Community Services Consortium

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

Saturday, January 15, 2011


The ten members of the ‘Building Bridges’ AmeriCorps*VISTA team at CSC participated in a food drive to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For the 2011Day of Service.

The VISTA team collected 3,476 lbs of food at tables in front of the Grocery Outlet in Corvallis and the Albertsons in Albany on Friday, January 14.

The donations were taken to the Linn Benton Food Share warehouse for distribution to area food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters.

A small ceremony took place at the warehouse to honor Martin Luther King Jr.

Jeannie Ramsey, VISTA Leader for ‘Building Bridges,’ submitted a grant to Oregon Volunteers to promote the food drive.

Extra Help Program

The Linn County Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) volunteers can assist those on Medicare apply for help through the Social Security Administration’s Extra Help program.

An individual’s income must be less than $1,354 monthly (16,248 annual) with less than $12,640 in resources to qualify. For a married couple living together, income must be less than $1,821 monthly (21,852 annual) and resources less than 25,260.

To see if you or someone you know qualifies for extra help with prescription costs, contact the RSVP/SHIBA office at 541-812-0849 for an appointment with a SHIBA volunteer.

Emergency Shelter

Linn County
Albany Helping Hands: 619 9th Ave. SE, Albany. (541) 926 4036

Signs of Victory; Albany Mission 120 SE 7th Street, Albany OR, (541) 928-6927, call first to see if there are openings for women, men, families.

Sweet Home Hope Inc. 1080 12th Ave. Sweet Home. Women and children (541)367-4673

Benton County
Day Time Warming Center: First Covenant Church, 602 SW Madison, 8:00 am - 4:00

Jackson Street Youth Shelter: 555 NW Jackson St., Corvallis (541) 754-2404

Winter Shelters: Nov 15 through March 15th. 7 pm – 7 am
Women’s Shelter:Knollbrook Church, 1677 SW 35th St., Corvallis.
Men’s Shelter: Westside Community Church , 4000 SW Western Blvd., Corvallis

Lincoln County
Samaritan House, 715 SW Bay Street, Newport, (541) 574-8898

Its Cold Out There

Sleeping bags are lined up ready for occupants who will spend the night after sharing a dinner in Monteith park sponsored by Helping Hands Shelter and its residents.

Terry Knoll, Director of Community Services Consortium's Emergency Services program brought her sleeping bag and joined other community members by spending the night outside Albany City hall in a symbolic gesture to recognize what homeless people go through every night. This night the temperatures were headed toward below freezing.

The night outdoors was one of several events in honor of homeless people. It followed a dinner hosted by Albany Helping Hands shelter residents to show appreciation for their community.

Helping Hands opens its doors to people who need help. Earlier a memorial service was held to honor the homeless who died in Albany during the past year due to causes related to being homeless.

Helping to save a home and more

Dwight and Callie sit by the fireplace at home.

Dwight Butler was a highly skilled and highly paid steel-worker in Maryland who traveled a lot with his work. After visiting Oregon, he liked it so well, he settled into a well-paying local job and bought a house.

All was well until he was knocked off a scaffold. The disabling injury he received prevented him from returning to his work. Without his former salary, Butler took steps to adjust his mortgage from a variable to a fixed rate. Because a vision problem made it difficult for him to read clearly, he didn’t understand the adjustment made was not a favorable one.

“I didn’t see trouble ahead until I started falling further and further behind in my house payments and I was getting threatening letters,” he said. “Instead of the 1st of the month, I paid on the 15th and the next month it would be the 18th. I could see I needed help and I didn’t want to lose my home. A friend told me to call Community Services Consortium to see if they could help me. I called.”

Karen Ramsden from CSC Emergency Services entered the picture. She helped Butler set up a budget. “I followed it,” he said. “She was a really good person to work with. Probably the most important thing I did was quit using credit cards; in fact I cut up my credit cards. She also put me in touch with Jon Polansky from mortgage counseling at CSC’s Housing department."

“Jon had a plan, although there were no guarantees. We called the bank and we pursued my mortgage problems. It took just about a year of me calling every week and not giving up. I finally got a mortgage that I could afford. It was just about half of what I was paying before. "

Help didn’t stop there; Polansky put Butler in touch with CSC’s Housing Rehabilitation program where he successfully applied and qualified to have plumbing and roofing work on his house done. Polansky also put him in touch with an agency he could trade work for firewood to heat his home.

“CSC has done a lot for me, they helped me save my home, fix it and heat it. All of the people were so good to work with, Karen, Jon, Kathy and Scotty, I can’t thank everyone and CSC enough,” he said.

Butler gives back to the community as a board member of FISH in Albany. He works part time for OSU taking tickets to athletic events “I like to work," he says I’ve worked since the age of 12.” He lives with his dog, Callie.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Good Idea Warms Up

Penny Williams from the Linn County Road Department liked the idea of Community Services Consortium’s Coat Drive (held each year) and decided to hold a coat drive at the county road department. She borrowed a barrel from CSC to take to work.

It turned out that the public visiting the department as well as employees responded overwhelming to Penny's coat drive. Clothing items of all kinds for cold weather as well as coats turned up. Several huge bags and the barrel of cold-weather-clothing were taken to Helping Hands Shelter.

Paul Barnes, Director of the shelter along with shelter residents eagerly accepted the clothing on one of the cold winter days in late December. “Our residents can always use warm clothing,” said Barnes. “We applaud Penny and the Linn County Road Department.”

