Creating Housing Coalition
“Never underestimate the power of a small group of thoughtful, committed people to change the world; Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”Margaret Mead
CHC founder Stacey Bartholomew had been inspired by this quote since her college days. It’s what led her into the work of counseling and leading mental health groups. It’s what led her to speak up at a church meeting in the summer of 2017 when asked what Albany needs most in the way of social justice. Without hesitation, she answered “Truly affordable housing for the homeless”. What exactly Stacey was going to do about it seemed a daunting challenge, but 88 year old Nancy Marshall wanted to make it happen and said – “I’ll do it if you do it.”
Mentored on to explore the idea by Nancy, fellow church member, Sharon Gisler, and dozens of other supporters, she began exploring the possibilities. Eventually, it led to meeting Dan Bryant of Square One Villages in Eugene who was asked to come speak to the group. That event opened up the possibilities into the untapped potential in Albany for such a community.
It was also at that event that Stacey met future CHC Vice President Carol Davies, who shared her passion and vision for affordable housing for the unhoused. They and a group of other concerned community members met to discuss the possibilities. After sharing ideas and talking for hours, they came up with a game plan to create an organization that would build safe, community supported, self-governing housing that honored dignity and growth, which would later become our mission. In April of 2019, they formed a 501c3 and thus became Creating Housing Coalition.