Community Services Consortium

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

Friday, October 14, 2011

CSC’s Foreclosure Intervention Counseling Program

The following stories are just a few examples of the ways Foreclosure Intervention Counseling Program has assisted people in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties. Jon Polansky, CSC Foreclosure Counselor says solutions to problems are often buried in confusion, unable to be interpreted by the home owner, and missed by the lender. Foreclosure Intervention is a program of Community Housing Services Department of Community Services Consortium.

A small detail
A 58 year old Linn county man had depleted his 401k and was afraid to contact his mortgage loan servicer of ten years. CSC’s foreclosure counselor, Jon Polansky encouraged him to come into the office and together, they called the loan servicer. The collection department had no solution since he had no income. They called customer service and asked some probing questions and found that he had paid his loan twice a month for ten years and it pushed the paid through date to the summer of the following year.

The right contact
An elderly woman in Lincoln County was three months behind in paying her mortgage; she had no savings but qualified and applied for a reverse equity mortgage which would take over her mortgage payments and allow her to stay in the home she had for 32 years. A credit card judgment in the amount of $3,500 appeared after the loan closing papers were prepared. The law firm representing the credit card company wanted to be paid before the loan closed. The loan would have provided the elderly woman with $5,000 and the money she lacked to pay the judgment. The law firm refused her request to wait until the loan closed. After looking for help, she was referred to CSC’s Foreclosure Intervention Counseling program and contacted Jon Polansky. Polansky found the law firm on the internet, called one of the firm’s partners on her behalf and the issue was resolved in her favor within three business days.

Polansky obtained a loan modification for a young woman who had recovered her income after a divorce. She had been rejected on her solo attempt for a home loan modification after the bank received an erroneous report that the house was vacant.

For more information about the Foreclosure Intervention Counseling Program, call (541) 928-6335 ext. 315 / toll free 1-866-245-1780 or E-mail

Thursday, October 13, 2011

CSC Receives Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the 19th consecutive year

The CSC Finance Department with the the Award of Financial Reporting Achievement. (Left to right) Kellie Oxford, Debbie Clearwater, Denice Stout, Cherry Condron and Debbie Jackson, Director of Finance.

Community Services Consortium (CSC) received The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment. This is the 18th consecutive year CSC has received the CAFR.

An Award of Financial Reporting Achievement has been presented to Deborah C. Jackson, Finance Director of CSC and Don Lindly, CSC Governing Board Chair for having had the primary responsibility for preparing the award-winning CAFR.
The CAFR has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.

The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving approximately 17,500 government finance professionals with offices in Chicago, IL, and Washington, D.C.

Community Services Consortium (CSC) is the state-designated Community Action Agency serving Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties. CSC provides a wide range of services to low and moderate income individuals and families. CSC helps with employment, job training skills, food, housing, weatherization, housing rehabilitation, education and volunteer opportunities. For more information, or to support CSC and its many programs, please contact CSC’s administrative office at (541) 752-1010 or visit

The Energy Smarts Team spreads at Waverly Elementary School

Waverly Elementary teachers and principal holding copies of the Energy Smarts activity guide.

A program for elementary age kids to learn about different energy resources and smart energy use at school and home did so well last year in one 4th grade classroom at Waverly Elementary School in Albany that it will spread this year to all of the school’s 4th and 5th grades and one 3rd grade class.

Stephanie Bugni, Community Services Consortium’s Energy Education Coordinator, has been working on The Energy Smarts Team program, for the past two years thanks to the generous funding of NW Natural. The Energy Smarts Team piloted in Melissa Straughan’s 4th grade classroom at Waverly last year was so successful, the class got the whole school involved in energy savings. They patrolled their school as part of the program looking for smart energy use, and they left reminders for energy wasters.

With NW Naturals continued support, CSC provided the participating classrooms with copies of the Energy Smarts Team teacher’s guide, activity guides for every students, and enough school supplies to do all the activities in the Energy Smarts Team program!
CSC hopes to see the Energy Smarts Team program spread to new schools and organizations in the future. We would like to give a big thank you to NW Natural for all their support on this project.

If you would like more information on the Energy Smarts Team contact Stephanie Bugni at 541-758-2639 or

The Magic Barrel: A Reading to Fight Hunger

The 18th annual Magic Barrel: A Reading to Fight Hunger is set for Friday, Oct. 21 at Corvallis High School Theatre.The Magic Barrel begins at 6:30 p.m. with music from the jazz group, Sideways Portal. Readings start at 7:00 p.m.

