 individuals who died homeless last year.

Please Share with Clients ...

$ HELP $
with Heating Bills

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is 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. The LIHEAP program is operated by Community Services Consortium (CSC) and began taking calls December 1st, 2009, to set up appointments at our major offices in Benton, Linn, and Lincoln counties. To qualify, a household must have an income at or below the following limits:

Household Size / Monthly Gross Income
1 / $ 1,757.75
2 / $ 2,298.58
3 / $ 2,839.42
4 / $ 3,380.25
5 / $ 3,921.08
6 / $ 4,461.92

Call for an appointment at:
545 SW 2nd (upstairs, Rm #2)
Corvallis, OR 97333

250 Broadalbin St. SW, Suite 2J
(Two Rivers Market-Upstairs)
Albany, OR 97321

380 Market St.
Lebanon, OR 97355

120 NE Avery St.
Newport, OR 97365

(and take approximately ½ hour each).

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hunger in United States at 14-Year High (11/20/09)

The number of Americans who lived in households that lacked consistent access to adequate food soared to 49 million last year, the highest since the Department of Agriculture began tracking "food insecurity" 14 years ago, the New York Times reports.

According to the Times, the increase of 13 million Americans was much larger than even the most pessimistic observers of hunger trends had expected and cast a light on the daily hardships caused by the recession. About a third of the struggling households are experiencing "very low food security," which means that a lack of money has forced members to skip meals, cut portions, or otherwise forgo food at some point during the year. The other two-thirds typically had enough to eat as long as they ate cheaper, less-varied foods, relied on government aid such as food stamps, or visited food pantries and soup kitchens.

Drawing officials' attention were the 506,000 households in which children faced "very low food security," up from 323,000 in 2007. In addition, about 37 percent of households with children headed by single parents reported some form of food insecurity, compared with 14 percent of married households with children. Serious problems were most prevalent in the South, followed equally by the West and Midwest.

Some conservatives have attacked the survey's methodology on the grounds that it's hard to define what it measures; indeed, the phrase "food insecurity" stems from years of political and academic wrangling over how to measure adequate access to food. James Weill, director of the Food Research and Action Center, which pioneered the report, called the study a careful look at an underappreciated condition. "Many people are outright hungry, skipping meals," Weill told the Times. "Others say they have enough to eat but only because they're going to food pantries or using food stamps. We describe it as 'households struggling with hunger.'"

DeParle, Jason. "Hunger in U.S. at a 14-Year High." New York Times 11/16/09.;

CSC Workforce and Education Awarded $292,000 for Youth Employment

CSC’s Workforce and Education Department (W&E) received nine grant awards totaling $292,000 from the Oregon Youth Conservation Corps’ (OYCC) Oregon Youth Employment Initiative (OYEI). The OYEI school-year grants will fund nine youth employment crews, which will employ more than 50 disadvantaged young people, ages 16 – 24, and nine adult crew leaders. Projects will span CSC’s three-county region of Linn, Benton and Lincoln Counties with three crews per county.

“We are very excited at the prospect of creating jobs for one of our most at-risk populations, our youth,” said W&E Director Clay Martin; “We very much appreciate OYCC and the Youth Employment Initiative for allowing us the opportunity to benefit so many people in need in our communities.” OYEI funds are very specific to job creation and economic stimulus which directly supports the mission of CSC’s W&E Department.

The youth employment crew projects are focused on areas of identified need and will include natural resource and environmental stewardship work in all three counties. Lincoln County’s CSC office is working in cooperation with the Mid-Coast Watershed Council, which also received OYEI funding ($64,000), to support two additional Natural Resource crews on the coast. Crews across the entire region will work on invasive species eradication, riparian area and/or native habitat restoration, and trail maintenance.

CSC attributes a large part of the success of their youth crews to effective community partnerships. “Our community partners assist us in identifying the areas of need,” Martin added. CSC’s community partners include Oregon State University (OSU); Cities of Corvallis, Albany, Lebanon and Toledo; Linn and Benton Counties; the Port of Toledo; U.S. Forest Service; Oregon State Parks; many service agencies, departments of the above-mentioned municipalities; and others. CSC’s two East Linn County crews will operate as part of CSC’s Santiam Wilderness Academy.