Volunteers Provide Free Assistance with Income Taxes

The AARP Tax-Aide program trains and certifies volunteers that will prepare and file your federal income tax return with the IRS, free of charge. The volunteers are available to help taxpayers of all ages between February 1 and April 15, 2011. All of the tax returns are prepared on computers and are e-filed. The volunteers are working out of eight locations across Benton and Linn counties.

What you should bring when you visit an AARP Tax-Aide site:
• Social Security cards or other official documentation for yourself and all dependents;
• Copy of last year’s income tax returns;
• W-2 forms from each employer;
• Unemployment compensation statements;
• 1099 forms
• All forms indicating federal income tax paid;
• Child care provider information (name, employer ID, Social Security number);
• Summary of receipts or checks for deductible items if itemizing;
• Noted amount of economic stimulus payment received

The AARP Tax-Aide is locally sponsored by RSVP, a program of Community Services Consortium, and its partner locations.

RSVP sponsored AARP Volunteers, trained by the IRS will prepare Federal and State Income Tax returns until starting February 1st to April 15th. This service is free of charge for middle and lower income persons of all ages in Linn, Benton and Lincoln Counties:

Albany Senior Center, 489 Water Avenue NW Albany.

Mon. & Wed:9:00 am - 3:00 pm. Walk-in only. (541)917-7760

Albany Public Library 2450 14th Ave SE Tues. and Sat., Times vary. By appointment
(541) 928-5594 or e-mail

Lebanon Senior Center Appointments (541)258-4919
80 Tangent St., Lebanon Wed. & Thurs: 10:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m., Wed. evening 5:00-7:00 pm Thursday 10.00 – 3:00 pm

Sweet Home Library 1101 13th Ave., Sweet Home. Appointments (541) 367-5007 Tues: 11:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sat: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm Appointments (541) 367-5007

Corvallis Senior Center Appointments (541) 766-6704, 2601 NW Tyler Street,Corvallis Mon., Wed. & Fri:10:00 am - 2:30 pm,Thurs. 6:00 pm- 7:00 pm

Corvallis Library Walk-in. 645 NW Monroe Ave, Corvallis
Tues. & Thurs: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Elks Lodge, Corvallis 1400 NW 9th Street. Walk In
Mon. Tues. Fri. and Sat. 11:00 – 3:00 pm

Philomath Library Appointments (541) 766-6704. 1050 Applegate St., Philomath.
Thurs., Fri., & Sat:10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Newport Recreation Center, (facing Avery St.) behind the Senior Center located at 20 SE 2nd Street, Newport,
Walk-in only. Wed. & Fri.: 9 am - 2 pm, (541) 265-9617.

Lincoln City Community Center Call (541) 996-1245.
2150 Oar Street, LincolnCity, Walk in; preference
given to age 60 and over. Tues., Thrs., and Sat.: 9 am - 12 pm

WaldportWashington Federal Savings, 325 NW Hemlock
Walk-in only Tues. & Wed. 10 am - 2 pm (541) 563-3226

Thursday, January 13, 2011

CSC Head Start Volunteers Are Appreciated

Shelby Keyes (above) and Stephanie Davis (left) two valuable volunteers for Head Start in Lincoln City.

“We have two young volunteers, Shelby and Stephanie in our Lincoln City Head Start classrooms who we hold dear,” said Suzanne Miller, Director of CSC Lincoln County Head Start Program.

Shelby Keyes is a graduate of the High School Special Education Program who volunteers for Head Start. She helps in the kitchen, in administration and at the front desk.

“I work in the mornings,” said Shelby. “I wash dishes, vacuum, help serve lunch, set up carts for lunch, shelve books and other things in the office. I really like the work I do here.”

“We really appreciate her work and the extra set of hands of both Shelby and our afternoon volunteer, Stephanie. They help us out,” said Sue Butler, CSC Head Start Site Coordinator and Family Services Coordinator.
“Stephanie our afternoon volunteer has a wonderful sense of empathy for the kids and they love her.”
“working with kids would be my perfect job when I graduate,” said Stephanie.

“Below is Stephanie Davis’s senior project for the Special Education Program. It is on display at the Lincoln City Head Start site.

I work at Head Start. Let me tell you about my work. Head Start is for low income families and their children ages 3 to 5 years old. There are 80 children in the program, 40 in the morning and 40 in the afternoon. There are two classes in the morning and two in the afternoon. Class A and Class B with 20 in each class. I do a lot of things during my work day. I help the teachers set up for lunch and snack. I help clean up after each meal or snack. Sometimes I read to students or help with arts and crafts. When we go outside I slide with them and push them on the swings. When it’s time to come in, I help get them ready. When we are inside I help them put their coats away. If a student gets hurt I help the teacher make sure they are okay. I also help them tie their shoes and write their names. I enjoy my work at Head Start: It keeps me busy and happy.

Homeless Honored

Community Services Consortium collaborated with five other agencies to sponsor a second annual memorial day for homeless persons on Tuesday, December 21st. People from the community gathered in the plaza at Albany City Hall to acknowledge seven people who died in Linn County last year from causes related to being homeless.

Albany police captain, Ben Atchley, who conducted the service, told the crowd of 45 that the community of Albany remembers the poor as well as the rich. A white Balloon was released for each person with the name of the deceased on it to represent their final journey. The names of the honored : Doug Meuler, Margie Cole, Elizabeth Digby, guy LeonKnutzen, Melody Dillon, John Lee Gates and William Henry.

The sponsors for the event were, Community Services Consortium, the city of Albany, the Homeless Enrichment and Rehabilitation Team, and Samaritan Health Services.

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