Nine fine local writers will read samples of their work plus samples of sweet and savory tidbits from Corvallis’s best chefs and bakers. Suggested donation is $7, but no one will be turned away.

Corvallis novelist Rick Borsten says, “The Magic Barrel has become the mid-Valley’s premier literary event.”

This year’s readers are: Keith Scribner, OSU professor and author of the novels Miracle Girl; Alison Clement, author of the novels Pretty Is as Pretty; Tom Birdseye, author of a dozen novels for young readers including Storm Mountain; Jon Lewis, OSU professor and author of eight nonfiction books about cinema including one about “The Godfather”; Debra Gwartney, author of Live Through This; Tim Black, author of the poetry collection Connecticut Shade; Karen Holmberg, OSU professor, author of the poetry collection The Perseids; Ann Staley, author of the poetry collection Primary Sources.

Emcee will be Mike McInally, editor of the Corvallis Gazette-Times.
All the money raised at The Magic Barrel goes to Linn Benton Food Share to help alleviate hunger in our community.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Senior Health Insurance Fair

The Corvallis Clinic invites you to the Senior Health Insurance Fair.
This is a chance to review all your options, including traditional Medicare, Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plans. All three of them offer different benefits, some that exceed basic Medicare coverage.

• AlbanyWednesday, Oct. 12
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The Corvallis Clinic at Waverly Drive
1705 Waverly Dr.

• CorvallisWednesday, Oct. 26
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Asbury Building Lobby
3680 NW Samaritan Dr.

You may contact any of the insurance providers listed below and have them send you the complete details about their Medicare health insurance programs.
• AARP Medicare Complete Secure Horizons by United Healthcare, 1-800-533-2743
• Regence MedAdvantage, 1-800-228-0978,
• Samaritan Advantage, 541-768-4550 or 1-800-317-7489
• ODS Health Plans, 503-243-3948 or 1-800-852-5195
• Providence Medicare Choice or Extra (location limitations may apply) 1-800-878-4445
• Medicare, 1-800-633-4227

Linn -Benton RSVP, a program of CSC will have a table at the Senior Health Fair.

Trainings, team days and orientations

Trainings, team days and orientations are important events to in-coming Community Service Consortium ‘Building Bridges’ AmeriCorps VISTA Program members in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties. The new team started their year in Portland at the four-day Pre-Service Orientation sponsored by the Corporation for National Community Service. The VISTAs received information, insights, and concepts relating to poverty, and participated in break-out sessions on topics such as resource mobilization and volunteer development.

On September 21st, the 9 VISTAs and their community organization site supervisors joined Tifani Erpelding, the Program Coordinator, and Katherine Finch, AmeriCorps VISTA Leader for a program-specific orientation .

A workshop was presented by Heidi Henry, Director of CSC Community Relations and Development and Supervisor of the ‘Building Bridges’ AmeriCorps VISTA Program at CSC. The team learned about individual Meyer’s Briggs Types and how different personality preferences can work together and communicate efficiently.

Policies and procedures were reviewed, a team building exercises was played, and each person decorated a composition journal with images and words relating to their individual inspirations for getting involved in national community service. The journal will be used as a way to track personal thoughts and experiences surrounding the important work to be done this coming year. The day ended with reflection about each team members’ professional and organizational expectation’s for their service year.

This years’ team consists of: Anthony Vendetti, Emergency Planning Coordinator at City of Albany Fire Department; Brittany Russell, HELP Volunteer Coordinator for Lincoln County School District; Elise Jordan, Lincoln County Homeless Planning Coordinator at Lincoln Commission on Children and Families; Hanna Connett, North HELP Volunteer Coordinator for Lincoln County School District; Jeanna Weathers, Volunteer Coordinator at Albany Helping Hands, Inc.; Jessica Stallings, Benton County Homeless Planning Coordinator at the Benton County Commissioners’ Office; Lauren Berentes, Regional Planning Coordinator at the Community Services Consortium; Melissa Poole, Volunteer Coordinator for ChristWalk Supportive Transitional Housing and Michael Spinello, Linn County Homeless Planning Coordinator at the Community Services Consortium.

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)
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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.