Caring in the Community

Central members express their caring in our community in the following ways:

The Koinonia Center Campus Ministry. Central Presbyterian Church has been involved with this outreach to college students at the corner of 14th and Kincaid since its inception in 1926. Students, faculty, and staff of the University of Oregon and Lane Community College are part of our congregation. We are located in the West University neighborhood and are surrounded by students who live off campus. We see this outreach as fundamental to our ministry here in Eugene. Several members of the church serve on the board of this ministry and the church provides financial support as well as volunteer hours.

Habitat for Humanity. Central Presbyterian Church has helped to build eight Habitat Houses in the local community, two of them on our own.  The most recent Habitat house was completed in April, 2016 and was an interfaith build with Temple Beth Israel, First Congregational, and Central Lutheran Church.

The Dining Room is a project of Food for Lane County.  Volunteers from Central cook, serve, and clean up once a month.

Interfaith Family Shelter is a consortium of more than 30 faith communities offering night shelter, food, recreational activities, and comfort to as many as 10 homeless families per night throughout the school year. Congregational hosts sign up for one to two weeks each year. More than 1,500 volunteers make this outreach possible!  Each family is required to work on a weekly basis with First Place’s Night Shelter case manager to make and follow an Exit Plan designed to get them back on their feet and functioning again as a contributing member of the community.

Egan Warming Center. The Eugene-Springfield community provides emergency shelter for people who are homeless on nights when temperatures fall below freezing.  We have served as host for the center (but not currently) and continue to provide volunteers to serve at Egan Warming Center sites.

That’s My Farmer is a coalition of churches and others who support Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).  Members of the congregation buy shares in a local farm, and fresh produce is delivered during the harvest season. Some people from Central have served on the steering committee and as distribution sites

FISH. The congregation supports this food, medicine, and propane distribution service for those who have emergency needs.  A member of the church is the President and many members of the church serve as volunteers, answering phones, and distributing resources.

Cesar Chavez Elementary is our adopted school.  Volunteers sign up to eat lunch with students who need adult friends.  The church regularly helps the school and staff obtain resources needed to enhance the learning experience of the community.  In the past we provided supplies such as a smart board, materials for a school community garden, books on peacemaking, and a digital projector and screen. Every year we host a teacher appreciation event and supply the snacks to let teachers know how much they are valued.

Food for Lane County is a nonprofit food bank founded in 1984 and dedicated to eliminating hunger by creating access to food. They accomplish this by soliciting, collecting, rescuing, growing, preparing, and packaging food for distribution through a network of more than 150 social service agencies and programs; through public awareness, education, and community advocacy; and through programs designed to improve the ability of low-income individuals to maintain an adequate supply of wholesome, nutritious food. These programs include emergency food boxes, shelters, meal sites, rehabilitation facilities, nutrition education, gleaning and community gardens. Food for Lane County serves a diverse population of people living on limited incomes including children, families, seniors and single adults.

Centro Latino Americano is a bilingual, multicultural agency dedicated to the empowerment of the Latino community of Lane County by offering social services and access to community resources and advocating for fair treatment. Their vision is one in which the Latino community participates fully in the social, economic, and civic life of our country. Through opportunity and hard work, immigrants realize their own dreams, making it possible to give back to the larger community they now call home. Centro Latino Americano advocates for equity and integration of all Latinos in our society.

SMART Program. Since 1992, SMART (Start Making a Reader Today) has been pairing caring, adult volunteers with children in Oregon who need reading support and books to take home and keep. SMART volunteers read one-on-one with students weekly during the school year, modeling a love of reading and building children’s reading skills and self-confidence in a positive, child-driven environment.

Rainbow Village Apartments in Springfield is an affordable housing development that Central Presbyterian, along with other local Presbyterian churches, developed to meet the needs of low-income citizens in the Eugene-Springfield area.  It offers inviting one, two, three and four-bedroom apartment homes. The homes boast expansive floor plan layouts and closet space, including private patios and large picture windows. Rainbow Village is walking distance to Fred Meyer, Hamlin Sports Complex, and nearby schools and is a pet-friendly community close to several walking trails and parks.

White Bird Clinic. In 1969, a group of medical workers, university graduate students, energetic counter-culture and other concerned citizens gathered to explore ways to respond to some of the fallout of the 1960’s, which included a growing number of youth and young adults who felt alienated and disenfranchised from mainstream systems. Many were runaways and living on the streets and were not likely to access the usual services available despite their needs –medical and mental health, legal, and substance use problems.  White Bird incorporated as a nonprofit agency in 1970 as a nonprofit agency, “a collective environment organized to enable people to gain control of their social, emotional, and physical well-being through direct service, education, and community.”

SquareOne Villages is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create self-managed communities of cost-effective tiny homes for people in need of housing.  Its first project, Opportunity Village Eugene, has been open for three years providing transitional housing for people who are homeless.

Currently it is building its second village, Emerald Village Eugene, which will be a cooperative village of permanent tiny houses for people with very low incomes. Two people from Central serve as officers on the Board and many others have volunteered in building projects.