Issue #43 September 2021
Opal Davis with the Adopt-a-Hut plaque honoring her son, Chief Warrant Officer William Wesley Davis.
Community Supported Shelters
CSS's Monthly eNewsletter for Volunteers, Advocates, & Donors
Welcome to our September newsletter,

This marks my one-year anniversary sitting in the Executive Director chair, and it’s been an amazing twelve months. We took our partnership with the City and the County to a whole new level during this stretch, really pushing the envelope for what we could accomplish in a relatively short time. 

In exchange for reams of paperwork and unrealistic promises of fast-paced construction we almost tripled our budget and staff, added five new full-size Safe Spot communities and a Microsite, and rebuilt our service delivery model. We now have a total of eight full-size Safe Spots, a couple Microsites, and even a few mini’s scattered about. Our Service Team now consists of multiple teams of four, each of which serves three Safe Spots. 

We scrambled to keep up with expanding human resources, finance management, and development challenges, re-charted our organizational structure, and still managed to squeeze in a bit of musical chairs: Erik tried on Chief Operations Officer for the past year, but is now General Services Director, while Erika tried on Chief Financial Officer before settling on Comptroller. Fay, if you missed it, has returned as the Service Team Program Manager, while Pujita stepped up as interim Development Director.
Devin Jenkins stepped in as board President, trading seats with Douglas Bovee, and Fred Pitts took over the secretary slot from Laurie Hauber. The rest of the board is Bev Chell as treasurer, Tim Black, Ruben Garcia, and Heather White. Covid switched seats with Delta. Mona and I mostly stayed put.

For more updates on what we’ve been up to, please read on.

Tod Schneider, CSS Executive Director
Feature Story
A Hut to Honor a Son
Chief Warrant Officer William Wesley Davis was killed in Cambodia on May 2, 1970, during the Vietnam War. Fifty-one years later, his mother Opal “adopted” a Hut in the CSS Vet’s Camp in his memory. “This is all about Wesley, it’s not about me,” Opal, 91, said after a plaque honoring Wesley was attached to a Hut, where a veteran named Cedar Baer had moved in just a week before. “I think he’d be proud. He’s helping a fellow service man.”
Opal wanted to do something to memorialize her oldest son. Her other children (another son and two daughters) gave her grandchildren, but “my oldest son didn’t live long enough,” she says, “he was only 21. He was not able to leave me something I could physically look at it or see or know about. He was so young. So I wanted to do something for him.”
Chief Warrant Officer William Wesley Davis

Wes and his siblings grew up on a farm in Brookings, Oregon. They all enjoyed swimming, hiking, and floating the Chetco River in a rubber raft and camping along the way. It was an ideal place to grow up in the 1950s and early ’60s. “And it was an ideal time,” Opal says, “things weren’t so confusing. Now the world is a mess.”
Wes was an honor student at Brookings-Harbor High School, from which he graduated in 1966. He didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life, Opal says, but he went to Oregon State University to see if he could figure that out. After a year there, he still wasn’t sure, so he went to see a counselor, who suggested he consider military service.  
“He wanted to fly, and we didn’t have the resources to buy flying lessons,” Opal says, so he joined the Army with a real sense of dedication and worked hard to learn to fly Cobra helicopters. Opal had hoped he would choose to fly the big helicopters that look like grasshoppers she had seen used by logging companies around Brookings.
“He said, ‘No, Mom, they don’t do much with them,’” Opal says. “He wanted speed. He really, really loved flying, so he chose the Cobra, which at that time was very fast.”
He began his service in May 1968 and was sent to Vietnam 14 months later. He participated in more than 25 aerial missions over hostile territory in support of counterinsurgency operations. He was killed on a reconnaissance mission near the Cambodian border in which he demonstrated “heroism . . . by voluntary action above and beyond the call of duty . . . to save the lives of his fellow crew members,” according to the text accompanying the order awarding him the Distinguished Flying Cross. He also was awarded a Bronze Star, Air Medal, and a Purple Heart, and he was posthumously promoted to Chief Warrant Officer.
Opal has always been dedicated to supporting organizations that work for positive changes in the world. But recently she has felt overwhelmed by the vast number of donation appeals that fill her mailbox. She asked her daughter Lenore to do some research and pick one organization for her donation in Wes’s name. Her criteria were that it be local, have an immediate impact, and help veterans. Lenore’s research determined that Community Supported Shelters met all those requirements and adopting a Hut for a veteran would be the most fitting tangible way to honor Wes’s memory...
Spotlight On Our Volunteers and Staff
A Creative Juggler:
Carmen Parkinson, Shop Coordinator
The CSS shop is a busy place with parts and pieces for projects in various stages of completion for Safe Spots and other locations. Carmen Parkinson is the new shop manager with the task of keeping track of it all.

“It’s a bit of a juggling act,” Carmen says. “It’s all part of what CSS does really well, which is being creative and flexible to keep things running as smoothly as possible.”

