How the Human Services Resource Center (HSRC) helped me

The summer of 2018 was a difficult time; I experienced severe food and housing insecurity. I was homeless and had to look through trash bins for cans/bottles to deposit in order to eat.

In July, I met with Miguel Arellano, the Basic Needs Navigator at the HSRC to talk about Emergency Housing. Unfortunately, this resource was unavailable during the summer. However, we brainstormed other solutions and he shared resources regarding housing insecurity with me. I ended up couch surfing at different friends houses. Miguel was very nice and committed to help me through this difficult time. He asked if I was experiencing food insecurity as well and informed me about SNAP benefits (food stamps). Not only did he help me apply for SNAP, which I now receive, but also put some money on my student ID card which allowed me to grab something to eat on campus so I could focus on my classes. All these resources and connections helped me more than words can describe.

I also met with Nicole Hindes, the Assistant Director of the HSRC who welcomed me and shared other resources the HSRC offers. She informed me of the shower students are able to use and set me up with a locker to store my belongings. This helped tremendously as it relieved me from carrying my stuff around and worrying my car would get broken into (as most of my belonging were in my car).

I think it is important for people to know what the Human Services Resource Center does and the resources it offers students experiencing any basic needs insecurities.

This is my story. This is how the HSRC and their staff helped me. They are incredible people! They make THE difference! They care. I will always remember the generous helping hand they offered me.

Submitted Anonymously by an HSRC student

Cherish your Perishables

Our primary supplier of fresh produce is LBFS. The fresh produced is ordered along with perishable goods. Once the delivery is made the fresh produce is inspected for rotten, squished and moldy produce. Then the quality approved produced is stored in the cooler present in the community kitchen.

HSRC cooler for fresh produce and other perishable items. The cooler is also used to store eggs, margarine and fresh milk. 

Produce for the People is the primary community partner we obtain fresh produce from in addition to the produce received by LBFS.  

Sometimes, HSRC staff goes out to different organizations when they have produce to donate.

The HSRC also has a garden which was built and maintained in partnership with the OSU Center for Civic Engagement. When the garden is in full production, we will harvest produce for pantries from there. When planting produce in the garden we usually conduct a survey with our patrons on what they would like to be planted in the garden.

The HSRC garden

For the Pantries, the produce is laid out in crates and trays almost 30 minutes before the start of the pantry and restocked from the cooler once it is low in quantity by our volunteers and staff members.

Get to know our staff: Arisa Larmay Barrientos

Name:  Arisa Larmay Barrientos

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

HSRC Job Title: Textbook Lending Program Assistant

Major: BS in Microbiology and BS in Nutrition

Minor: Chemistry

Career Aspirations: My career aspirations include going to medical school and becoming a doctor- specifically an Anesthesiologist. I want to educate and advocate for people who are not able to cover their healthcare expenses or have opted out of treatment because it was a financial burden.

Why did you want to work at the HSRC?  Last summer, I went through a difficult time. I was homeless, couch surfing with friends, would pick cans/bottles out of the trash and recycling to buy something to eat and didn’t know what was next. I ended up meeting with Miguel, our Basic Needs Navigator at the HSRC to talk about emergency housing and my life turned around. He connected me with resources to help me get out of the difficult time I was going through. When I heard the HSRC was hiring I knew I had to be a part of this team. It’s a wonderful feeling when you find out about a resource that improves your life. That’s what we do here.

What do you like to do in your free time? I like to dance and stay active. I also like helping others and giving back. Thus, I started a nonprofit called We Care & Can* with a mission to provide financial support to people who don’t have health insurance, their health insurance does not cover certain health related treatments or the large copays and high deductibles have left them with large healthcare bills.  We do this by collecting can/bottle donations. Donate your cans/bottles on campus to any of the following locations:

  • Ettihad Cultural Center- SEC 380
  • Science Success Center- Kidder 109
  • LSAMP Center- Waldo 123
  • Cesar Chavez Cultural Center
  • Women and Gender Center
  • Pride Center

What’s your favorite yummy and cheap meal? I really like cheerios with yogurt or carrots with hummus. You get a balance of proteins, carbs and fats.

