FROM HOLIDAY CHEER TO A BRIGHT NEW YEAR!
We at Creating Housing Coalition (CHC) hope your holiday season was full of cheer, and wish all of you a happy, healthy 2022!
We asked CHC Board Members about the highlights of last year and what they most look forward to in the new year as we move closer to building Hub City Village, our first community supported, self-governing housing that honors dignity and growth.
What was the highlight of 2021 for you and for Creating Housing Coalition?
Carol Davies: Being awarded the state grant HB 5006 for $600,000 was the highlight of the year for me. It showed that we’re being taken seriously by government officials and that they agree we have a viable plan.
What are your greatest hopes for 2022?
Land!! Once we have land in our possession, we’ll be able to start building.
Stacey Bartholomew: One highlight was meeting Bruce “Buzz” Wheeler of Coastal Farms at our most recent presentation and having him ask for the chance to donate and become an ongoing supporter…and also, all the amazing outreach of Gary and Carol and Carol’s crew!
One moment that really stands out was being in the car with the Mayor and getting the notice that we had received the state funding we had requested! Everyone thought I was having a heart attack I was so excited!
The very best part is all the new board members and volunteers that have started in 2021! This year has been SOOOOOO much better than 2020!
For 2022, I want to take a picture of all of us putting shovels in the ground of our new piece of land! Go Rich, Gary, and Al!!
Laura Kadelbach: Witnessing the growth of the organization from the previous year. 2021 brought strong volunteers in many areas, including fundraising, grant writing, and volunteer services. These people have moved CHC to a higher level.
LAND! Bought and paid for.
JEFF MERKLEY, LONGTIME AFFORDABLE HOUSING ADVOCATE, SUPPORTS CHC’s HUB CITY VILLAGE
Creating Housing Coalition (CHC) is delighted to announce that Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley has secured $800,000 for the Hub City Village project in the THUD subcommittee bill.
“First of all, thank you to Senator Merkley and his excellent team,” said Stacey Bartholomew, President of CHC. ”While there are many more steps ahead of us before everything is finalized, this is a huge win for the unhoused of Albany. Today, we’re so much closer to creating Hub City Village, the first affordable, community-supported, self-governing community here in Albany.”
“I am so grateful for Senator Merkley’s support, and so are our vulnerable neighbors in Linn County,” said Carol Davies, V.P., CHC.
Senator Merkley has long been an advocate for affordable housing. He recently introduced the Affordable Housing Opportunities Made Equitable (HOME) Act, comprehensive legislation to tackle the urgent affordable housing crisis that is affecting families across Oregon and throughout America. “The vision of this legislation is to create a decent home and a decent community for every family,” said Senator Merkley in a prepared statement. “Oregonians in every corner of our state are struggling under the crushing weight of our affordable housing crisis, and like so many other problems, America’s housing emergency has only been made worse by the pandemic. This challenge affects all of us. No one should live in a country where human beings don’t have a roof overhead or are forced to choose between rent and filling a prescription or buying groceries. Enough is enough. It’s time for Congress to put in place a comprehensive framework to ensure that everyone has a safe, affordable place to call home.”
Before becoming Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley served as Director of Portland Habitat for Humanity.
CHC JOINS FORCES WITH LOCAL GROUPS TO CREATE COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAM
Creating Housing Coalition (CHC) has created a new program called Community Outreach Assistance Team, or COAT. The new team comprised initially of several board members and volunteers, as well as individuals from other area service agencies, seeks to go out into the Albany community and provide our unhoused neighbors with assistance, whether it be clothing, food, or services.
“I believe that there’s a real need for this kind of program in Albany,” said Carol Davies, CHC V.P. “When I started to look into a street outreach program, I contacted Melissa Egan at Community Services Consortium (CSC) to ask her if anyone else currently had a program in Albany. Turns out, there had been one, but it hadn’t been active in a couple of years. Melissa then told me that CSC had grant money available if I would purchase supplies and coordinate the outreach effort. I immediately agreed!”
At Melissa’s suggestion, Carol contacted Kami Beard, Peer Support Manager and Trainer at C.H.A.N.C.E. in Albany, as well as Scott McKee, SSVF Health Care Navigator at Community Action Program of Oregon (CAPO) in Corvallis. She also reached out to Shirley Byrd, who runs the Family Assistance and Resource Center Group in Lebanon and Sweet Home, Curtis Parke, who works for C.H.A.N.C.E. in Corvallis, and Blaine Therrell, Family Advocate at Community Services Consortium Workforce Program. After speaking with these dedicated teams, Carol and CHC President Stacey Bartholomew met with Maddie Bean of the Street Outreach Response Team (SORT) program in Corvallis; they soon decided to join forces to restart a program in Albany. “Maddie is our ‘mentor’ and has provided us with a huge amount of information, including all the forms we’ll need,” Carol says.
C.H.A.N.C.E., CSC, FARC and CHC will be sending out some of their staff to various locations in Albany on a regular basis as they seek to identify and aid those in need. Volunteers can help the core team once they’ve been trained in how to prepare for various emergencies. “We’ve decided to have a mandatory de-escalation training before volunteers go out. After that, we’re scheduling a harm reduction training with Blue Valentine, Harm Reduction Specialist for the Benton County Health Department, and mental health first aid training with the Linn County Department of Health Services. Both Carol and Stacey will also be trained in administering Narcan, a drug used to treat opioid overdoses, should they encounter anyone experiencing an opioid overdose.
WELCOME TO THE CHC BOARD, Danielle Hutchinson!
Born and raised in Oregon, Danielle Hutchinson, mother of two, is the kind of person you want on your team. “I am someone who is known for going above and beyond,” she said. “I use my love of helping people and problem-solving skills to look at each person’s unique situation to help them worry less so they can live more.”
Danielle went to high school in Salem and university in Monmouth before entering the health care field and becoming a Clinical Operations Director with Samaritan on the Coast. There, she was able to explore and expand her skills. “I have over 14 years of negotiation experience, wrote many grants, and worked in multi-level commercial projects. I was on the team who built the new Samaritan hospital in Lincoln City which is now up and running.”
“I’ve always been in the clinical area trying to effect positive change,” she continues. “Public health, along with community, is a true passion of mine and has been for many years. You may have seen me volunteering at community flu clinics, taking clients from The ARC on field trips or at various community events for the unhoused.”
Danielle now works as a realtor, finding houses for people from Salem to the central Oregon coast. She will now head up CHC’s Grants team. “I love to bring my skills to the table, arm in arm with my community so we can turn dreams into a reality,” she says. “Together, we can make changes for the better, one tiny step (or home :)) at a time.”
BILL ROOT’S BIRDHOUSES HELP BUILD HUB CITY VILLAGE
Creating Housing Coalition Board Member Bill Root initially created his birdhouses as decorations for the CHC’s first fundraising event held in Albany in 2019. “I got started because we were looking for table centerpieces and I didn’t want flowers. I said ‘we’re building tiny houses! Can you think of a better tiny house than a birdhouse?”
Bill now builds birdhouses to raise money for CHC. He’s made more than fifty and is presently focused on eight different designs. “There’s the Two-Story birdhouse with an attic, the Duplex which has two openings, and a Standard,” Bill says. “There’s a replica of an existing tiny house from a tiny house village in Cottage Grove. I’ve built a Log Cabin birdhouse; the logs are all twigs off my maple tree and the wood shingles on the roof are made from delaminated plywood.” His latest design? ”A Covered Bridge! The bottom is a bird feeder, the top is a two-opening birdhouse. I refer to this one as the Air B&B.”