Corvallis daytime drop-in center finds temporary home

Volunteer Executive Director Aleita Hass-Halcombe said the center was previously offering daytime services on a site on SW Second Street in downtown Corvallis.

Posted: Oct 16, 2018 5:22 PM
Updated: Oct 16, 2018 6:31 PM

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- A daytime drop-in center that provides services in the Corvallis community has a temporary home at the First United Methodist Church after its previous location received pushback.

RELATED: Proposed homeless shelter location stirs controversy in Corvallis

Volunteer Executive Director Aleita Hass-Halcombe said the center was previously offering daytime services on a site on SW Second Street in downtown Corvallis, but she said pushback from community members led to the center's relocation.

Hass-Halcombe said the center has been "couch surfing" for months trying to find a home.

She said the controversial SW Second Street location was a "dream location" for the shelter, but "power," "privilege," and "concerns over not in my backyard in the downtown area," are reasons she believes the center was ousted.

It's only been two days since they reopened the center at the First United Methodist Church, and Hass-Halcombe said they're making the best of it.

"When people and organizations work together with people who are in need, that's solidarity, and that's what makes change happen," she said.

She said the key is putting people first.

Dwight Parish, one man at the center, said Hass-Halcombe definitely does that by making the center feel like home.

"She has great inspiration," Parish said. "She's helped people in different places where they need to be and give them different rides to different locations, doctors appointments and things like that they need to get to and she's a really great source of this operation."

Hass-Halcombe said the center offers a variety of services to people in need.

"We see Good Samaritan Hospital and the Benton County Health navigators come two days a week in the mornings," she said. "We have the Veteran's Association come two times a month."

She said the list of services doesn't stop there. 

Hass-Halcombe said there is also a massage therapist and a counselor certified in drugs and alcohol assistance. The massage therapist comes once a week. She also said the center collaborates with the Benton County Mental Health Department and programs they offer.

She said the center receives about $3,000 in grants per month from churches and community members.

There are plans for a permanent location for the drop-in center, according to Hass-Halcombe. She did not disclose where the location would be.

Patrick Rollens, a spokesperson with the city of Corvallis, said this year's men's cold weather shelter is set to be located at the old Hanson Tire Factory Shop on Southeast Chapman Place.

To learn more about the drop-in center, click here.

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