Do you have any tips for students on how to save money? Use coupons or discounts. The Student Survival Kit has some great coupons! Sometimes the Memorial Union has extra so go ask at the informational desk. If you sign up for TOGOS you get $3 off. Check out OSU’s calendar free food events and @eatfreeOSU on Twitter or @hsrcosu on Instagram. Sign up for SNAP benefits, if you have questions feel free to contact us to set up a meeting at 541-737-3747.

What are your favorite things to do in Corvallis? I like to get a blended black tea with peach and passion fruit from Dutch and go to either of my two “secret” spots to clear my head, think and take a break from school.

 

*We Care & Can is in the process of becoming a registered 501(c)(3).

Get to Know Our Staff: Rosalie

Name: Rosalie Bernabe

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

HSRC Job Title: Food Pantry Assistant

Major/Minor: Psychology with French minor

Career Aspirations: My biggest goal is to start a charity to give scholarships/grants to students of color with mental illnesses. I also want to open a private practice and offer as many free services to low-income communities as possible. I want to travel and connect with people from different cultures and learn their languages/dialects.

Why did you want to work at the HSRC? I wanted to join the team of amazing people doing amazing things. This was a great opportunity for me to become more involved and learn about ways to help people gain access to necessary resources.

What do you like to do in your free time? I love dancing- if all else fails, I will become a dance instructor. I also enjoy writing, reading, snacking (a lot), watching movies, and hanging out with friends.

What’s your favorite yummy and cheap meal? Instant noodles are awesome. Also, the HSRC has a “Forgot your Lunch?” area and a twitter to keep up with free food events on campus @eatfreeOSU.

Do you have any tips for students on how to save money? Open a savings account, put money in it every paycheck, and tell yourself it isn’t yours. You could also put money in jars for specific events or goals. Having someone to hold you accountable (friends/family members) is also helpful, but it’s important to remember they won’t always be there to do so.

What are your favorite things to do in Corvallis? I love taking walks around campus and downtown; the scenery is just tooo good! Whenever we feel overwhelmed, my friends and I like to go on random adventures.

Recipe: Banana Pancakes

As college students we hardly have time to have breakfast. Having something to eat before starting the day keeps our energy up and makes it a little easier to go on with the day! For our cooking class we prepared easy breakfast recipes that you all can try. This recipe was adapted from Good and Cheap by Leanne Brown. We have several copies of the book, you are welcome to come check out the cookbook!

Banana Pancakes:

Serves 4 (Makes 10-15)                                                           

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

¼ cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon of salt

4 bananas

2 eggs

1.5 cups of milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Butter

Syrup for serving

  1. Combine the flour, brown sugar,baking powder,baking soda, and salt in a medium-size bowl. Mix thoroughly with a spoon.
  2. In another bowl, mash 2 of the bananas with a fork. Add the eggs,milk and vanilla, and mix well to combine.
  3. Add the dry mixture to the bananas, stirring with a spoon until everything just comes together. Tender pancakes come from not over mixing the batter.
  4. Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile slice the 2 remaining bananas.
  5. Turn the griddle to medium heat. Once its hot, melt a small amount of butter, about ½ teaspoon, in the skillet and ladle some pancake batter into the center of the pan.

Cook until it’s browned on both sides, about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side.

Serve hot with syrup plus the remaining banana slices.

Get to know our staff: Nav

Name: Navdeep Kaur

Pronouns: She/ Her/ Hers

HSRC Job Title: Textbook Lending Program Assistant

Major/Minor: Computer Science with my focus on Human Computer Interaction (HCI)

Career Aspirations: My career goal is to develop my own website that will offer various things to help the people in need. I also want to work with a company that will help me gain all the experience that I need to go out in the real world and work on my own.

Why did you want to work at the HSRC?

I wanted to work at the HSRC because I love helping others. When I first heard about the HSRC, I was so amazed by the work they do. Working at the HSRC means meeting new people, making connections and it gave me a chance to be an active part of the OSU community too.

What will we be working on this year?

