Donna and Red in the new kitchen space at the Roosevelt Safe Spot
Community Supported Shelters
CSS's Quarterly eNewsletter for Volunteers, Advocates, & Donors
Issue #26 Summer 2017
Dear Supporters,
It seems like the clouds of spring have finally burned off and summer is blazing its way to the forefront. As you work to stay co
ol indoors and out, I hope you stay in touch with our work by making the time to read this newsletter.

We bring you stories every quarter that feature the lives of our campers a
nd our community volunteers who help improve the quality of our program every day!  The insights you will find here will introduce you to the dynamic community that is CSS.

For those of you already involved, we are incredibly thankful for your presence and your contributions of many kinds. For those who are not yet involved, we would love for you to come on a tour of our program!


Julie's story of staying in a Safe Spot

Erik de Buhr, Co-Executive Director
Community Supported Shelters

PS...CSS is having a volunteer appreciation event on August 31st!
Feature Story
 Supporting Communities Among the Shelters    
Volunteer on-site managers play a critical role at the Safe Spot camps.
The four Safe Spots managed by Community Supported Shelters are clustered within a mile of each other around railroad tracks at the edges of the Trainsong and Whitaker neighborhoods in Eugene. The Safe Spot "experiment" to provide temporary safe shelter for homeless people has been going on for three-and-a-half years now and has been so successful that the City of Eugene has extended what it calls the "rest stop" program and even taken initial steps toward establishing rest stops in all eight wards of the city.
        But as much as the overall program is an experiment in addressing Eugene's vexing homeless problem, each camp
William Chapple and Bill Petrovich at the Expressway Safe Spot
is its own experiment in community building. Both Safe Spot residents and CSS managers understand that some sense of community is essential to provide the safety and stability necessary for the camps to succeed.
        "We are trying to create at least a form of community," says William Chapple, 43, recently named coordinator at the Expressway camp, the youngest of the camps and the one with the most troubled history.
        "I believe the reason we function so well is that we actually pay attention to each other," says Jeremy Linville, 41, peacekeeper at the Chambers camp. "It's not like when we had just come in: I'm doing my thing, you're doing your thing, she's over there doing her thing. When we walk through the gate people actually notice what's going on with other people."
        William and Jeremy are among the volunteer on-site managers who are critical to the functioning of the camps. Those positions have been part of the Safe Spot plan since its inception, to both give residents an important role in their camp communities and to prevent the CSS staff from being spread too thin.

Their resumes would frighten some people: ex-cons, recovering meth addicts and alcoholics, college drop-outs and drifters. Most have run into sometimes self-constructed obstacles that have diverted their lives into a tail-spin that sent them crashing into homelessness. But now, they have emerged as leaders, with the roles of coordinators, mediators (also called peace-keepers and problem-solvers), groundskeepers or maintenance managers, kitchen managers, and transportation managers. Currently, the camps have between three and six on-site managers.
"Superstar Volunteers" for CSS: First United Methodist Church   

The First United Methodist Church (FUMC) congregation has been a stellar supporter for Community Supported Shelters this past year. Members of the FUMC congregation actively seek out opportunities in the community to serve those in need, and CSS is one of the organizations that they have chosen to support.
Clockwise from top left: Duane, Lee, Kathi, and Blake from FUMC in front of the pantry they built for CSS
Thanks to a cadre of volunteers from FUMC, there's a new, enclosed food pantry at CSS headquarters on Grant Street.

Volunteers Lee Sutton and Duane Hildebrand, longtime members of the church, coordinated the effort
to build the 6x8-foot pantry. Lee, Duane, and a group of friends at FUMC framed the walls, put up plywood siding, and constructed highly efficient and innovative racks and shelving for this latest addition to the CSS operations.

The pantry was a requirement for CSS to qualify as a Food for Lane County pantry site. It is now used to store donated food items for the Safe Spot camps, which come from Food for Lane County and individuals. The Food Pantry Volunteer Coordinator orders and picks up donations from Food for
Lane County then distributes food to the camp communities once a week.

"Having dedicated groups of volunteers like the folks at First United Methodist Church means everything," says Fay de Buhr, co-executive director of CSS. "It's what makes the work of Community Supported Shelters possible."

Updates and Upcoming Events

Now Available! How to Build a Conestoga Hut construction manual

Through clear writing and full-color photos, this 80-page manual provides all the information that one needs to successfully construct a Conestoga Hut micro-shelter on his or her own.

 To learn more or purchase a manual click here!!!  

Officials from Boulder, CO, tour a Safe Spot.
New Outdoor Kitchen at the Roosevelt Safe Spot Community 

Thanks to support from money raised from the dessert dash at the CSS Annual Benefit Dinner, the Eugene Mennonite Church, and the Eugene Village School, we improved the kitchen at the Roosevelt Safe Spot Community!

The kitchen now has cabinetry, a sink with running water, a permitted sewer connection for grey water, shelving for food storage, and a hard shell to protect it from the elements.


Tour CSS' Safe Spot Community Program

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 5:00pm to 6:30pm
Tours start at CSS headquarters:
1160 Grant St.
Eugene, OR 97402

$5 and up sliding scale donation

Call the CSS office at 541-683-0836 or email:

Without all of our incredible volunteers, the work of Community Supported Shelters would not be possible.  We want to celebrate your awesomeness.

Please come to our Volunteer Appreciation Celebration 
Thursday, August 31st, 2017  
5pm - 7pm  
1160 Grant Street

Pizza, salad, ice cream and Coconut Bliss sundaes.  Yum Yum.
Let us know if you can make it by calling us at 541-683-0836.

Community Supported Shelters is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization  
(EIN #: 46-2377054). All donations made to CSS are tax-deductible.
Thank you for your ongoing support!
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1160 Grant St. Eugene, OR 97402 ·541-683-0836