NEWSLETTER

APRIL 2021

CURRY COUNTY, OREGON

The Curr​y County CHIP Coalition is comprised of a diverse group of community members and partner organizations working across various sectors to improve the health of all the communities in Curry County, Oregon. We invite you to attend the next Coalition meeting.
 
The CHIP Coalition is made up of 7 Workgroups to address the 7 CHIP Focus Areas. This issue's Newsletter features the activities of these Workgroups:
COALITION NEWS:
The CHIP Coalition now has a Facebook Page!
Curry CHIP Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/Curry-CHIP-106336328222711/
 
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Access to Healthcare Workgroup

COVID Vaccine Rollout
 

Curry Health Network

Brookings - March 1, 2021

Gold Beach - March 6, 2021

St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Brookings approved to give COVID vaccines

Workgroup member Connie Hunter and Curry County Suicide Awareness and Prevention Council’s Veterans Task Group members Loren Farmer, nurse and Army Desert Storm combat medic, and his son Jason met with Father Bernie of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, to make sure that they had everything in order so that St. Timothy’s could be approved to provide vaccinations for people who are unhoused or Curry County’s Frontline service workers.

 

Many people that are unhoused or need to be going to work are very hesitant because community spread during tourism season is a situation that creates high risk. We saw that this is an unmet need for Curry County that should be addressed. Our county depends on tourism and our workers need to be protected.

 

The good news is that St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church has been approved because Loren, Jason and Father Bernie did all the training online that was needed to get this approval and worked through the kinks in operations. This will be a mobile unit that can go to workplaces and deliver vaccinations. 

 

We want to highlight that Saint Timothy’s and this Vaccine roll-out effort is the very first faith-based organization that has been approved by the Oregon Health Authority to give vaccinations.  History-making!

Resource Guide for Food resources available in Curry County
Our workgroup will develop a list of food resources for those who have food insecurities in Curry County to identify where there are gaps and how to fill those gaps to eliminate food insecurities in Curry County.
Making COVID-19 testing accessible
 

March 10, 2021 - Photos from the FREE COVID-19 Testing event demonstrating Community Partner bonds between Curry Homeless Coalition and Brookings-Harbor Homeless Task Force and others.

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Behavioral Health Workgroup

Art Kits for Veterans’ Kids

Linda Hinkle Patsfield Nelson (US Navy veteran and influencer at our local American Legion veteran-supportive nonprofit) donated art supplies and suggested recreational art as a very therapeutic way to cope with the many stresses during the Covid-19 pandemic. She was "paying it forward" to the community, as she was once supported as a housing-insecure single mother of two.

 

Our Curry County Suicide Awareness and Prevention Council’s Veterans Task Group added more art supplies and other snacks such as fresh fruit and popcorn. Task group members distributed kits during March for a total of 25 art kits to kids and 10 Adult self-care kits with teas (high in antioxidants for immune system boost and L-Theanine for stress relief), notebooks for journaling, and other supportive resource materials and items (meant to bring cheer during the COVID pandemic for families of veterans), such as minestrone soup and pizza from St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church.

The families were chosen because they were either justice-involved, domestic issues (including domestic violence) or housing-insecure or formerly homeless, and one family who serves the veterans community and the community-at-large who lost a client tragically.

One formerly homeless veteran’s family’s kids painted wooden cut outs with LED lights that say HOME on them. Connie Hunter spoke at Brookings City Council meeting regarding the relationship between homelessness and mental illness, and gave each City Councilor (and Father Bernie of St. Timothy’s) a one-of-a-kind gift  that will serve as a reminder that a hand up is sometimes all it takes. Thanks to the value statement of our Task Group—paying it forward—our veterans kids are paying forward the gift of art and empowerment. Other art kits contained greeting card stock and envelopes for making “thank you” cards for veterans!

My NeighbOR

My NeighbOR serves Oregon’s most vulnerable children by connecting goods and services from community members to foster families and youth in foster care. Providing radical love and support.

 

Sign up to learn how you can help in Curry County!

Learn more at: www.everychildoregon.org/myneighbor 

Every Child graphic, "Explore Fostering"
 
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Food and Nutrition Workgroup

Movie Night Snack Packs
 
We have recently begun providing circulating backpacks that contain 2 high interest DVDs paired by type (Pixar, Marvel, Anime, Classics, Documentary, etc.) and food for four people (frozen pizza, pretzels, fruit chips, and popcorn).  Twenty backpacks are circulated each week.  Patrons check out the backpacks, eat the food, watch the movies, and return the backpacks with the DVDs.  Fred Meyer has given us an extreme discount on the food for these backpacks and places special orders for us.  The Food Bank will help us pass out flyers letting people know about this new program.
Resource Guide for Food resources available in Curry County
Our workgroup will develop a list of food resources for those who have food insecurities in Curry County to identify where there are gaps and how to fill those gaps to eliminate food insecurities in Curry County.
 
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Workforce & Economic Development Workgroup

Project Transportation
With this grant we have been able to remove a barrier for job seekers. Many of these folks wanted to go to school to become a truck driver and the nearest schools are at least 2.5 hours away.
 
