Community Services Consortium

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

Friday, September 6, 2013

Free Screening of American Winter Highlights How CSC is Helping People and Changing Lives

Save the date! CSC is hosting a free screening of the award-winning documentary American Winter on Thursday, October 3 from 6-9pm at the LaSells Stewart Center on the OSU campus. There is no charge for the admission, but donations are greatly appreciated.

Linn County Commissioner Will Tucker will facilitate the event, and a panel discussion with CSC Executive Director Martha Lyon, Corvallis Mayor Julie Manning, and OSU Sociology Professor Mark Edwards will immediately follow the film.  

Produced and directed by Emmy award-winning filmmakers Joe and Harry Gantz, American Winter is a documentary feature film that follows the personal stories of families struggling in the aftermath of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Millions of families are struggling to meet their basic needs, and many formerly middle-class families are finding themselves in financial crisis and needing assistance for the first time in their lives. Meanwhile, the social safety net that was created to help people in difficult times has been weakened by massive budget cuts, creating a perfect storm of greater need and fewer resources to help families in trouble. CSC is the community action agency people in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties turn to in times of crisis.

Filmed over the course of one winter in Portland, Oregon, American Winter presents an intimate and emotionally evocative snapshot of the state of our economy as it is playing out in many American families.
Working together with the nonprofit organization 211info in Portland, the filmmakers were given full access to monitor and record calls from distressed families who were calling 211’s emergency hotline in search of help. They then began following the stories of some of these callers in more depth over several months. When people dial 211 in our area, they are often referred to the caring workers at CSC’s who help put a roof over their heads, keep the heat and lights on, put food on the table, educate the children and get adults back to work. CSC works diligently to help people overcome poverty.

The film follows multiple families in their daily struggle to keep their heads above water, while facing overwhelming challenges and dwindling resources available to help them, creating a powerful firsthand view of Americans caught in today’s financial undertow. 

The experiences of the families in American Winter are a vivid illustration of what has been happening to families across America, including working families losing their homes, people who remain jobless or underemployed, children going hungry, families getting their heat shut off in the dead of winter, and people with health issues overwhelmed by medical costs.

We hope that you will join us to learn more about the faces of poverty in Oregon, and how CSC is working with people in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties to get back on their feet.

Free parking is available for film attendees at the Reser Stadium parking lot across the street from the LaSells Stewart Center (875 SW 26th St, Corvallis). For more information or to make a donation to CSC contact Dee Teem at or 541-574-2277.

Natural Resource Youth Crews Set Sail Aboard Ocean Watch Research Vessel

Community Service Consortium’s Natural Resource Youth Crews, located in Lincoln City, headed out for a day of sailing around Yaquina Bay on August 2nd with Captain Mark Schrader and his crew on the Ocean Watch research vessel.

The day started with an on-board presentation by the youth crew about all of the great work they had done that summer. Youth crew members Sarjenka, Acela, Barbara, Andrew, Michael and Kail talked about their various projects, including rebuilding the ramp at the Port of Alsea, painting and staining the dock at Elk City, and clearing brush and blackberry bushes at various locations throughout Lincoln City. Then it was time to set sail.

Captain Schrader gave everyone a safety briefing and some history on his experience with the Ocean Watch boat. He was the Captain of the boat during its “Around the Americas” voyage, which was a 13-month, 24,000-mile circumnavigation of the North and South American continents to collect scientific data. The 64-foot yacht visited 31 ports of call. The boat has been docked in Newport for educational activities, including a 4-H Marine Ambassadors Camp held in partnership with Oregon State University.

It wasn’t just a leisurely sail for the youth crew members though – a few of them got some sailing lessons as they helped with docking duties and raising the sail. It was a fun, educational day for the youth crews. Thanks to Captain Mark Schrader and the Ocean Watch crew for having us aboard!

To refer a youth to the Natural Resource Crews or any of CSC’s Youth Programs, or to volunteer contact Macy Holmes at or 541-574-2290.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Helping People and Changing Lives...of CSC Employees

We here at CSC wish the best to Ben Baggett, CSC's Weatherization Program Development Analyst, as he moves on to a new opportunity. His farewell letter beautifully articulated how so many of us at CSC feel about our jobs. We thank the people that we serve, our volunteers, and our donors for allowing us to work in such a rewarding environment!

CSC Friends and Colleagues,

A few thoughts before my last day this Friday…

I once thought that ‘Helping People and Changing Lives’ was only about CSC helping others. But after three and a half years at CSC, I know that this includes those who work here. It’s been a positive, life-changing experience working with you all and with those in the communities we serve. For that I am proud to have been able to be a part of CSC. Though separated by our programs, partitions, and the miles; it doesn’t change the common thread that connects us all. We all share in common the commitment to the idea that all people deserve a chance to succeed in this world and that we can help them do that for themselves. And the best kept secret is that we help ourselves and change our own lives for the better as we work “Helping People and Changing Lives.” I can only imagine the volumes of stories we could write of how we have improved others lives and been changed in the process. Wouldn’t you like to read that book? I would. Sign me up for a story if anyone wants to put that book together. These are the things that make CSC special to me.  

Best wishes in your continued work making a difference in our communities!


