Issue #46 July 2022
Former Safe Spot Community member and CSS staffer, Dave Lathim.
Community Supported Shelters
CSS's Monthly eNewsletter for Volunteers, Advocates, & Donors
Dear Friends,
 
First and foremost, we hope this summer newsletter finds you happy, healthy, and able to spend time with your loved ones and enjoy some of the abundant beauty, fresh air, and sunshine of this special state we call home, despite the resurgence of COVID.
 
As the ongoing health crisis continues, the lack of affordable housing in our community and our state has grown to its own crisis level pandemic. Many of the issues we face in finding people to fill available jobs are because people increasingly cannot afford to live here. A recent report shared with Eugene’s City Council shows that 30% of renters are spending more than half of their income on housing costs. Trying to find more affordable housing is next to impossible as most apartment complexes have long wait lists and HUD requirements often present additional barriers.
 
For Oregon, this is no longer an issue affecting only low-income people and families. This is an issue affecting moderate income people as welland an issue that will have a profound impact on Oregon’s future economy and stability.
 
While keeping in mind the seriousness of the affordable housing crisis, it is important we also understand that affordable housing alone will not eradicate homelessness. The success we have had in assisting our clients back to productive independence lies in the balance of available affordable housing and plentiful services and support where needed. This work cannot be automated. It costs a great dealand requires time. Time costs money. We must also leverage existing resources and community collaborations in a client-centered wayreorganizing and redirecting the system to be more accessible and manageable for those in need.
 
We invite you to join us on our social media channels as we strive to facilitate deeper discussions about the myths of homelessness, explore the history of our current affordable housing crisis, and learn about ways we can work together as a community to create lasting change. We encourage you to actively engage with us online as well as in person. We believe a Safe Spot Community tour is one of the best ways to truly understand what sets CSS apart from other shelter models; contact Heather to schedule a tour for later this summer.
 
Once again, we would like to thank our generous community, our friends, our collaborative partners, and our dedicated supporters for continuing to sustain us in this important work, which is needed now more than ever. We hope you will take the time to read through the newsletter to find out the great things we are doing here at CSS with the amazing support of all of youour wonderful, dedicated, resilient community.
 
With deep appreciation and wishes for continued and shared joy, abundance, hope, and good health.

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Erik de Buhr
Heather Quaas-Annsa
Karissa Moden     
Director of Operations
Director of Philanthropy
Director of Community Impact            
Feature Story
Going Home: Dave Lathim moves back to his family's farm after six years with CSS
Green pastures at Dave's family farm
Dave Lathim, 60, has gone home.

For a man that spent a couple of decades as a drifter, that’s a big move. For years, he spent three to five months of the winter in Alaska working in the seafood processing industry—then, for the rest of the year, “I was basically just drifting, just traveling,” he says. His travels took him all over the West: Wyoming, Idaho, California, Washington, Oregon. “I struggled, so I never had much of a place to stay. I had several stints of homelessness. Lived in my vehicle part of the time. A lot of camping. That went on for quite a few years.” 

That all started to change in 2016 when he moved into a Hut at the CSS Vets’ Camp. Since then he has been part of CSS as a client and, since October 2020, as a paid staff member—until this June, when he went back to the 6-acre farm in Eastern Washington where he lived as a teenager. He’s gone home to help his parents stay on the farm they love. 

“I could see that they were really struggling,” he says. His mother is 78, and his father is 82. “It's tough. They don't want to sell it. They don't want to move to town like a lot of people do. They love it out there. It's theirs. It's peaceful. It's quiet. There’s a lot of stuff I could do to help them.”

That’s just the kind of person Dave has become. 
Dave’s drifting ways were “partially” a chosen life-style, he says. But they were also driven by challenges with steady employment. “I was having a hard time holding different jobs. The only thing consistent was the Alaska thing, but it was seasonal. And I had to do it for three months at a time. But as far as steady employment, I always had trouble with that, and never lasted too long.”

But during his stints in homeless shelters or at day-labor centers throughout the west, he frequently crossed paths with a fellow drifter named John Maddox. In 2016 when his drifting brought him to Eugene, he caught up with John. By then John was among the volunteer leaders at the Vets Camp. It looked like a good situation for Dave and, with John vouching for him, he soon moved into a Hut.

He liked “the atmosphere of the camp,” he says. “I got along with all the people, especially the CSS staff—Erik and Mona and Fay and Pujita. They were here then. It was a really small group. They were really nice to me. And I started helping out right away. I had a driver's license and a vehicle, which helped out a lot.” Dave became transportation coordinator for the camp.
Spotlight On Our Volunteers and Staff
Frank Harper: "Why I Volunteer for CSS"
The Hut Crew during last year's build at Ebbert Memorial Church.
(Frank is on the far right)
I casually meet with a Vietnam Veterans group every other Wednesday for a lunch gathering. Jim Schmidt is in the group and I believe it was around October of 2020 we were having lunch with the group and Jim asked me if I would be interested in volunteering to build Conestoga Huts. I previously volunteered helping Jim with packing after-school snacks for kids for Lane County. I knew if Jim was involved it had to be good, so without hesitation I said, "Yes!"   
 