I will focus on reaching out to more people about our textbook lending program and HSRC.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time I like to make some tea or coffee and watch Netflix. I also play badminton when I have time.

What’s your favorite yummy and cheap meal to make?

My favorite quick, yummy and cheap meal is egg sandwich. I just make an omelet and put it in toasted bread with mayonnaise and ketchup.

Do you have tips for students on how to save money?

My first tip would be to get involved with our HSRC. We have all different kinds of services that can help a student save a lot of money. My second tip would be to make food at home instead of going out to eat because I saved a lot of money when I stopped eating outside everyday.

What is your favorite thing to do in Corvallis?

Corvallis is all about nature. I love going to  the different parks . I like to walk around Downtown Corvallis too in the night.

Get to Know Our Staff : Asra Noor

Name: Asra Noor

 

Pronouns: She/ Her/ Hers

 

HSRC Job Title: Food Pantry Coordinator

Major/Minor: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a focus on Computational Molecular Biology

Career Aspirations: My career goal is to become a research scientist in pharmaceuticals .

Why did you want to work at the HSRC?

I wanted to work at the HSRC because I wanted to get more involved with the community. As an international student, I felt very limited in my connections with the OSU and the Corvallis community. Furthermore working here allows me to reach out to more people about the resources that the HSRC has and spread awareness. I think it can be really tricky to navigate life as a full time students and through the HSRC I get to provide support and guidance.

What will we be working on this year?

I will be working on organizing Food Pantries throughout the year. My goal is to make the Food Pantry a a very welcome place with enough resources to increasing number of patrons.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free-time I like to watch YouTube videos, go on walks, read and relax.

What’s your favorite yummy and cheap meal to make?

My go to cheap meal is Kimchi Ramen, it’s not very healthy but it is so good and it’s cheap!

Do you have tips for students on how to save money?

I think from my experience I have learned to meal prep, you will not realize how fast the money goes when you are eating meals out everyday! It makes a huge difference to your bank to not eat out everyday!

 

What is your favorite thing to do in Corvallis?

I really enjoy going to different parks with my cat and friends and taking evening walks.

Job Posting: Food Security Programs Coordinator

 

Colorful berries are in green berry baskets
In the summer and fall months, fresh produce is an important part of our food security efforts – and will likely be so for the coming years.

We are excited to announce that the Human Services Resource Center (HSRC) at Oregon State University is recruiting for a Food Security Programs Coordinator to increase capacity and support for the food security programs at the HSRC. Questions or inquiries about this posting should only be directed to Tara Sanders, search chair – Tara.sanders@oregonstate.edu

The Human Services Resource Center is currently seeking a full-time (1.0 FTE) Food Security Programs Coordinator at Oregon State University. This position will administer most of the HSRC’s food security programs, which currently include: a robust campus-based food pantry, outreach to students who may qualify for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, select social media accounts , and the HSRC’s cooking workshop series. The Food Security Programs Coordinator will supervise student staff and advise interns and short-term volunteers. The position will be responsible for maintaining both the general safety and food safety of the HSRC Kitchen and HSRC Food Pantry.

This position is part of the HSRC Leadership Team, guiding the strategic direction of the HSRC. The position is charged with building the HSRC’s capacity to provide resources, conduct outreach, and offer programming to students focused on food security. The bigger theme of this role is to cultivate a sense of abundance on campus that further connects and enriches our students’ experience at Oregon State University and their broader communities, particular in conversations about poverty, classism and economic opportunity.

For more details and to apply online, visit  https://jobs.oregonstate.edu/postings/73567

An archived PDF of the position posting can be found at this link: Food Security Programs Coordinator

Deadline for applications is April 04, 2019.

About the HSRC:

Approximately 10 years ago, a group of OSU students saw the need for additional support for the classmates they saw experiencing housing and food insecurities. These students formally proposed a Human Services Resource Center that would be a one-stop location where students could get their basic needs met. Today, a national leader in this work, the HSRC remains committed to centering the voices of students, empowering and engaging them in college retention solutions and helping students meet their academic goals despite the challenges of being under-resourced.  Essential services provided by the HSRC include the HSRC Food Pantry, the Textbook Lending Program, Food Assistance program, and Emergency Housing resources. The HSRC is part of the suite of programs supported by the Office of Student Life and is almost exclusively student-fee funded. Further information about the HSRC can be found on its website: http://studentlife.oregonstate.edu/hsrc

Get to Know Our Staff: Vicky

Name: Vicky Nguyen

Pronouns: She/ Her/ Hers

HSRC Job Title: Events and Programming Assistant

 

Major/Minor: Human Development and Family Sciences with a pre-nursing focus.

