Even before the pandemic, Oregon had twice the national average of homeless and the second highest rate in the nation of unsheltered. It is the low-income Oregonians who will continue to suffer the most. Through no fault of their own, some of our hard-working neighbors–veterans, seniors, single parents, disabled people– have lost their housing because they can’t afford it.
Our mission is to build safe, community supported, self-governing houses that honor dignity and growth. Our vision is to create safe, connected communities. These are the cornerstones on which we will build our first affordable house community, Hub City Village. Unlike most affordable housing projects, residents will be members of a cooperative with a share of ownership in and responsibility for all aspects of daily life from management to operations of the Village.
- Gary Goby MD: Why CHC?
- Celebrating Community Garden
- Fresh Recipes from Sybaris & Gathering Together Farms
- Books, Birdhouses & Fine Furniture: Rewards for joining the CHC family
MEET CHC V.P. CAROL DAVIES
Foster Mom, Animal Welfare Advocate
Creating Housing Coalition Vice President, Carol Davies
Where did you grow up and when and why did you settle in Oregon?
I grew up in southeastern Massachusetts. My husband and I moved to the far northern border of New York for a few years, then I was fortunate to be able to call Vermont home for over 25 years. My sister lives in Philomath and I’ve always loved the climate and the culture here, but the deciding factor in our move was when my mother, who lived in a town near me, was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, and her care was becoming too much for me to handle on my own. My sister offered to help if we moved to Oregon, so my husband, mom and I packed up and headed out west!
What started your interest in not-for-profit work?
I’ve been involved with nonprofits for over 30 years. Most of my experience is in the animal welfare sector; being an avid animal lover, I’ve always been drawn to helping animals in need. My husband and I were also foster parents for over 20 years and we adopted one of our foster children. Working with this extremely vulnerable population has opened my eyes to the injustices faced by these kids, both growing up in and aging out of the foster care system, and I wanted them, as well as other marginalized groups like seniors on fixed incomes and veterans, to have access to safe, low-cost housing in a community setting.
What is your favorite thing about Albany (Oregon)?
The weather! Most people think the rain is a disadvantage to living here, but it’s a lot better than shoveling snow for 6 months of the year and braving below-zero temperatures!
How did you become involved in creating the CHC?
I saw an article in the local paper that a group of individuals was interested in building a tiny home village to address the affordable housing crisis in Albany and decided to go to a meeting. I saw an opportunity to use my skills as a board member at various nonprofits to help this small but dedicated group reach their goal. We’ve grown tremendously since then and now have an amazing core group of visionaries who have the know-how to make this happen.
Could you describe briefly what Hub City Village will look like?
I envision an eclectic village, both visually and in the diversity of its residents. It, of course, will have all the amenities, with well-constructed, permanent homes, nice landscaping, a community garden and a meeting house, but most importantly it will be a vibrant place where people come together to restore their dignity and create a culture of community and acceptance.
How is the CHC different from Habitat for Humanity?
While we both create permanent housing for those in need, Habitat homes follow a traditional model of single-family homes with larger square footage being built on their own plot of land and owned by the individual, who pays a mortgage. Our village will be a cooperative model, where the resident will be a member of a housing cooperative and will own a share in the village. There will be no mortgage, but a portion of the rent will be set aside as savings for the resident to use if and when they decide to leave.
Why will Hub City Village be so important to our community?
There are so many people out there who are living on the edge – they’re one paycheck away from a loss of housing, or they’re one of the many unseen homeless individuals here in Albany. They may be staying with friends or relatives or living out of their vehicle. Most got there through no fault of their own, and due to the high cost of rent, are unable to pay the going rate in this area. We aim to provide the low-cost solution these individuals need to be able to live in adequate housing without financial assistance from the government. Having stable housing will also help keep health care costs down and will enable our residents to become participating members of our community.
As a family physician in Albany for 45 years, I have seen the diversity and complexity of “the Homeless Problem”; families who have lost their source of income, drug addiction, alcoholics who couldn’t get clean and sober, mentally ill who couldn’t find work or refused treatment, children who were out on the street due to lack of a concerned family or no family at all, etc. My attempts to piece together services which could give them a place to call home, and the support to move out of their circumstances seemed next to impossible, fragmented and frustrating.
Then I had a conversation with Stacey Bartholomew who described a vision of a grass roots effort to create a democratically self-governed community of unhoused folks in tiny houses. The more I studied, read and understood this now proven and tested model, the more motivated I became to participate. The satisfaction of being part of a solution for some of our unhoused neighbors not only felt good but right, just and Christian, helping in a positive, caring way for the unhoused as well as the broader community.