Carmen’s responsibilities include ordering supplies and building materials from Jerry’s and other vendors, keeping the shop well-stocked and organized—a never-ending task—and coordinating with other staff and volunteers on the many infrastructure projects under way.
A recent project is building picnic tables with built-in benches for the Safe Spots. These sturdy tables are being built by the Hut Crew. There’s also talk of building additional picnic tables to sell as an ongoing fund raiser. (If you’re interested in one of these picnic tables, contact Carmen at

There’s never a shortage of opportunities for creative improvisation at the shop. The record-breaking heat wave in early summer required ongoing ice bucket drop-offs to the Safe Spots and finding a solution to venting the extreme heat build-up in the new kitchen shelters. The shop team also designed and built secure boxes for portable propane tanks.
Carmen also helps coordinate Safe Spot maintenance teams. This group of folks makes sure the Huts, community buildings, and kitchen areas are in good working order, making repairs as needed.  

“I love working at this very amazing organization,” Carmen says. “The CSS philosophy is there’s a solution to anything that needs fixing—you just have to ask the right person and find a workaround that’s efficient and practical.”
Giving Gratitude to Our Supporters
BRING Recycling: Support Throughout the Years
We are feeling so thankful for our friends at BRING! We have been the recipient of their generosity before, back in 2017. We are so impressed with the work they do for our planet. This year during their Spring Campaign, 10% of gifts raised were donated to CSS, coming to $2,200 for us to use on materials in their Planet Improvement Center.

Some of the items donated to CSS by BRING include windows, doors, furniture, and hardware. These gifts over the years have supported us in making our Safe Spots cozier and more sustainable with awesome retro upcycled furniture and building materials.The check was even made out of recycled paper! So cool! 
Thank you for your ongoing support BRING Recycling!
Supplies from the Mission
A big thank you to the Eugene Mission, a local nonprofit and long-time supporter of CSS. On top of partnering with CSS by creating space for our Veterans Safe Spot Community and the Mission Microsite, both located near their headquarters, the Mission has been donating many essentials to CSS.

Specifically, the Mission donates reuqested food items, kitchen supplies for new SSCs, and new camper supplies/welcome tote items. CSS Camp Supplies Coordinator Laura Welsh who coordinates with the Mission says "they have been amazing!"

Thank you to the Eugene Mission for donating essential supplies to CSS!
Donor Opportunities
Firewood and Firewood Rounds
CSS is again building capacity to collect firewood from people's wood lots. We can once again get crews out to wood lots to collect downed wood to supply firewood for the camps.

If you have firewood for pickup (including downed wood for collection), please contact headquarters by calling
541-683-0836 Monday through Friday between 1 and 4pm.

Firewood can also be dropped off to our Grant Street headquarters (please call ahead).
Wool Hats and Gloves
As we move into Fall and the weather begins to cool, CSS is again collecting wool gloves and hats to keep our Safe Spot Residents warm and cozy. CSS loves handmade items!

If you have new or gently-used wool gloves and hats for donation, please contact headquarters by calling 541-683-0836 Monday through Friday between 1 and 4pm to coordinate drop-off.
Travel Mugs
CSS is collecting donations of insulated travel mugs to include in our Welcome Totes for new Safe Spot Residents.

If you have new or thoroughly sanitized travel mugs for donation, please contact headquarters by calling 541-683-0836 Monday through Friday between 1 and 4pm to coordinate drop-off.
Adopt-a-Hut Program
Do you want a personal and lasting symbol that represents your support of Community Supported Shelters?

Participate in the CSS Adopt-a-Hut Program because it is a meaningful way to support our work and to create memories.

Here’s how it works:
Any individual, group, or organization that donates $3,000 or more after April 15, 2021, has the option of having a Hut dedicated in their name or the name of someone that they choose. The Adopt-a-Hut Program includes:
  • A plaque to be placed on an existing Conestoga Hut in a CSS Camp.
  • The option to arrange a brief ceremony that involves the placing of the plaque and a photograph to remember the occasion.
  • The option to be highlighted in our CSS newsletter.

Adopting a Hut is a meaningful way to 
  • Recognize your financial contribution to CSS.
  • Honor a significant birthday or other milestone of a CSS supporter.
  • Honor a loved one who has passed away.
  • Give a meaningful gift for any occasion.
  • Publicize support from an organization. 

Volunteer Opportunities
If interested, please reach out to our volunteer coordinator, Karissa, at
Employment Opportunities
Service Team: Open Applicant Pool
CSS has opened a hiring pool for the Service Team. There may be multiple openings for each position. The positions include Camp Facilitator and Service Navigator.

Submitting application materials to this pool makes you eligible for either position. The CSS Service Team members play a critical role in supporting CSS clients as they stabilize and improve their lives.
This collaborative team works directly with clients to address individual needs and group dynamics, and helps them navigate critical services in the community. For more information on the position and how to apply, click here or contact
Development Assistant
Community Supported Shelters is seeking a part-time Development Assistant to join our team. Our amazing and dedicated Development Assistant, Daisy Mills, is graduating from the University of Oregon and will be leaving CSS.

We are seeking a Development Assistant to train 10 hours a week with Daisy and the Development Team through November 2021, with the intent to transition to 20 hours per week after Daisy graduates in December and moves on to her next adventure.

The position will focus on website updates, social media communication, newsletter coordination and other development related tasks. For more information on the position and how to apply, click here or contact
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!