Career Aspirations: My career goal is to become a registered nurse. I would like to one day work with either pediatrics, neonatal, or adults in the ICU.

Why did you want to work at the HSRC? I wanted to work at the HSRC because I want to help students that were going through the same thing I am going through.  No one should feel like they have to skip a meal, not knowing where they are going to sleep, or whether they should continue their education because of the expenses. Working here allows me to reach out to more people about the resources that the HSRC has.

What will we be working on this year? I will be working on creating, as well as collaborating events with different clubs and organizations on campus. My goal to have meaningful events that will educate and promote what we do here at the HSRC.

What do you like to do in your free time? In my free time, I like to just relax with a face mask and watch puppy videos on YouTube!

What’s your favorite yummy and cheap meal to make? My go-to cheap meal is spring rolls with peanut sauce. It’s a quick, easily, AND healthy.

Do you have tips for students on how to save money? One thing that I would recommend is to not impulse buy. Really think through about whether or not you really need it or if that money could go towards something else. Another tip is to start a change jar. You’d be surprise about how fast it adds up!

What is your favorite thing to do in Corvallis? I really enjoy going to Benny’s Donut and trying trying their monthly flavors!

 

 

Emergency Housing Resources

Students facing homelessness and/or housing insecurity is not something well known. We at the HSRC are able to offer temporary housing on campus, but this is not a permanent fix. The purpose of this blog post is to educate about emergency housing resources in Corvallis.

Please call/email/visit us to chat more about any of these:

Jackson Street Next Steps Program

This program is a Transitional Living Program that is available to anyone 18 years of age until their 21st birthday. The locations are confidential. Participants are offered up to 18 months of services. This includes a bed, case management, skill building, financial support, mental health services, and community building. Upon entering a person is obligated to be pursuing either: Employment or Education. While living there, a person is asked to pay a flat rate or percentage of their monthly income as a form of “rent”. This “rent” gets stored in a savings account and when a person exits the program, they are given the amount back to help with costs of moving into a new place.

The program currently offers 8 beds (with plans for more in the very near future). When those beds are already occupied a person applying can opt to be placed on a waitlist. A requirement of this waitlist is to engage with an Outreach Case Manager and attend a weekly skills workshop. This is to potentially find an alternative solution to their situation, thus opening up a spot for someone else.

The application for this program can be found through the link provided. Applications can be submitted to the Corvallis House at 555 NW Jackson Avenue.

Community Outreach Inc.

This is the primary adult shelter in Benton County. It is located at 865 NW Reiman Avenue. They primarily provide services to families, women and children, and veterans. This includes housing, case management, guidance seeking employment, etc..

They have 70 beds available and are often at full occupancy, but a bed can become available at any minute. They do require sobriety.

Corvallis Housing First

Housing First is a national model for eliminating homelessness within a respective community. Corvallis offers two locations within the community that offer long term housing for those experiencing or at risk of chronic homelessness. The goal is to provide stability and structure for folks exiting the streets with the assistance of case management and accountability from a professional staff.

Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services

Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services is a private, nonprofit community development corporation committed to improving lives and strengthening communities through quality affordable housing, homeownership, economic opportunity, and community partnerships. They provide educational and financial services to secure your future. They are able to make referrals when necessary and help guide you through the process of finding stable housing.

Community Services ConsortiumHousing Programs

Community Services Consortium offers a variety of programs. In regards to housing they offer rental assistance and utilities assistance programs to help alleviate costs of living.

It is important to keep in mind that just because you are not in need of these resources, someone you know might be. So pay attention to those around you and refer anyone you hear is struggling with this issue, so we can begin to get them the help they need.