CSC also received funding for a youth construction crew which is partnering with the Port and the City of Toledo to build a new park and educational greenhouse for local school students. Youth crew employees throughout the region will learn real world, transferrable work skills, and many will receive industry-recognized training certificates and/or earn high school credits while accomplishing meaningful projects in their own communities.

Youth employment crews create jobs for at-risk young people and provide a training environment where participants can develop job skills and increase their probability of future employment.

For more information, contact Dee Teem, W&E’s Program Advisor, at 541-265-8505 or by email –

News from CSC's Lincoln City Career Tech

 The school received a grant to buy a weather bug system; the cameras will go on the North East corner of the building’s roof where the biggest concern is ensuring the weather won’t blow it off the roof.

 Requests are coming in from the community about having students help with video projects. The school’s van is all decked out and is good PR when the film crew in out and about in our three different counties.

 Enrollment is currently capped, and there are four youth on the waiting list.

 Recruitment is on-going for new Advisory Board members. Anyone interested in serving should contact Mark Peery at 541-996-5534.

So What is Career Tech?
Career Tech High School is a workplace simulation, which means that students are "hired" for a quarter at a time. At the end of each quarter, students meet with their family and school staff for a performance evaluation, where productivity (credits earned), attendance, behavior, and employability skills are considered. Students who are making adequate progress are invited to return; most students make adequate progress. Students who are not earning minimum credit requirements are placed on a work plan for the next quarter.

Career Tech History
Back in 1999, Career Tech was called First Resort and was an alternative high school serving a high-risk population of students who were not successful in a regular high school environment. In 2000, the school changed to a charter high school, with the charter granted by the Lincoln County School District and held by CSC. In the years since becoming a charter high school, Career Tech has been continually redefining itself and improving its focus, which is to be a technology-based workplace simulation that provides students with engaging, relevant courses that prepare them for a diploma and train them for success.

From CSC Employee to Oregon Activist ...

"In 1985, she became a Vista volunteer, developing a firewood-gleaning program and working herself into a staff position with the Community Services Consortium in Corvallis.

Soon, Thornberry coordinated a dozen gleaning groups across three counties, getting food that would otherwise go to waste onto the tables of the hungry."

Check out the rest of the story here, courtesy of
Sharon Thornberry

Head Start on Full Power

CSC’s Head Start of Lincoln County, a major program of the Child Development Department, is at full capacity right now and has three sites operating in the county.

New Director Suzanne Miller recently attended the first fundraiser – “Dinner Down the Bay” – which was planned by Shawn Cardwell, the program’s AmeriCorps* Vista Volunteer (her first fundraising event). It was a great success with the generosity of all involved. We hope it will become an annual event with the help of Head Start “Friends” who donate their time and energy to keep Head Start a true star on the coast. New friends are always welcome and anyone interested in joining this great group can contact Suzanne directly at the Lincoln City site – 541-996-3028.

Each day at Head Start, a young life is being given a chance at a head start on life, not only in terms of learning but also in knowing and trusting that they belong to a great community of caring people. Family involvement is a cornerstone of Head Start. Last week in one of the classrooms, a shared meal was prepared by parents and the children as part of the day’s learning. It was a pre-Thanksgiving celebration, and the children were very proud and happy to accomplish such an event.

From the smallest celebration to major fundraisers, Head Start is about community and serving families with the greatest need so that they, too, feel and become an integral part of their communities.

Where poverty and economic struggles can isolate, Head Start is a place of belonging.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Coastal Farm & Ranch Will Match Funds Weekend of Dec. 4th

Coastal Farm and Ranch is very generously matching donations to Linn Benton Food Share at their Albany store up to the amount of 5,000 dollars the weekend of December 4th, 5th and 6th. Also they will have Santa at the store on Friday, December 11 from 3 to 6 p.m. and with a donation of cans of food or $3 you get a 5x7 picture with Santa.

Albany Coastal Farm and Ranch is located at 1355 Goldfish Farm Road, Albany. Phone: 541-928-2511, Store Hours: Monday - Saturday 8:00 am - 7:00 pm Sunday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

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.