top of page
  • Writer's pictureChurch@thePark





Juan and Jennifer, VOH Staff with Mary and Kim

Mary and Kim both have different stories that lead them to C@P. During their stay at the site, Mary and Kim developed a friendship that quickly became like family.

Through struggles and hardships these two ladies and their dogs have always brought a smile to the shelter and lifted the spirits of everyone around them.

Sitting with them are their fur best friends Junior and Eleanor. This picture was captured on transport as Juan (VOH Case manager) and Jennifer (VOH Assistant Manager) took them to their permanent home!

Jennifer had this to say about Mary and Kim: ”These two have gracefully demonstrated to us that no matter how hard our trials in life have been, with love, acceptance and some friendship, your future can be rebuilt to whatever you want.”




Our work at C@P is only as strong as our partnerships. We are blessed to have so many great partnerships with caring citizens, local leaders, other churches and faith communities, businesses, and organizations. Below are some partnership updates. schedules times in which staff can relax together away from work: parties, short outings, and having meals together, for example.



The Spirit Mountain Community Fund is the philanthropic arm of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon. Through the Community Fund, the Tribe donates six percent of casino revenue to registered 501c3 nonprofit organizations in northwest Oregon, as well as government agencies in Polk and Yamhill Counties, and to the nine federally recognized Tribes of Oregon.

SMCF is providing funds for the addition of a commercial grade kitchen to our Turner Rd. property so that we can provide meals to all of our micro-shelter guests and provide workforce development opportunities.



The Kingdom Advancing Grant, offered through the Brotherhood Mutual Foundation, supports church teams who, in their God-ordained calling, transform their community in creative, innovative, and collaborative ways.

Brotherhood Mutual provided the funds for a shower trailer for one of our Micro-Shelter sites and has provided financial and organizational mentoring for C@P.



At the Northwest Hub, their aim is to empower members of the community by providing access to transportation, giving technical skills training, and income-based repair services.

The Northwest Hub regularly partners with C@P by providing bikes, trailers, repairs, and other services to guests of our micro-shelters.

Thank you to Spirit Mountain, Brotherhood Mutual, The Northwest Hub and to everyone else that is committed to caring for their communities and for partnering with C@P!







We are excited to announce that our next storytelling event will be held on March 23rd at 7:00PM. The event will be at the Community Health Education Center at Salem Hospital.

If you have never been to one of these events, they are a chance for our community to hear real stories from people with lived experiences of homelessness.




from the Salem Reporter & Statesman Journal

DevNW kicks off construction of the Evergreen Veterans Apartments housing project on February 21. The former church will be transformed into 17 units of housing for veterans. Abigail Dollins/Statesman Journal
DevNW kicks off construction of the Evergreen Veterans Apartments housing project on February 21. The former church will be transformed into 17 units of housing for veterans. Abigail Dollins/Statesman Journal

From the articles: A historic church north of downtown Salem is getting a new look that local officials and advocates hope will address the growing housing crisis in the region.

“Salem, like all of Oregon, is experiencing a historic housing crisis, including housing shortages, rising homelessness, and increasing rent burdens,” DevNW CEO Emily Reiman said in the press release. “We know that our honored veterans are disproportionately affected by this crisis.”

In Salem, 22.6% of residents spend more than half of their income on rent, according to the statement. Veterans represent 5.3% of the city’s population. Across Marion and Polk Counties, 10% of homeless people identify as veterans.

The Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency will provide individual case management and behavioral health services for people living at the apartments. Residents will also have access to “barrier removal” funding for needs like IDs, birth certificates and bus passes, according to Sara Webb, program director for Community Action.

Nine of those apartments will be permanent supportive housing, which provide affordable leases with social, health and job services for people who are homeless, institutionalized or at risk of either.




We are looking for donations, volunteers, and meal partners to bless our guests for Easter. We would love to be able to provide our guests, especially the children, with a delicious Easter meal, an Easter egg hunt, and other resources.

If you, your church, or your business are interested, please let us know.




Meet Chuck.

Chuck takes care of all of our maintenance and transportation needs. Here is what Josh, our Chief Operations Officer, had to say about Chuck:

Chuck is one of the hardest working individuals I've ever seen. He is always reliable and willing to help in any way he can. We have encountered a lot of new things along the way and he is always creative in his problem solving. Chuck always has a smile and has a positive impact on everyone he comes in contact with. He is always two steps ahead as he sees projects/problems early.

We appreciate Chuck so much!




When C@P first met Jody she was staying at Wallace Marine Park with her fur best friend, Max. Our outreach team signed her up on the list for Village of Hope. The day came when a spot was available and she became a resident at the site. Jody was always a pleasure to work with, plus it was an added bonus that Max would greet everyone at the shelter with a wag of the tail and a proud bark. During her stay Jody worked with our case management team to meet the requirements she needed to get housed with the Housing Rental Assistance Program through Salem Housing Authority.

