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Luke 14:12-14

12Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

a banquet of love & acceptance for those who need it most
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Church at the Park (C@P) is a non-profit organization located in Salem, Oregon.

Since 2007, C@P has been creating a table of love and acceptance for those who need it most and empowering people to change their lives and exit poverty by providing vital low barrier shelter and employment services. C@P seeks the mutual transformation of unsheltered people, our staff, and our volunteers through relationships, agency partnerships, and tangible resources.   

To date, C@P has focused on providing three things for our unsheltered neighbors: collaborative outreach and navigation, housing-focused sheltering, and workforce development; C@P is now working toward a fourth focus of supported permanent housing, which will help us to be even more successful at achieving our other three aims.

Collaborative Outreach & Navigation is provided through an Outreach Team and Case Management Team.  These teams connect with people living in encampments and in vehicles to provide tangible resources to people, like food and tents, and to connect them to other necessary services, such as housing and medical care.

 

Housing-Focused Sheltering  Low-barrier sheltering is provided through non-congregate communities where we offer emergency housing for people of all ages, regardless of race, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, sobriety, or mental health. We allow people to remain with pets, partners, and property, which helps to remove a barrier that would often preclude them from seeking shelter or services elsewhere. C@P works alongside guests to exit shelter into more stable housing.
 

Workforce Development is provided through intentional hiring practices that reduce barriers to employment as well as programs that employ individuals with lived experience of homelessness.  In 2025 we will open our training kitchen at the Young Adult Shelter to provide food service training and jobs.

Supportive Housing C@P is expanding our focus to include the provision of supported permanent housing. This focus allows us to maintain relationships with people exiting our shelters into permanent housing to ensure they remain stably housed. Additionally, C@P has a strategic plan to own and/ operate Permanent Supportive Housing projects for formerly homeless individuals. Healthy relationships and supportive communities are significant needs in helping people achieve stability and our goal is to develop supportive housing projects that meet those needs.

MISSION + VALUES

To create a table of love and acceptance for those who need it most.

Luke 14:12-14

12Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

See People + Build Relationship
Listen Well
Practice Non-Violence + Peacemaking
Practice Servanthood

How we put our values into practice
5 TRAINING PRIORITIES
Non-Violent Communication

NVC gives staff tools for clearer communication through a framework for understanding others’ feelings, needs, and requests.

OUR TEAM

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Josh

[ he / him / his ]

Pastor & Chief
Operations Officer

Josh has served youth and families through providing after school opportunities, workforce development and safe family environments across the state.  Seeing the unsheltered individuals in our city has motivated him to develop new dignifying, low barrier jobs, and shelters. Reach out to Josh for more about our shelter sites and job opportunities.

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DJ

[ he / him / his ]

Founding Pastor &
Chief Executive Officer

Overseer of a beautiful mess.  Champion for the vision, partnerships and training of leaders who seek mutual transformations.  DJ seeks to develop new leaders, partnerships and resources to free those experiencing homelessness from the bondage of scarcity and invite everyone into a community of abundance.

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Sam

[ she / her / hers ]

Housing & Chief
Development Officer

After growing up in Salem and obtaining her MSW at Eastern Washington University, Sam spent 10 years in Spokane developing programs to support people experiencing homelessness. She recently moved back to Oregon with her family and is supporting our case management, outreach, grants and business management teams.

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John

[ he / him / his ]

Pastor of Community Development

As a Salem native, John finds deep reward in serving our city and inviting all our neighbors to imagine an environment of belonging rooted in kinship and radical mutuality. In his role with Church@thePark, he supports staff development, community partnerships, and outreach initiatives. 

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Sterling

[ he / him / his ]

Storyteller &
Spiritual Care

Sterling, a University of Oregon graduate with over 15 years experience in Peace Building among marginalized groups, is a Year 2019 Oregon Literary Arts Fellow, year 2020 PEN America Writing for Justice Fellow and an award winning author who believes storytelling is the most beautiful way to dissolve stigma and raise empathy.

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Cory

[ he / him / his ]

Communications Curator & Associate Pastor

Cory's role at C@P is to care for people and care for words as a pastoral presence for guests and staff and as a writer.  He previously worked as a pastor, teacher, and as a manager for a treatment court program and a program for adjudicated youth.

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Andy

[ he / him / his ]

Finance Director

Andy has been involved in faith-based ministries since his days at the University of Oregon, and has spent 30 years working in student ministries.  He and his family recently moved to Salem and Andy is looking forward to bringing a mindset of service and stewardship to his role in helping Church@thePark serve and care for unsheltered neighbors in our city.

