Crowdfunding for Homeless Through COI

By Bethany Carlson

HandUpCommunity Outreach, Inc. is partnering with HandUp, a San Francisco-based crowdfunding company, to help the homeless. HandUp is a website which allows community members to view the profiles of local people in need and provide donations. COI currently has four people listed on HandUp, who are requesting funding for education, transportation, and other needs.

Donations made on HandUp will be redeemed through COI. HandUp’s website states that the company was started in 2013 as a response to San Francisco’s homelessness. The company doesn’t charge partner organizations like COI. People sign up for help through a partner organization, and 100% of donations go to the homeless person in need.

Kari Whitacre, executive director of COI, says that in the first month their four clients have received $1,240 in donations. Three of the clients are single moms, and one is a middle-aged man who’s seeking funding for a set of dentures. An update last week from Danny, who’s worked as an auto mechanic and grew up in Corvallis, reads, “I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your support has given me the drive and motivation to move forward with my goal. I have an initial denture examination already scheduled for November! Your contributions give me a new hope, which is the greatest gift of all.”

Shawn and Tara, both single moms with three children, are raising money for licensing and education: Tara to become a certified nursing assistant, and Shawn to renew her cosmetology license. Part of Tara’s profile reads, “I found Community Outreach though a friend, and this place provides me a place to stay with my children, while utilizing every resource in Corvallis to get myself on my feet permanently.”

More information is available and donations can be made at