Unhoused individuals without a sense of place, without dignity and a sense of personal worth cannot contribute back to society; they risk moving into a potentially long term dependent life style. Creating Housing Coalition’s tiny house village is surely needed as a humane opportunity to house a small but important part of our community. Having worked on the Albany Historic Carousel project for many years, I realize what our Albany community can accomplish if the opportunity is realized.
I offer my support to assist with making this community of neighbors in a tiny house village happen in Albany.
–Gary Goby, MD
“We can begin by doing small things at the local level, like planting community gardens, or looking out for our neighbors. That is how change takes place in living systems, not from above but from within, from many local actions occurring simultaneously.”
—Grace Lee Bogs
A community garden brings so many rewards. It provides fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables to the neighborhood, encourages people to share food, chores and recipes; it mitigates against waste since people will compost their peelings and other organic matter. Gardening offers very healthful exercise which, on a sunny day, can boost the morale and excite the senses. The beauty of a garden in bloom brings universal delight.
These are the reasons that Hub City Village will have its own Community Garden. Residents will tend their garden, take root in the Village and look forward to a future harvest of hope and financial stability.
Below, two farm to fork (or sunshine to spoon) recipes from our friends at Sybaris Bistro in Albany, and from Gathering Together Farm in Philomath to celebrate the season.
- 2 cups berries of the moment
- 1c sour cream
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 1 T cinnamon
Directions: Preheat broiler. Put berries in a suitable gratin dish or casserole. Combine sour cream, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dollop cream mixture over the berries and lightly spread to cover. Broil until bubbly. Serve on pound cake or angel food cake.
GATHERING TOGETHER FARM’S LACINATO KALE AND ROASTED BUTTERCUP SQUASH SALAD
- 4 cups butternut squash, peeled and carefully cubed
- 1 Tbsp high heat oil (avocado, coconut, safflower, etc)
- 1 bunch Lacinto black kale, roughly chopped
- ½ cup of nuts (dry toast for extra flavor)
- 1 apple, chopped into small chunks
- ¾ cup pomegranate seeds
- Shaved cheese of your choice (parmesan, sharp cheddar)
- Salt and pepper to taste; drizzle of olive oil
- Dressing of your choice, homemade or bought
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; line a baking sheet with parchment paper. To the pan, add butternut squash cubes, high heat oil and salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 45 minutes stirring halfway through. Once done, set aside to cool.
Add chopped kale to a large bowl. Sprinkle salt and drizzle olive oil. Massage with hands for 2-3 minutes to soften and flavor the kale.
Add the apple, roasted butternut squash and nuts.
Add salad dressing and toss. Gentle mix in the pomegranate seeds and serve.
Fasten your seatbelts for a first class flight through history with the 10th Anniversary edition of Come Fly With Us! A Global History of the Airline Hostess by Johanna Omelia and Michael Waldock.
Come Fly chronicles the history of attendants from the profession’s inception in 1930, when the first stewardesses were registered nurses whose duties included fixing loose chairs, discussing meteorology, swatting flies, and carrying a railroad timetable for stranded passengers. By the 1940s, stewardesses were released to the war effort to do their patriotic duty, and by the 1950s, they were viewed as wives in training as adept at mixing a baby’s bottle as mixing a martini.
The Swinging Sixties and early Seventies saw female flight attendants used as marketing tools to lure male business passengers aloft. Some were dressed in micro-minis, go-go boots and wore buttons that read “Pure, Sober, Available.” Some did an airborne striptease.
From the no-frills airlines of the 1980s to Asian carriers who name and bless each plane, to the dynamic new players of the new millennium, Come Fly With Us! celebrates the face of the airlines, the flight attendants who are the first to greet us and the last to leave us in an emergency.
Get a birdhouse–or a flock of them!—to help Creating Housing Coalition build Hub City Village in Albany for unhoused, low-income individuals. Each birdhouse is unique; each was lovingly made by CHC Board Member Bill Root.
Like birds of a feather, we’re all in it together!
Imagine a fine piece of handcrafted furniture made to your specifications by a gifted traditional craftsman. Dr.Gary Goby of Goby Walnut Products will create that one of a kind item–hutch, table, desk, etc.–based on your vision, and 100 percent of the commission you pay will go directly to Creating Housing Coalition (CHC).
Dr Goby uses traditional woodworking tools and techniques to design unique pieces in walnut; he is known for the meticulous quality of his work and the clean lines of his contemporary styles in walnut or other hard woods. Price on custom pieces will vary dependent upon size and intricacy. Items will be made to specification after a proposal is accepted. In Oregon, Goby Walnut Products can deliver from Portland to Eugene.
Creating Housing Coalition’s mission is to build safe, community supported, self-governing housing that honors dignity and growth.Read more about us at: creatinghousing.org