Issue #42 July 2021
CSS Peer Support Workers. Center: Coordinator Kristin Fay de Buhr; Left to right: MJ Hambrick, Ryker Miller, William Chapple, Jeff Howard, and Cassie Gray.
Community Supported Shelters
CSS's Monthly eNewsletter for Volunteers, Advocates, & Donors
Welcome!

The big news is—all five of our new Safe Spots, plus the Graham Microsite, are now built and ready to roll! Hooray! Our shop guru, Barr Washburn, even actually retired, which is the ultimate proof that we really did pull this off. This couldn’t have happened without our incredible shop crew, the volunteer Hut crew, and the City fully embracing us as partners, bankrolling the expansion and handing over actual sites on which to build. Thanks! The County stepped up as well, underwriting our Service Team this year, and a special shout out is well deserved by the Friendly Area Neighbors, as outstanding advocates for the Graham Microsite.

All of our progress has helped inspire advocates far and wide. Joey Lankowski, from Las Vegas, wrote that they built their first Conestoga Hut recently, in 103 degree heat, for under $1,000, and will now start on a second Hut! A social worker on Orcas Island wrote that they “have officially placed our first client in our first Conestoga Hut and it has been a truly great fit! We are starting to think about the idea of creating a village of Huts on a property here on the island with a live-in manager and communal kitchen.” In addition, advocates from Portland and Forest Grove recently came down for tours.
Of course, despite the City/County support, we still have to continue hustling funds for our original three camps, administrative overhead, and innumerable other expenses that pop up along the way. Your help with all of that makes a huge difference.

Thanks for everything you do to help keep us rolling!

Cheers,
Barr retired from CSS & sailed off into the sunset 
with his partner Terry & their dog Lupa.
Tod Schneider, CSS Executive Director
Feature Story
Filling the Camps with Communities:
Peer Support Workers help shape and guide CSS communities.
Community Supported Shelters has a total of 147 Huts in its eight Safe Spots, two Microsites, and three Mini-Microsites. As of early July, 75 of those spots were filled. Why so many still not occupied?
 
“We're not trying to warehouse people,” says William Chapple. “We're trying to get them to achieve community values where they actually care about themselves and the space around them and the people that they're living with.” Communities take time.
 
William, a former Safe Spot resident, is a Peer Support Worker, one of the positions in CSS’s new service delivery model. The other positions are Service Navigators and Camp Facilitators. CSS has three service teams consisting of two Peer Support Workers, a Service Navigator, and a Camp Facilitator. Responsibilities for the 13 different camp sites are divided among the teams.
Ryker Miller, Peer Support Worker
“Part of the Peer Support Workers’ role is to do all the screening for the people who go into the camps,” says Kristin Fay de Buhr, who coordinates the six peer workers (one position is currently unfilled). Kristin Fay, a cofounder of CSS, returned to the staff in March, after a nine-month break, to take on that position.
Kristin Fay de Buhr
Contrary to the common connotation of screening, the CSS process is more about making sure applicants can be successful in the program and not about who gets in and who doesn’t.

“Instead of screening them out, it's screening them into the correct role,” says Ryker Miller, another Peer Support Worker who lived in the Vets Camp Safe Spot for a little over a year before being asked to become a staff member.

Almost every applicant who goes through the screening process is accepted into the program...
Spotlight On Our Volunteers and Staff
Laundry Unicorns:
Local church makes the fantasy of clean clothes a reality.
The Eugene Mennonite Church congregation has some unicorns in their midst, one being their very own pastor, Steve Kimes.
The church has supported CSS for years, enhancing our camp kitchens with countertops and shelving as well as creating the nifty storage boxes that are attached to many of the Conestoga Huts—and, most recently, through the work of a small group from the congregation, The Laundry Unicorns. This support for our residents started with the challenges of the beginning of the pandemic. It’s been no small feat, as over 700 hours of unicorn time has been put into ensuring access to clean clothing and bedding for our residents.

The service provided by Laundry Unicorns is invaluable. It improves our clients' quality of life, reducing their stress level by fulfilling a necessary task, which can be difficult to complete on their own. Without the Unicorns, our clients might have to carry loads of laundry several blocks on foot or by bicycle. It's a beautiful act of generosity that the Eugene Mennonite Church shows to Community Supported Shelters' clients! Thank you, Laundry Unicorns! Sarjé Haynes, Camp Facilitator.
The Laundry Unicorns come by once a month to pick up laundry from each camp, where residents have their own laundry tubs. Each resident has their laundry cleaned, dried, folded, and returned in their personalized bin later that day. This kind of service is not only fantastic—it is a fantasy realized for many.

The ability to have clean clothes is necessary for health, work, and general self-esteem. 
A lot of us may take that for granted, but that can change quickly if you don’t have the funds or space to make it happen.
Although Steve and some his fellow Unicorns are relatively new to Eugene, they started doing laundry for unhoused people in Portland in 1997. So, not only do they know what they are doing, they do it well and are guided by the belief that everyone deserves clean clothes. How magical! In addition to working with all of our residents, they also support a few other sanctioned and unsanctioned homeless communities throughout Eugene. 

