South Salem
Second Annual Partner Celebration is a Hit For South Salem Connect PDF Print E-mail

Sue Hubbard with Our Savior?s Lutheran Church (from left), Paul Wilson with Unity of Salem, and Linda Dolor with Our Savior?s chat after the South Salem Connect partner celebration luncheon at IKE Box on January 15, 2014.

I accepted an invitation to the second annual South Salem Connect partner celebration luncheon at IKE Box on Jan. 15. I was pleased to see lots of familiar faces, many of whose names you’ve read here in past columns. Most of them volunteer for multiple causes, contributing to the reason Salem is ranked in the nation’s top 10 midsized cities for volunteerism.

Four programs were highlighted during the luncheon, each story taking the audience from a germ of an idea, to the realm of research and hard work, through the quest for support and on to the launch of a thriving program. This synopsis only scratches the surface of their philanthropic connections.

Before the presentations, we were treated to a vegetarian lentil soup made by Marion-Polk Food Share’s chef Steve Morton, pulled pork sandwiches from Adam’s Rib, and coleslaw and tasty mini cupcakes from Dot’s Cupcake Shop. Volunteer Danny Navarro assured us we’d enjoy our meal.


Pat Norman discussed the Just Walk! organization that supports community, safety, and health through neighborhood walks. She said she was representing “our poster child” — Barbara Gordon who, though in her 70s, hosts weekly walks around her Judson Middle School neighborhood. Gordon relayed to us through Norman that she knew few of her neighbors before Just Walk! The idea was welcomed in her area and “she now has the neighbors she’s always wanted.”

Marion County Homeless Count hosted by Church at the Park PDF Print E-mail

Community Action of Salem and its partners were some of the many agencies across the nation to participate in the annual Homeless Count on Jan. 30.

The input gained from this event will help agencies plan the best use of resources and design better programs to decrease the number of people who live with no permanent dwelling.

D.J. Vincent served as the count leader for the South Salem area. Volunteers met at the Oregon Jaycees building and were coached on how to find and approach interviewees.

Volunteers traveled in pairs, checking out large parking lots where, Vincent said, homeless people often park their vehicles, hoping to be invisible. Volunteers also found homeless folks camped in local parks, and all were invited to the Jaycees building. Inside where it was warmer, volunteers conducted interviews and offered them nourishing food and drinks.

Vincent greeted many of the interviewees by name as they trickled in throughout the morning. For many of those coming, the building was familiar territory.

About five years ago, Vincent and others had started Church in the Park, a collaboration of five area churches. There, they serve meals twice a week and deliver an encouraging spiritual message on Sundays.

I listened as volunteer Holly Krzyaniak interviewed a man and woman at a table. She led them through personal questions, asking where they live; how long they’d been homeless; and whether they had jobs, had mental illnesses, had abused alcohol or had been incarcerated. Candidly, the couple also shared their eating habits, their lack of health care and violence they’ve faced.

Each interviewee received a two-paged list of local resources that offer them choices toward the pathway out of homelessness.

Congratulations Emmaus Community Church! PDF Print E-mail

The number of CaN Centers is growing in Salem-Keizer.  Each of our 'CaN' Centers contracts with SLF for a three-year period.  At the end of the three years the church "graduates" to self-sufficiency.  At our February CaN meeting we had the opportunity to celebrate the graduation of Emmaus Community Church.  CaN Coordinator & Pastor DJ Vincent and his wife Gabi were able to join us for the celebration.  Emmaus reaches out to their neighborhood regularly through their after-school program at Leslie, Family Activity Night, and a partnership with Church in the Park.


Willamette Students Help give Jaycee Building an Upgrade! PDF Print E-mail

A total of 24 Willamette students met at the Jaycee building for a big day of work August 27th. The Jaycee Building is host to Church@ the Park where local South Salem churches and families share meals and friendship with the homeless of Cascade Gateway park.


The students worked with Lighting Rod DJ Vincent and other Church @ the Park leaders to paint, weed and clean the Jaycee building volunteering 60 hours!

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