Letters to the Editor

Shelter Fact Clarification

Concerning last week’s letter from Catherine Mater, I would like to correct a few facts about the Corvallis Men’s Shelter. This year’s location of the Shelter may become permanent, but is currently operating under a temporary use permit, and a short-term lease through the end of the 2018-2019 season. Discussions about the future of the Shelter and any potential co-located operations are pending, but agreements are not certain. Funding for shelter operations next year are currently unresolved.

The Shelter operates with the same bathrooms and laundry as before, no facilities have been added. There is one shower and two toilets, as built by the previous building owner in 2017. There is no “dedicated laundry center for client use”—the laundry generated by 50 beds, multiple nightly showers, and housekeeping barely leaves room for a few emergency laundry loads to cover those clients in the worst condition.

Permanent access to running water, bathrooms, laundry, and shower facilities in a safe place is something we all need to thrive, and is still lacking for too many experiencing homelessness in our community. Creating long-term solutions will require the efforts of many—the 50+ Catherine Mater rightly acknowledges, and the many more volunteers and donors who give their time and financial support to shelter services of all kinds in Corvallis.

— Shawn Collins, Program Manager, Housing Opportunities Action Council

 Co-op Clarifies, Also

In a recent Advocate publication, there was a letter to the editor that included statements about First Alternative (FA) and the Corvallis men’s emergency cold weather shelter. In this letter to the editor are statements such as “… the cold weather men’s shelter now has a permanent home on South Third Street …” referring to its current temporary location; and “… at some point in the not too distant future when the adjacent Third Street First Alternative Co-op expands to another southtown location (as is currently planned), …” 

The understanding FA Management and the Board have through conversations with the shelter operators and others involved with the shelter siting is that this location is temporary due to both facility and land use zoning limitations. As to the statement that the Co-op has current plans to expand to another location, this is incorrect.

As other Directors have reported to FA Owners in previous published Co-op “Scoop” articles, for the past couple years the Board has been discussing several ideas on how we can better serve the south part of our community, but no decision has been made yet. To say the FA has current plans to expand or otherwise make any significant change to the south store is incorrect. As the Board and Management continue to consider ways to improve service to our community, if one of those ways is to expand, relocate, rebuild, a major remodel, add a store, etc., we would only do it after developing an inclusive process involving our cooperative’s owners and community members.

— Cindee Lolik, General Manager,
First Alternative Co-op

— Jim Mitchell, Board President,
First Alternative Co-op

Letters to the Editor can be emailed or snail mailed, and should be under 200 words. We reserve the right edit for brevity and clarity, or to refuse publication.