Issue #40 April 2021
'What is a Safe Spot Community?' informative banner designed by Graphics Volunteer Steve Downey and Development Director Annie Herz.
Community Supported Shelters
CSS's Monthly eNewsletter for Volunteers, Advocates, & Donors
Happy April, CSS supporters!

We’re continuing to barrel forward (quite fast, and with no brakes), wrapping up construction on our five new, full-sized camps, scattered throughout the city. It’s pretty amazing that this has all come together—a feat that drew on support from all corners. Our Hut Crew has only grown stronger throughout this, building more Huts at greater speed than ever in our history. 

Landing Barr Washburn as our construction guru in the nick of time made us very, very happy, as he has been not only critical to our overall operations but a perfect fit for CSS in all ways. Essex Construction really came through for us, knocking out wall segments faster than we could have possibly done on our own, and going out of their way to help with all kinds of extras along the way. They’ve been instrumental in the pursuit of a plan for replacing the shower trailer at the Reboot Station (a challenge that we continue to wrestle with—April showers would be so welcome, but that may be faster than even we can move). 

Supporting donors have stuck by us as we work on the shower project. Mills Davis continues to roll with our rapid plot twists. Lane County contracted with us to cover staffing for five camps. The City of Eugene not only paid for the construction, but lined up stellar locations (okay, some are a little on the wet side). The city has really made remarkable, visionary strides throughout this difficult time; deciding to contribute park land was a courageous move that shows other cities what can be done—thanks, especially, to Regan, Peter, and Marina at the city for clearing obstacles and advocating for our cause!

That’s just a glimpse of our wonderful supporters. In this issue we’ll introduce a few more. Thanks for letting us bring you up to speed!

Cheers,
Tod Schneider, CSS Executive Director
Feature Story
Life in a Safe Spot:
"We all have the key."
When Community Supported Shelters established its first camp for people trying to work their way out of homelessness in 2014, the City’s term for such camps—rest stops—did not quite capture what founders Erik and Kristin Fay de Buhr envisioned. The CSS designation of Safe Spots sometimes causes confusion when it comes up in the media or policy discussions, but its meaning is crystal clear to those who live in the camps.
Herman, resident of the new Lot 9 Safe Spot community.
“This place here is, like the sign says, a Safe Spot, really a safe spot,” says Herman Reyes, 69, the first resident in the new Lot 9 Safe Spot, after an earlier stint at the Expressway Safe Spot. “You come in here and you’re going to say, ‘Somebody cares.’”
__________
 
Herman left the Santa Clara home he shared with his wife and grown son several years ago because of emotional clashes that frightened him. He camped. Got a job at a resort in the Oregon mountains. Stayed in a tent at the Nightingale homeless camp when it was first established on Martin Luther King Boulevard. Slept in his car. Couched surfed. Kept working as a housekeeper. Still tried to take care of his family. 
 
“It was rough when you have to work and pay bills, take care of people, your loved ones,” he says. “You want to help them out. At that time, I still had a car, but it’s hard to get things done when you have to live like that in a tent or your car. You’re just barely doing a little more than surviving.”
 
In the summer of 2020, he moved into a Hut at the CSS Expressway Safe Spot. “It was a whole lot better. I could stretch out and sleep. There’s a bed.”
Safe Spot Orientation Video
Spotlight On Our Volunteers and Staff
Developing Deeper Connections for Community Support:
Development Director Annie Herz
The current expansion of CSS Safe Spots in Eugene is an exciting and challenging opportunity at many levels. Everyone associated with CSS is working hard to make it happen. Approximately 90 residents will have new shelter and stability in their lives at one of the five new camps. It’s all quite amazing and has happened in a very short time. 

Yet there is so much more to do, as the current crisis of homelessness and economic uncertainty continues to grow. 
Annie Herz sees this challenge as an opportunity to expand the CSS model of community supported solutions. Annie serves as CSS Development Director, a position she moved into in January of this year.

“We’re ramping up as fast as we can, and it is exciting that we are doing it in a way that maintains our positive culture that’s been so successful,” says Annie.

Annie oversees fundraising and outreach for CSS, a big job for an organization that has relied on local donors for the vast majority of its funding. Recent grants from the City of Eugene and Lane County have funded the surge, but contributions from local donors have always been the heart and soul of CSS revenue and will continue to be well beyond the current expansion.

“I’m very excited to be cultivating connections with our donors and supporters who have been so generous with CSS,” she says. “This is such an amazing organization that does so much good work. I’m happy to be part of the mission of CSS that transforms lives for those without shelter and sometimes without a healthy community.”

Helping Navigate Toward a Better Place:
Service Navigator Kai Batalona
When people move into one of the eight CSS Safe Spot camps, they are also moving into a CSS culture with a community of support staff whose goal is to help them create a better future.

Setting life-improvement goals and identifying steps to meet them is an important part of the social support program.
Kai Batalona is one of three “service navigators,” who work with residents to help them identify options for moving forward in their lives. He took the position in January and is becoming well acquainted with the variety of opportunities for assistance in Eugene, Springfield, and Lane County. The other service navigators are Marie Laura Roehrich and Suzi Wilkins.
“When I first meet with someone, the first thing I tell them is I want them to move on to a better situation,” Kai says. “This program is basically a short-term opportunity to help them get back on their feet, and I want them to make the best of it.”