Ben Baggett
Former Director of Lincoln Community Land Trust (a CSC Project)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

CSC Helps Another Homeowner Keep Their Home

CSC's foreclosure intervention program was able to help yet another Linn County homeowner keep his home. The man's income had dropped but then recovered. For more than two years, he tried himself to obtain a workable solution.

One of the nation's five largest mortgage servicers never made a decision on his request for assistance. CSC Mortgage Counselor John Polansky also tried to work with them for seven months, without a resolution.

Polansky finally appealed to a Senior Vice President, and a decision was reached. DECLINED! Polansky thanked the servicer for finally reaching a decision, and at the same time told them the decision was unacceptable given the facts. Within just one week, the servicer agreed to waive more than $12,000 in delinquent interest and let the homeowner resume payments.

If you are struggling to stay in your home, or know someone who is, CSC’s Housing Services may be able to help. Contact us at 866-245-1780.

Support Linn Benton Food Share at Septembeerfest!

Septembeerfest is Saturday, September 14th from 2pm-10pm at the Benton County Fairgrounds. Sample local brews, listen to great music, and support CSC's Linn Benton Food Share and Oregon State University Foundation supporting scholarship in fermentation, as well as the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation.

Admission is $15 and includes a pint glass and four drink tokens, additional drink tokens are $1. While cash is preferred, credit/debit cards will be accepted. 

If beer isn't your thing, you can still support Food Share at the Ewanchyna Family Bread and Cookie Sale on Saturday, September 14 from 2pm-5pm at Hoover School, 3838 NW Walnut Blvd., in Corvallis (look for the white tent). Cookies, sweet breads and yeast breads will be for sale, and non-perishable donations will also be accepted. 

CSC's IT Team Helps to Build New Workforce Training Room

CSC partnered with the Oregon Employment Department to install a brand new computer resource and training room at the Linn Workforce Development Center in Albany this August. CSC's hard-working IT team, including Elaine Lahey, Brian Courts and Kelly Bilyeu, burned the midnight oil to complete the project in just six weeks.

The training room was wired, and high-speed internet and Wi-Fi were installed. After desks were put in, 21 CSC computers and three laser printers that had been in storage were repaired as necessary and upgraded to Windows 7.

The training room will serve a variety of uses, including National Career Readiness Certificate testing, adult basic education, and workshops within the Albany WorkSource Oregon Center.

For more information contact Maggie Underwood at or 541-758-2758.

Join Us at Benton County Project Connect

Benton County will host a Project Connect on Saturday, November 16, 2013 at the First United Methodist Church in Corvallis.  The event will run from 10am-3pm, and gives those who are homeless or low-income a central place to come and learn about valuable services and resources in the community.

Local social service providers, including CSC, will be on hand to provide information about their programs, plus free medical services and screenings will be available on site. There will a free lunch, haircuts, and much more!  The event is FREE!  For more information, contact Johanna Peerenboom at the Benton County Health Department, 541-766-6181 or email her at

CSC Natural Resource Youth Crew Wins Third Place at Toledo Wooden Boat Show

Robert and Shania row, row, row their boat
CSC’s Natural Resource Youth Crew won third place in the Georgia-Pacific Containerboard Boat Contest at this year’s Toledo Wooden Boat Show in August.

The crew’s cardboard boat beat out about 10 other competitors in the youth division. Many of the other teams had at least one paddler take a swim, but the CSC crew managed to stay dry. Congratulations to the team for their hard work and boat design skills!

Josh, Kira, Jordan, Robert and Shania celebrate their big victory

To get involved in CSC’s Natural Resource Crews contact Macy Holmes or Virginia Tardaewether at or

Food, Fun, and Games at Annual Gleaner Picnic

It was a beautiful day for the Annual Gleaner Appreciation Picnic, held on Sunday, August 4. The picnic is a way for Linn Benton Food Share (LBFS) to thank donors, gleaners, and gleaning group volunteers for their tireless work gathering food for distribution to Linn and Benton county residents in need. This year’s picnic was a special one, as it was also a celebration of 40 years of organized gleaning in Oregon.

 The picnic got off to a bumpy start as the site was accidentally double-booked and the party had to be relocated to a spot with less amenities, like barbeques and electrical plug-ins. But if anyone knows how to be flexible and “make it work,” it’s a group of gleaners!
The picnic came together after a barbeque was bought and one was borrowed. The grills were fired up and more than 300 hamburgers and 400 hot dogs were served to 300 attendees that included donors, volunteer, gleaners, and adoptees.
Kids had a great time playing games, and prizes were given for best dessert and side dish. A large amount of frozen green beans were donated, so there was a special prize for best green bean dish.    
LBFS Gleaning and Volunteer Programs Coordinator Susan James handed out certificates and flowers to some long-time members, including one who lives in an assisted living facility and another who was in a car accident recently but still came. 
A certificate was presented to the son of Helen Cleveland, a member and officer of the first LBFS gleaning group, which was started in the early 80’s. Sadly, Helen passed away a week before the picnic. She had really been looking forward to going.

Said James, “For many of the long-time gleaners, the picnic is a time to connect with each other.”   

Linn Benton Food Share is a CSC Program. For more information or to get involved with the gleaning program, contact Susan James at

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.