CSS is not the first time I volunteered. I also volunteered to become a member of the United States Seabees on January 4, 1968, a day after I turned 18 years old—at the time when the United States military was drafting high school graduates to participate in the Vietnam War. When anyone volunteers it is generally for a good and worthwhile cause. In the case of volunteering for the military it was the opposite of accomplishing something good and worthwhile.
 
You have most likely guessed that I made it out of Vietnam. After my service I was temporarily married and then I became a single parent raising two boys. My kids loved theater and so I volunteered for years building sets for school plays and community theater plays in San Jose, California.  
 
The old saying goes "One thing leads to another!" On October 28, 2006, I returned to Vietnam to try to find little kids that I photographed during the war. During my trip I met Ed Reinman, a Vietnam Veteran, who lives in Cottage Grove. Ten years later I moved to Eugene, and I was contacted by Ed and he told me about a Veterans Group that he meets with bi-weekly. Ed invited me to join the gathering where I met about eight Vietnam Veterans. The rest is history. I met (Standing Ovation) Jim Schmidt at the luncheon and I became a part of a wonderful brotherhood.
Giving Gratitude to Our Supporters
Community Supported Shelters sends our deep gratitude and thanks to Maureen and John Stadter. Their generosity allowed CSS to purchase a brand new shower trailer in January 2022. This new trailer includes two private shower rooms with fold-down seats and sinks as well as a separate handicap accessible shower.

All of our Safe Spot Community residents have access to cleanliness because of their generosity. Free showers are available to all clients Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. In addition to a hot shower, Safe Spot Community members have access to free soap, toiletries, books, and the clothes closet. Our Service Navigators are also onsite to connect clients with local resources and support.
CSS would also like to thank everyone in the community who participated in our Spring Social and first ever Shop For Shelters silent auction!

Engagement Opportunities
Donor & Volunteer Appreciation
Ice Cream Social

Save the date:

Thursday, September 1, 2022
4:00 - 6:00pm

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

Please join us for our annual Donor & Volunteer Appreciation Celebration! We'll treat you to appetizers, salad, and ice cream sundaes. Yum Yum. Drop in any time at CSS Headquarters - 1160 Grant Street, Eugene.

Call 541-683-0836 or email pujita.csseugene@gmail.com to RSVP.
Oakshire Inspires

Visit us at Oakshire Brewing on Wednesday, September 14th for Oakshire Inspires. $1 of every pint sold in the pub that day will be donated to CSS! CSS staff will be present from 4:00pm - 6:30pm.

Drink a pint for a great cause! Oakshire Public House, 207 Madison Street in Eugene.
Donor Opportunities
WE NEED FIREWOOD
Help Safe Spot Communities Stay Warm This Winter!

It may sound very strange to be thinking about staying warm in the heat of the summer, but for people who burn wood to heat their space in the winter this is the time to prepare. CSS has 10 Safe Spot Communities that have a common space with a wood burning stove to keep people warm and dry. Year round, each Safe Spot Community has a work party to split firewood to add to our main firewood supply.
 
To get through a winter, each community receives a cord of wood per month to burn to provide themselves with warmth. In total, our program needs 80-90 cords per year!
 
Here is where we need YOUR help! We are scrambling to find enough wood to make sure we can keep our wood supply stocked. Yes, we can hustle! And we are asking you to hustle with us. We are looking for opportunities, connections, or donations of wood to keep the fires burning. 
 
The most ideal contribution would be you dropping off a dumptruck load of seasoned firewood rounds at CSS's wood processing site. But, we also understand that opportunities come in lots of shapes and sizes, and we are willing to hear from you if you think you can help out in some way.
 
If you think you can help, please call our main office line at 541-683-0836, or email us at c.s.s.eugene@gmail.com and put in the subject line: Firewood Support, or Firewood Angel, or Firewood Faerie...you get the idea!
Hot Weather Items
We can really use smaller sunscreen tubes and bottles, sunglasses, and hats with brims to help our Safe Spot Community members keep comfortable and healthy in the heat. Non-aerosol or no-spray sunscreen, please. Baseball type caps as well as the wide brimmed type pictured here are both great.

Please contact headquarters by calling 541-683-0836 Monday through Friday between 1 pm and 4 pm to coordinate drop-off.
Planned Giving
Leave a legacy.

Did you know that more than 80% of Americans donate to nonprofits but only 8% chose to continue their support through a bequest?

By making bequests and other “planned gifts,” you can help your charity of choice and leave a legacy.
There are many ways to make a planned gift: Bequests, Charitable Gift Annuity, Charitable Remainder Trust, Gift of Stock, Donor Advised Funds, and IRA Rollovers. Designate Community Supported Shelters as your beneficiary and continue to rebuild lives for years to come.

Learn more about leaving a legacy by contacting Heather Quaas-Annsa, CSS Director of Philanthropy, at heather.csseugene@gmail.com.
Volunteer Opportunities
Employment Opportunities
Support Worker

We are currently hiring two Support Workers. People in this position support our clients by routinely visiting CSS Safe Spot Communities, building trusting relationships, and modeling positive social skills with new and existing community members. Support Workers help set a social tone that is aligned with organizational values and expectations, while helping clients transition from street life to community life. 
 
If interested in these positions, please email a resume and cover letter to our Personnel Manager, Caiti Morrell at caiti.csseuegene@gmail.com.
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!