The picture above shows Jody and Max celebrating with a hug as they settled in at their new home!

At C@P, we allow people to remain with their pets while they are staying with us. We make every effort to make sure that people’s pets are well cared for.

“The GoldenRuleism Team”has generously offered to match up to $25,000 in donations specifically for pet care at C@P. C@P is connecting guests and pets with local veterinarians who will provide critical care and S&N procedures.

Please consider making a donation. Every dollar donated up to $25,000 will be matched by the GoldenRuleism Team.

Project Partners: MWV Community Action Agency, MWV United Way—Safe Sleep United, Center for Hope and Safety, and local Veterinarians.




  • TAKE A TOUR: A tour of our CCS family site is a great way to see what C@P is all about. It is a chance to connect with some of our leaders and to meet some other staff, and maybe even some guests. Tours happen every Thursday at 1:30PM. Email Krystal if you or your group is interested in taking a tour.

  • VOLUNTEER: We are so thankful for a community of people who continue to donate food, clothing, tents, and supplies to our guests at C@P! We are currently looking for volunteers to help us sort through the generous amounts of donations we are receiving! If you’ve got some organizational skills, or just a desire to help, please click the button below.

  • JOIN OUR TEAM: If you are interested in working with Church At The Park, click the button below to see the open positions.

  • THE OPEN TABLE: One of our community practices is to meet every Sunday morning for The Open Table. The Open Table is a gathering for prayer, friendship, and conversation about the week’s Scripture text. Doors open at 10:30am for coffee and donuts. The circle begins at 11:00am. Community members, guests, staff are all welcome. The location is 2640 Portland RD NE.

  • HOST A PRESENTATION: How can we help you continue and deepen your connection with our unsheltered neighbors in partnership with Church at the Park? A presentation or discussion with DJ, John, Sterling or another member of the pastoral team? More information on volunteer options for individuals or groups to provide: meals, clothing donations or showers? More information on hosting Safe Parking? More information on Micro Shelters?

  • SHUTTLE TOUR FOR ALL SITES - Interested in taking a tour of all of our sites while having a conversation with DJ, C@P founder? The next available tour is on Thursday, February 23rd from Noon to 2:00PM. We have a bus with comfy seats for 12. Bring your own lunch. If you or your group are interested, send Krystal an email.




”We each have within us the power to walk into somebody’s life and give him or her ‘the courage to be.’ Can you fathom that?

You have the power to give someone the courage to be, simply by the touch of your affirmation.”

-- Brennan Manning

The reading for this past week was the story of Jesus’s encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:5-42).

When reading this story, It can be easy to view the woman at the well as an immoral woman, or someone of “ill repute.” She is to blame for her string of failed relationships and social isolation. But, it is helpful to remember that in the historical setting of this story, marriage was not something that women opted into. Marriage was something that was done to women. Marriage partners were chosen for economic, pragmatic, and familial reasons, not for romance. Marriage was initiated by the males in that world. Why was she pursued five times by men and then rejected by those same men? A likely reason is she was unable to give birth, but we may never know.

We have no reason, however, to assume that she was somehow to blame for being divorced five times and for being shunned by her community.

Like the woman at the well, unsheltered people are often seen as people in whom there is no worth, or no value. The only people that matter in our meritocratic system are the those that are “paying their dues,” the ones who are “contributing to society.”

The Gospel text for the upcoming week tells the story of Jesus encountering a man blind from birth (John 9:1-41). Jesus heals him. But before Jesus heals him, he is asked a question by some followers: “Who sinned, so that this man was born blind?” While we don’t use the word ‘sin’ as much in our day, we still ask this question. We see someone sleeping on the sidewalk and we ask, “Whose fault is it?” “Are they a drug addict?” “How many crimes have they committed?” “Which government policy (or lack thereof) is to blame?” If we think of a suitable answer, it makes us a feel a little better. The world makes sense. There are causes and there are effects.

If the woman at the well is to blame for her her situation, maybe we feel a little less responsible to help her. And if the person sleeping on the sidewalk is possibly a felon, they need to learn that actions have consequences.

But Jesus sees through all of the blame and shame that her community and her tradition have placed upon her. He reminds her, re-teaches her, that she is lovely.

Jesus sees her, all of her, and accepts her just as she is. And in that acceptance, affirmation, and validation, she is empowered to return to her community and use her voice and her gifts to bless the very ones who had shunned her.


The Woman at the Well - spoken word

“To be loved is to be known and to be known is to be loved.”


Thanks for reading.

Is it possible that dinner is one way to bridge cultural and political divisions?



Related Posts

See All
bottom of page