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Melissa

[ she / her / hers ]

Human Resources
Director

Melissa grew up in the Willamette Valley and earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Willamette University.  She spent many years working with domestic violence survivors before starting a family and being a stay at home mom and teaching piano lessons.  After returning to work, she found her passion in HR and is excited to be working with Church@thePark.  Melissa values caring and advocating for our employees who work so diligently to serve our participants and community.

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Krystal

[ she / her / hers ]

Executive Assistant &
Development Specialist

Krystal is a graduate of Portland State University, where she earned her bachelors degree in Communication Studies. Offering administrative support for our teams and projects, Krystal enjoys building meaningful relationships with those around her and is passionate about helping Church@thePark serve our unhoused neighbors.

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Helena

[ she / her / hers ]

Grants & Systems
Manager

After graduating from Corban University in 2018, Helena hopped into the Salem non-profit sector in human resources, gaining her HR SHRM-CP certification in 2021. Fueled by the desire to create compassionate and inclusive spaces for those unsheltered in our city, Helena joined the C@P team in early 2022. Helena is passionate about caring for Church@thePark's employees well, many of which are those we serve.   

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Maria

[ she / her / hers ]

Shelter Director

Maria comes to use from Los Angeles, California where she previously worked with individuals with intellectual disabilities. She loves working in the midst of chaos and bringing a sense of unity and peace. Maria is happy to be an empathetic listener to those who need it most.

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Elene

[ she / her / hers ]

CCS Shelter Manager

With a background in advocacy and her previous experience working for CASA, Elene is the Shelter Manager for Church@thePark. She continues her passion in social services through being a listening ear and helping to create a safe environment for our guests to shelter and feel accepted.

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Matt

[ he / him / his ]

Data & Navigation
Services Director

Matt graduated from Western Oregon University with a Bachelor's in Psychology.  He has experience in both case management and program development. Matt is committed to supporting and strengthening the outreach, case management, and health navigation teams at Church@thePark in order to effectively serve those who are most vulnerable in our community. 

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Roy

[ he / him / his ]

Young Adult Shelter
Manager

A former restaurateur, Roy recently moved to Salem from Los Angeles and is passionate about empathy and efficacy - striving to create an understanding, compassionate, transitional environment for the houseless population in our city.

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Thomas

[ he / him / his ]

Safety Team
Manager

Thomas was born and raised in Beaverton, Oregon. After graduating high school, he enlisted in the United States Army and served for nearly six years, but due to injuries sustained during his enlistment, he was medically retired. Thomas returned to the Pacific Northwest where he entered into the world of safety and security. After spending the last few years working for traditional private security companies, he found himself becoming more and more dissatisfied with the role of private security in the community and wanted to do things differently. Thomas packed up his life and moved from Portland to start a new chapter with C@P where he is using his skills to develop C@P's person-centered and trauma informed safety team. Thomas is excited to lead the C@P Safety Team and make a positive impact within the safety and security community in Salem.

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Erin

[ she / her / hers ]

Data & Intake
Manager

Erin graduated from Excelsior College in Albany, New York, where she received her Bachelor degree in Health Management. She also has two Graduate Certificates in HealthCare Compliance and Health Informatics. Erin comes to Church@thePark after many years working with developmental disabilities service non-profit organizations in Salem. Erin has a passion for service to others and hopes to help individuals access community resource assistance.

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Cheyenne

[ she / her / hers ]

Shelter Operations
Assistant Manager

Cheyenne is a graduate of the University of Oregon, where she earned her bachelor’s of education in Family and Human Services. She is passionate about inviting our unhoused neighbors into meaningful relationships of inclusion and mutual transformation by welcoming all guests and partners of Church@thePark to the banquet of belonging.

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Jennifer

[ she / her / hers ]

Village of Hope
Shelter Manager

Jennifer has lived experience which helps her relate to the community we serve. Her passion is in social service work and she has a strong desire to practice empathy and understanding with every person she meets. She was previously in Linn County as a Peer Support supporting individuals who were struggling with their Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and being unhoused. Jennifer strongly believes it is an honor to be able to walk alongside individuals in their own journey.

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Christopher

[ he / him / his]

Healthcare Coordinator

Coming from New England, the land of champions, Chris brings an intent to help create safe and trusting spaces for families. In 2013 he obtained a Bachelor's in Psychology and began his career working as a Case Manager serving families through a community mental health clinic. Fast forward to 2019 Chris has continued his mission here in Oregon where he hopes to have a positive impact on the community of Salem. "All together now!" -The Beatles

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Ray

[ he / him / his ]

Organizational Development Consultant

As a leadership coach and DEI consultant, Ray's vision is to see communities where every identity belongs and thrives. He is an active member of local community boards, a facilitator/speaker on DEI concepts and leadership development, and a mentor for the next generation of leaders. Ray holds a bachelor’s degree from Willamette University, focusing on Sociology and American Ethnic Studies, and a master’s in Business from George Fox University.

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