Community Services Consortium

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

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Helping People and Changing Lives for 50 Years – the Promise of Community Action

On August 20, 1964 in Washington, DC, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA). The EOA created a variety of programs—including Community Action Agencies—as part of his War on Poverty. This year, community action agencies across the country will commemorate the 50th anniversary of community action, including Community Services Consortium (CSC), the community action agency for Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties.

Why are community action agencies different from other social services agencies? Because their funding allows the flexibility to design programs addressing the specific needs of the communities in which they operate, and to implement comprehensive solutions to meet local needs.

In the Linn, Benton, and Lincoln county areas, CSC, established in 1980, helps residents to secure affordable housing, assists with rental and utility payments, provides home weatherization, and gathers and distributes more than 5 million pounds of nutritious food per year through the Linn Benton Food Share program.

CSC also paves the road to prosperity through education and job training. Head Start in Lincoln County provides a free preschool education to children ages three to five years, and youth programs such as YouthBuild, the CSC Youth Garden, and the Natural Resource Conservation Crews give at-risk young adults the support they need to complete their educations while providing valuable work training and experience.

Finally, CSC helps adults with job search assistance and even administers a scholarship program that enables adults to train in high-need industries like healthcare. The scholarship program was life-changing for Heidi, a recipient that used the program to get her CNA certification, and also for one of her patients.

“I was working as a CNA last summer and one of my patients, who was in hospice, was unable to afford the care she needed. I was able to work for her at a reduced rate because my spring term tuition, fees, and supplies were paid for by the CSC scholarship. I saved enough money that my budget allowed me to help out my patient.” said Heidi.

“CSC’s track record in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln county highlights the positive impact we’ve had helping our neighbors through a variety of financial and personal challenges,” said Martha Lyon, CSC’s Executive Director. “We help tens of thousands of individuals each year change their lives with a variety of programs, like the 31,500 people receiving utility assistance, 9,000 adults receiving job assistance, and the recipients of the 51,319 food boxes we distributed through Linn Benton Food Share last year. Our success stories underscore our ability to achieve measurable results.”

Royce Markley would agree with Lyon’s statement. Royce, a 20-year old from Benton County, was in foster care or living with people outside his biological family for most of his life. Before receiving a job at the CSC Youth Garden, he was a high school student struggling to find a steady job in the seasons when he wasn’t playing basketball.

“I was told about the opportunity to apply for the CSC Youth Garden crew by my Independent Living worker, and it was one of the greatest opportunities I have ever had. Working in the gardens gave me an opportunity to gain experience working a steady job in a helpful and educational environment. I practiced skills such as working a cashier, communication and of course learned a lot about gardening.” said Markley. 

Markley credits his experience at the Youth Garden, as well as his participation in the CSC Independent Living Program for foster youth, with giving him the confidence and skills for success. Markley became a FosterClub All-Star, which is an internship that picks twenty foster youth out of the five hundred or more that apply. During the internship, he worked in the office and traveled around the United States presenting workshops and providing leadership at conferences for foster youth. Markley is currently enrolled at Linn Benton Community College.

 “In the last fifty years, Community Action has been extremely successful helping people achieve and maintain economic security despite experiencing budget cuts, shrinking resources, and increased
demands for services during challenging economic times,” said Don Mathis, President and CEO of
the Community Action Partnership national office. “We understand our residents’ unique needs, and
have developed programs that will best serve them and their families.”

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.

Less Than Two Months to the Barrel to Keg Relay – Race to End Poverty!

Presented by the Harris Bridge Vineyard in Philomath (the Barrel) and Rogue Ales Brewery in Newport’s South Beach (the Keg), the Barrel to Keg Relay is a benefit for Community Services Consortium (CSC) to raise money for CSC’s mission to end poverty in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties.

The race starts in Philomath at the Harris Bridge Vineyard, winds through the beautiful backcountry of the Oregon Coast Range, crosses the scenic Yaquina Bay Bridge, and ends at the Rogue Ales Brewery in Newport with carousing and live music at the Finish Line Party.

The proceeds from the race have a real impact on our community. The money raised helps people in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties to keep the lights on, put a roof over their heads, and put food on the table. Last year, our Linn Benton Food Share program distributed 5.2 million pounds of food in the community. The proceeds also provide an education to children through our Head Start program in Lincoln County, and helps youth and adults get to back to work so they can succeed in careers and life through programs like YouthBuild, the CSC Youth Garden, and our Natural Resource Conservation Crews.

There are several ways to get involved. Runners and walkers may form teams of up to seven people and can register online at Most creative team names, costumes, and best-dressed vehicles will receive special honors, as well as those that raise the most money for CSC. It’s all about the fun!

You don’t have to run or walk to participate - anyone interested can help support CSC. Create your own “Fun–Raising” page and share with friends to compete for prizes and support a great cause! Being a race official or event volunteer, please contact or call 541-574-2277.

We also welcome individuals and businesses who would like to join our fabulous list of sponsors for the Barrel to Keg Relay event. If you would like to support the work of CSC’s poverty-fighting programs, see our Sponsorship opportunities at

Grab a friend or family member, lace up those running shoes, and support CSC’s efforts in the region! For more information, find the race on Facebook at or visit the website at

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 this event or any of 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.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Upcoming Weatherization Training Classes

CSC's Weatherization Training Center is hosting a number of training classes in the following months. All of the following classes are held at the CSC Weatherization Training Center, 240 SW Washington, Corvallis, OR 97333 unless otherwise specified. For more information, e-mail Dennis Feeney at or call 541-753-0509.

July 28th – Lead Repair, Renovation and Painting Refresher - $200     
This EPA accredited refresher class is being taught by Glenn Hayden who has many years of construction and lead abatement experience.  This is for previously certified Lead RRP Technicians.
Class is scheduled from 8:00 to 12:30.
Register at:

August 11th – Lead Repair, Renovation and Painting - $225
This EPA accredited class is being taught by Glenn Hayden who has many years of construction and lead abatement experience. Class is scheduled from 8:00am to 5:00pm.
Register at:

August 13th – CSC YouthBuild & Corvallis Canyons Project Trip
Corvallis Canyons Project will be taking 8 adventure-seeking YouthBuild Students on a canyoneering trip in the cascades.  For more information or to support adventure for underserved youth please visit their website:                                

August 18th - CPR & First Aid Class – Sold Out
Join Todd Washington from CPR Works for a very engaging and informative First Aid & CPR Class.  Class starts at 9:00am and goes to 2:00pm. This class is full - e-mail if you are interested in having another class scheduled.
August 19th & 20th - Essentials for Healthy Home Practitioners - Free
John Davies of the Building Performance Center and Dennis Feeney will lead this NCHH class on a holistic approach to identifying the root causes of health problems in a home and linking them to the seven principles of healthy housing: keep it dry; keep it clean; keep it pest free; keep it ventilated; keep it safe and maintained. This class is for CSC employees or members of affiliate organizations. 8-BPI CEU’s. Space is limited, email or call 541-753-0509 to RSVP.

September 3rd – Combustion Safety and Evaluation 101 - $175 
Dennis Feeney will be leading this class on a House-as-a-System approach to evaluating and diagnosing heating system problems.  Topics include: heating system identification, sequence of operations, basics of sizing, distribution and combustion safety testing.
Register at:

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