Low-Income & Community Survival Resources

Corvallis is an expensive place to live. Homes cost more on average to buy than they do in similar areas — in fact, the median home cost as of last month was $464,750, with a cost of living rating that is 12.8 points higher than an average American town. 

Despite the ever-increasing cost of living in Corvallis, there are a massive number of public resources available to those in need ranging from food, utility and rent assistance, to public transportation and medical aid. 

Regardless of whether you personally need them, the below listed resources will certainly help those who do so be a good neighbor and make a mental note. 

Benton Habitat for Humanity (BHH) 

A local affiliate of the international 501(c)(3) nonprofit Habitat for Humanity International, BHH provides home repairs and even builds homes for those who qualify. For more information on whether you might qualify, go here. 

Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV) 

For those suffering from domestic violence, sexual assault, or the trauma that accompanies these, CARDV is a wonderful resource. They offer support groups, crisis response, advocacy, and a 24-hour crisis and support line at 541-754-0110.  

If you are in need of this resource, be wary of visiting the site directly. CARDV’s website warns that: “Your internet activity can be tracked. If the person who is harming you has access to your computer and/or router use a trusted friend’s computer or phone or a computer at the library. Use the ‘Safety Exit’ link at the bottom of this page to get out of this site. If you need immediate assistance, call 911.” 

Community Outreach, Inc. (COI) 

COI has been a mainstay in the Mid-Willamette Valley since 1971. They provide housing for those without, affordable medical and dental care, behavioral health counseling, outpatient drug and alcohol treatment, and child care.  

Community Services Consortium (CSC) 

One of over 1,000 anti-poverty agencies across the country, CSC focuses on connecting people in need with whatever resources they need.  

They provide food, safe and affordable housing, jobs and financial assistance, and education or training to members of Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties. For more information, you can click the links above to access guides for their large group of available resources.  

The Director of CSC sat down with us to talk about their services in more detail. Watch the video here. 

Corvallis Housing First (CHF) 

CHF provides housing and other services for the homeless community in Corvallis. They operate under the belief that all humans deserve a safe place to sleep and live — more than just a roof over their head.  

They focus on helping people find and keep a stable home with counseling, case management, crisis intervention and short-term stabilization, as well as screening and assessment. If you’d like to offer your time, there are several options that you can find more information on right here, including internships, street outreach, mentoring, and various specialized projects. 

Corvallis Transit System 

CTS and Night Owl buses are fareless for Corvallis residents. This is paid for by a fee placed on utilities provided by the city. For single-family residents, the fee is $2.75 per month, while the fee for multi-family residents is $1.90 per housing unit, per month. For more information on what this fee is, how city buses work, and more, check out this PDF from the city. 

Jackson Street Youth Services 

This is a resource for houseless or endangered youths. Jackson Street Youth Services offers two shelters in Corvallis and Albany that are available 24/7.   

They offer resources for youths from the ages of 10-24 on a broad spectrum, including: 

  • Safe spaces to live with 24-hour supervision; 
  • Medical care and service referrals; 
  • Mental health counseling; 
  • Instructional workshops on budgeting, cooking, and acquiring housing; 
  • Food; 
  • Hygiene products; and, 
  • Clothing and shoes.

And that’s not all — the list of services they provide is impressive and a vital resource to the community. 

Love, Inc. 

Regardless of the struggles you’re currently facing, Love, Inc. is a collection of local churches that provides a large number of no-cost resources to those in Benton county. These resources include: 

  • Dental referrals; 
  • Medical equipment; 
  • Firewood; 
  • Kitchen items; 
  • Linens; 
  • Laundry services; 
  • Personal hygiene items; 
  • Preschool clothing; and, 
  • Newborn items such as diapers and baby food.

To get help through Love, Inc., reach out and call them at 541757-8111 to get help filling out their intake forms. 

Oregon Law Help 

If you’re struggling to find affordable legal aid or information, this is one of the many resources available.  

Stone Soup Corvallis (SSC) 

SSC is a 501c(3) nonprofit volunteer group that provides one full meal per day to anyone in need. Founded in 1982, SSC began as a small community service program from St. Mary’s Catholic Church which eventually grew to four locations. They are allowing to-go meals at the moment due to COVID-19 and require no identification or qualifications to get a meal. 

SSC can be found at the following locations: 

St. Mary’s Catholic Church Parish Center, located at 501 NW 25th St, Corvallis, OR 

  • Open Mondays and Thursdays from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. 
  • Open Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

First Christian Church, located at 602 SW Madison, Corvallis, OR 

  • Open on Tuesdays and Sundays from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. 
  • Open Saturdays from 10 – 11 a.m.

Hygiene Center, 211 SE Chapman Pl, Corvallis, OR 

  • Open Mondays and Thursdays from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. 
  • Open Wednesdays and Fridays from 12:45 – 1:45 p.m.

South Corvallis Food Bank. 1800 SW Third St., Suite 110, Corvallis OR 

  • Open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:15 – 6:15 p.m. 
  • Open Saturdays from 10 – 11 a.m.

Like many of the groups on this list, SSC is open to both volunteers and donations. If you’d like to give your time or money to help out, you can find more information here. Currently, SSC is not taking food donations.  

Unity Shelter 

Unity Shelter is the umbrella organization that covers multiple shelters in the area.   

The Mens Shelter provides temporary overnight shelter with a full meal, a shower, and a safe place to sleep for men in need. They also work to provide basic needs and assistance in finding a stable housing situation for those they shelter. 

SafePlace provides transitional housing in or near the parking areas of local churches and faith-based organizations. They assist couples, individuals, and families in need of housing with a safe transitional place to sleep in microshelters or a place to pitch a tent. 

Room at the Inn provides emergency cold weather shelter for women and children in need for a place to sleep safely overnight. They are open from Nov. 1 through March 31 for women 18 years or older. You can get a shower, food, and a bed, as well as a safe place to relax. It is located in the Community Center of the First United Methodist Church on 12th and Jackson. 

Vina Moses Center 

The Vina Moses Center is a charitable organization that aims to help build their community’s wellbeing and strength through several means: 

  • A free thrift store where those in need can shop once per month for clothing, household basics, food, books, and much more. 
  • Emergency financial assistance for those in urgent situations. This includes rent and utility assistance, as well as paying for necessary prescriptions. 
  • A back to school program for K-12 students that need backpacks, clothes, shoes, water bottles, and more. 
  • The Giving Tree program allows families to get food for children, as well as gifts for the holidays for seniors. 
  • Clothing Closets in communities with difficulty reaching the thrift store. 
  • Outdoor pantries for people to donate or get free non-perishable foods. 
  • Layettes for expecting parents. 

The Vina Moses Center is open on Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and takes donations and volunteers. Any goods that can’t be used in the thrift store are repurposed and recycled. If you’d like to donate and are curious as to what cannot be taken, or what is regularly needed, click here for a list of needs. 

If you’re in need, don’t hesitate to reach out to these organizations — they’re here specifically to help and there’s no shame in asking for it. Because after all, that’s what a community is — the promise that we aren’t in this alone.  

By Ethan Hauck