We are so excited to continue working with and supporting the Eugene Mennonite Church and the Laundry Unicorns in the years to come. If you would like to donate to support their ongoing efforts to ensure access to clean clothes for our residents and the greater Eugene houseless population, please click here.
Daisy Mills: A Star Communicator
There are many moving parts to CSS operations, with a steady stream of communication among staff and clients. Development Assistant Daisy Mills plays a key role in sharing CSS news and events with volunteers and donors through a variety of media platforms.

Daisy tracks day-to-day projects at the Safe Spots. She also keeps an eye on the bigger operational and fund-raising picture at CSS. A major part of her responsibilities is posting stories and photos of CSS activities to Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as coordinating CSS newsletter stories and deadlines.

Daisy wants to make sure anyone with an interest in the affordable housing crisis in Lane County knows about the good work being done at CSS.
“We want to let people know what we’re doing on a regular basis, what changes and events are happening,” she says. “We also want to let everyone know if there’s an urgent need for items at our network of Safe Spots.”

Daisy works part time in her position. She is nearing completion of a bachelor’s degree at the U of O, with a major in Planning, Public Policy and Management. She is especially interested in environmental aspects of micro-housing, including disposal of “gray water” in a sustainable way and recycling at temporary housing sites.

Daisy graduated from high school while living in Nebraska, one of many places she has lived with her family, and came to Eugene for the University of Oregon’s Planning, Public Policy and Management program. She started at CSS as an intern in June 2020 but just a month later was hired for her current position. 

“Daisy is a star,” says Annie Herz, Development Director. “She has skilfully managed our social media presence and is an invaluable member of the newsletter team.

“She is really thoughtful and creative and follows through on everything she takes on."
 
“Daisy is wise beyond her years and will be extraordinary in whatever directions she decides to go in life. I feel so lucky that she is on our team!”
Giving Gratitude to Our Supporters
UO Class Picks CSS for Grant
A University of Oregon philanthropy and grantmaking class, in collaboration with a local foundation, has given CSS a $20,000 grant!
The Faye and Lucille Stewart Foundation has provided funding to this class for many years to accomplish two goals: 1) To give students experience related to philanthropy and grant making, and 2) to support the work of a local agency doing important work in the community. The students decide which nominated agency receives the grant and this year they chose CSS!

Thank you to the Faye and Lucille Stewart Foundation, all of the students in the philanthropy and grantmaking class, and Professor Renee Irvin. We are so grateful for your support! 
Ruben’s Vehicle Donation 
Ruben Garcia is a CSS Board Member and supports CSS in so many ways. When Ruben becomes aware of a need he steps up to address it.The latest need Ruben filled was our need for a vehicle to transport our campers.

Thank you, Ruben, for always looking for ways to support CSS!
Columbia Bank Warms Homes
Earlier this year, Columbia Bank announced that “through its annual Warm Homes grant campaign, it is providing three one-time grants for $25,000 each to organizations in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington that are working toward affordable housing solutions.”

"These organizations all play vital roles addressing homelessness in our region by developing innovative paths toward safe and sustainable housing for those most in need," said David Moore Devine, Columbia's executive vice president. "We are honored to partner with them as we collectively work to tackle one of our region's most pressing challenges." Read more about the Warm Homes campaign here in an official press release from Columbia Bank. 

CSS plans to use this grant to fund the salary of a Service Navigator who will work 28 hours a week at three of our Safe Spot Communities. Service Navigators help our residents meet their goals by connecting them with resources in the community and are a vital part of CSS’s pro-social model. 

Thank you to Columbia Bank for supporting CSS and affordable housing solutions across the region!
Upcoming Events
Tours of Safe Spot Communities
Wednesday, August 4, 2021 2:00 - 3:30pm

The tour starts at our new Empire Park Safe Spot.

Once you have registered, directions & details will be provided.
Cost: $10 and up sliding scale donation.

Call 541-515-7705 or email: pujita.csseugene@gmail.com to RSVP
Donor & Volunteer Appreciation Ice Cream Social
Save the date:

Thursday, September 16, 2021
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 St, Eugene

Call 541-683-0836 or email: pujita.csseugene@gmail.com to RSVP
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 Erika at headquarters by calling 541-683-0836 Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday between 1 or 4.

Firewood can also be dropped off to our Grant Street headquarters (please call ahead).
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
For the immediate future, our volunteer program is slowing down -- After this huge expansion our needs for volunteers are less than they used to be. We hope to take the summer to recuperate, and continue building up our awesome community of volunteers.

Please visit our website to stay in the loop for upcoming opportunities.
Employment Opportunities
Service Team: Open Applicant Pool
CSS has opened a hiring pool for two positions that are part of the CSS 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 c.s.s.eugene@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!