Nonprofit Niche: Congregations Helping People

Name: Congregations Helping People (CHP)

Year established: 2006

Mission: CHP serves people in danger of becoming homeless and those who need immediate support. It receives support from the federal government (CDBG), local government (city of Salem General funds), United Way, Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund and our 15 local church partners.

We concentrate on those who have experienced a short-term crisis that requires one-time help such as recent unemployment, illness, domestic violence, re-entry expenses and local transportation needs. Aid is provided, upon verification of need, frequently within 24 hours. Rent, utility support, replacement identity documents, prescription needs and bus passes and gas vouchers are some of the categories of support.

CHP is open four days a week — 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Annual budget: $164,985.09

Board of directors: Roberta Moore, president; Sandy K. Booth, secretary; Kelly Freels, treasurer; Paul Parmley, statistician; Bill Sullivan; Diane Painter; Nancy Stempek; and the Rev. Dan Pitney

Number of paid staffers: 1

Number of volunteers: 7

Types of volunteers needed: CHP needs volunteers to help with client intake services. We welcome clients four days per week at First United Methodist Church on State Street, and we use two volunteers per day who help serve clients for three hours.

Key community partners: St. Vincent, Northwest Human Services, Salvation Army, Interfaith Hospitality Network, MCSO parole/probation

Annual fundraisers events: Our church partners hold fundraisers that benefit CHP i.e. First Congregational Dine Dance and Bid, and Keizer Christian Church Vacation Bible School — August 2014. First United Methodist Church Alternative Christmas Market is in December of each year.

Statement from chief executive: CHP began eight years ago as a way to combine the aid available through local church congregations into a central fund administered in a more effective and organized way.

Now, in 2014, it still holds to the mission of serving low-income individuals and families who are temporarily unable to meet their basic needs. Along the way, CHP has been able to serve more clients because of grants for support from agencies and federal and local government sources that increased our direct aid capability without increasing our overhead.

It is a simple model and although signs point to our economy improving, there are still many who have not yet benefited from the rebound. Volunteers are a great need for CHP as we always welcome those who will greet our clients, answer their questions and treat them with respect and dignity as together we search for answers to their crises.

Wish list: Full-size toothbrushes and toothpaste, small hotel-sized hygiene items, women’s hygiene products, books for children or color books (English Spanish), weekly or month bus passes, wooden children’s puzzles, snacks or cracker packs, juice boxes for children, scarves, hats and gloves.

Address: 600 State St., Salem, OR 97301

Phone: (503) 391-4365

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