A service navigator is similar to a case manager. The job involves meeting with residents, helping them to identify personal strengths to overcome challenges in their lives and to seek out opportunities for housing and whatever else would help them move forward and become successful.

Kai shares information with residents about local resources from a spreadsheet of agency names and contacts. The list is growing and includes local housing referrals, addiction treatment programs, mental health counselling, and more. 

Giving Gratitude To Our Supporters
Flexible, Enthusiastic Support Helps Remake Reboot Station
The Mills Davis Foundation has earned extra gold stars over the past year, not only for their invaluable support, but for their enthusiasm and, especially, their flexibility.

Most of the projects we take on go through many twists and turns while they get up and running, but the Reboot Station has taken it to a whole other level of craziness.
Boards cover underground cabling, which will bring electricity to the Huts at the Reboot Station.
It would be completely understandable if they threw their arms up in the air and backed slowly away, but the folks at Mills Davis have chosen to stick by us.

We first asked for help setting up a new Microsite on the fairgrounds. The county changed their mind (they’re building permanent housing there instead), but other amazing donors bought us the property at 1845 W. 11th to use so, with Mills Davis support, the Reboot Station started to take shape. 

We planted a Microsite there, and over the past six months developed the cottage as an administrative building, then converted it into Service Team operating space; brought in a shower trailer, but took a break from that as the parts shook loose from excessive use; moved our resident Peer Support workers into the huts, juggled a few options for funding a shower building and, with Mills Davis support, are now running electricity to our Reboot Huts for the first time.

We reimagined the kitchen as a food cart, food truck, canteen truck, and finally settled on aiming for a delivery truck—and we’re now hoping Mills Davis is still willing to stick by us and underwrite the purchase. 

So, their exceptional tolerance, patience, flexibility and generosity have been extraordinary. Thank you Mills Davis!
Creative Contribution from Mortgage Team
CSS is blessed to have a community of amazing supporters, without whom CSS could not do the work that we do.This month, we would like to highlight a donor who came up with a creative way of raising money for CSS.  
 
Ladelle White is a senior loan officer at Guild Mortgage. During the month of January, Ladelle and her team set aside $100 for CSS for each file they closed. The result was an amazing gift of $4,600!

Ladelle says, "Safe, secure housing is an essential need we all share. I work with families every day to help them find their place to call home.
Heather and Ladelle White.
"Not everyone is lucky enough to have a safe place to live and that is where Community Supported Shelters steps in. We work every day to help make people’s dreams of home ownership come true. By donating to an organization like Community Supported Shelters, we are able to help even more people find their place to call home."
 
We are so grateful to Ladelle for her generous and creative gift. It just so happens that Ladelle's sister-in-law, Heather White, is a CSS Board Member, an active member of our Development Committee, and a real estate broker. She donates a portion of each of her real estate sales to CSS as well. 

What a pair of amazing sisters (in-law)!
Donor Opportunities
Help Welcome New Hut Residents: Welcome Tote Items
When CSS clients move into their new Conestoga Huts, they receive a welcome tote. These welcome totes contain solar lights, bedsheets, pillows, sleeping bags, masks, hand-sanitizers, socks, water bottles, gift cards, and other items to make our clients comfortable in their new home. The container itself is a heavy-duty storage tote, which clients can use to organize personal belongings. 

As CSS expands in partnership with the City of Eugene and opens five new Safe Spot camps in the coming months, we will have lots of new clients to serve and need totes to welcome all of them. CSS is in need of donations of select items included in our welcome totes. Specifically, we are asking for donations of gift cards for $10 to Dutch Bros or $20 to St. Vincent de Paul, solar lights, pillows, and sleeping bags. 

If you would like to donate the linked items, please follow the directions below to order online using Amazon Smile. CSS is also accepting gently used solar lights, pillows, and sleeping bags. All donated items should be shipped to or dropped off at our headquarters at 1160 Grant Street. 
 
After selecting one of the links above, change your benefitted organization to Community Supported Shelters by clicking the Amazon Smile drop-down tab in the upper right hand corner, selecting "Your Amazon Smile Impact," then click "Change Charity," search "Community Supported Shelters Eugene, OR" and click select. 
 
When ordering welcome tote items, don't forget to change the shipping address to 1160 Grant Street, Eugene, OR 97402 so that it is delivered straight to the CSS headquarters.
 
Completing these steps and shopping with Amazon Smile for future purchases will continue to benefit CSS with a small portion of purchase totals donated back to our nonprofit organization!

If you have any questions regarding the welcome tote items, please contact Pujita at pujita.csseugene@gmail.com
New Hut residents receive a welcome tote.
Funiture and Firewood
With the opening of our five new camps, CSS is also in need of donations of small furniture for the common spaces including small chairs with padding (not recliner chairs), small couches made of non-absorbent material, small shelving for books and DVDs, and throw rugs for outdoor use.

Further, we are building capacity again to be able 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. Small furniture items can be dropped off to our Grant Street headquarters.
Employment Opportunities
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 very focused on her studies at the University of Oregon and dedicates 10 hours each week to CSS.

We are seeking an additional Development Assistant to work 10 hours each week with Daisy and the Development Team through Fall 2021, with the intent to transition to 20 hours per week after Daisy graduates 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 annie.csseugene@gmail.com.
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!