We were able to provide them with scholarships to cover Tuition and Fees, but they would need to provide their own travel to and from the schools. With these pre-paid gas cards we were able to remove that barrier for them. These were also provided to folks that needed to get to interviews and did not have the means to pay for gas themselves. In several cases that interview gave them a job and the gas cards continued to support them until they received the first paycheck.
Monthly meeting and info exchange on workforce development and support services; community health worker training
 
Our committee recognizes that "Workforce and Economic Development" involves a wide spectrum of overlapping needs and is most effectively addressed in partnership with appropriate specialists. We operate within the robust Curry County information exchange and resource sharing network established and managed by the Southwestern Oregon Workforce and Investment Board.  Through this monthly discussion, open to any interested public or private interests, we're able to learn of and explore opportunities for appropriate collaboration.
Educate & reduce poverty
Elizabeth, Advanced Health Advocate and Parent, preparing bags of black oil sunflower seeds to share with local foster families to promote healthy learning activities.
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Youth & Seniors Workgroup

Library Card Sign-ups for Brookings Harbor School District Students 
During the 2020-21 school year, the Chetco Library worked with the K School librarian and the Azalea Middle School English teachers to get all students signed up for Chetco Community Public Library Cards and to make youths and families aware of the public library's online services.
Tutoring & Enrichment Program
Children in care are receiving one-on-one academic support and after-school enrichment activities through the Every Child Tutoring & Enrichment Program. Families benefit from weekly respite care as children are involved in the two hour weekly program. Community members contribute valuable resources to this program as they share their skills and talents with the children.
Summer Youth Activity Bags
We distributed weekly youth activity bags during the summer to youths and families through social service providers reaching homeless services, people experiencing economic and food insecurity, day cares, preschools, and others. 
 
People came weekly with great anticipation, smiles, and eagerness to collect their activity bags.  We received letters, social media comments, and many in-person expressions of appreciation for the joy these activity bags brought families during the otherwise depressing, economically uncertain, and isolated time of COVID pandemic hardships.
School-Wide Read 
This program was very successful, reaching a wide swath of the Brookings Harbor School District population in the late spring of 2020 when students were experiencing a great deal of isolation anxiety over having their school year cut short and not being able to interact normally in their familiar school setting. 
 
Working with a few of the BHSD teachers and school librarians, the Chetco Library distributed about 500 high interest books to students and teachers. Kids could choose whichever of the books they preferred, but most teens chose to receive "Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" by Suzanne Collins, most kids ages 8 to 12 chose "New Kid" by Jerry Craft, and most of the youngest children choose "Sparkly New Friends" by Heather Burnell.  We then assigned the kids to small discussion groups and held online discussion sessions over the course of three weeks. 
 
It was a very popular program among the many youths and families who participated. It was also very gratifying to those of us who organized and implemented the program to know that we were doing something positive for the kids.  The books "New Kid" and "Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" both dealt with very relevant social issues.  So the discussion sessions were absolutely fascinating!
Grab & Gos
The Grab & Go project was the result of needing something for the community to feel connected. Parents and kids alike were elated at the kits, and looked forward to Wednesdays at 1:00 pm!
 
These kits contained crafts, art, science, nature, and learning projects for grades K-2, 3-5, and Middle School. It not only gave something for families and kids to look forward to, but it helped make sure that while the library was not open, we were still working hard for the families of Gold Beach.
Grab n go bags
Technology for HIVE Program Students
The HIVE (Hybrid In-Person Virtual Learning) Program was created out of the need for supervision and internet access for families within the Central Curry School District. ASCEND program director Karlie Wright, Library Director Jeremy Skinner, and Superintendent Tim Wilson worked tirelessly to get the program up and running in about two weeks. Additional funding was secured, a facility was set up, staff hired and trained, to be able to have 45 students attend. Within about 7 days we realized there was going to be a device shortage from the district. The library was able to repurpose some of the computers they had, but we were still short about 6-7 devices. We wanted to make sure the devices would be compatible with the online platforms and to use just beyond the HIVE. 

Between a generous grant from AllCare and the Gold Beach Rotary foundation an additional 6 devices were purchased. This ensured all students had the access they needed when school began on September 14th.We could not have done it without all of our community partners and their support. 

 

The HIVE Program ended in January and the computers are now split between a Riley Creek location and the Gold Beach High School for our modified after-school program which allows students who need internet access, additional support, or just a quiet place to do their asynchronous learning during hybrid scheduling.

Trauma Informed School Systems - Student Support Specialists (SSS)

Beginning in early 2020, the South Coast Educational Service District (SCESD) has been collaborating with the University of Oregon’s Oregon Research Schools Network (ORSN) to help build a sustainable research practice partnership across the south coast, helping local schools to improve their trauma-informed practices. The ORSN has partnered with Dr. Jeff Todahl from University of Oregon’s Center for the Prevention of Abuse and Neglect (CPAN) to contribute his expertise around trauma and healing. This collaborative has been working with south coast school districts since September, 2020 and is helping train and support approximately 50 Student Support Specialists who are supporting students across the entire SCESD region - in every school in all ten districts.  These Student Support Specialists were engaged through the support of grantors - including the Curry and Coos County CHIPs and the Oregon legislature’s Student Success Act, as part of the state’s grow-your-own educator model, recognizing a shortage of available school counselors and mental health providers in the three south coast counties the SCESD serves.

This partnership is also piloting a new program, working directly with local area districts and schools, including Central Curry and Coquille School Districts, Sunset School, North Bay Elementary, and Hillcrest Elementary. The program will help develop trauma-informed school systems that will be integrated school-wide, looking to improve upon existing classroom practices, discipline systems, and administrative policies. This pilot project focuses on building sustainable partnerships with school leadership to facilitate their own growth and progress towards creating unified trauma-informed school systems to better help students heal and stay on track towards academic success.

These efforts will help foster learning and the social-emotional development of students impacted by these programs, and will ultimately benefit south coast families and communities for years to come.

 

For more information on this partnership please contact Dawn Granger.