Skip to Main Content
Background Image: happy people

Local Youth Find Support at Community Services Consortium

It is a cloudy winter day in Corvallis, but you will still find Armand Schoppy, instructor for the youth program at Community Services Consortium, out working in the garden with one of his students. The garden serves as just one of the many projects the organization uses to help teach youth important skills to help prepare them for life.

As a participant at the youth house, Dorothea “Renee” Barnicle gained a strong support system, valuable work experience and a helpful set of skills to help her in the future.

"It’s a good feeling to come here,” she said. “If you’re struggling, they find a way to help you. They want you to be successful."

Not only did Barnicle appreciate the support of the staff and resources available, but she also saw how her own positive life changes affected her 5-year-old son.

"He needed someone to look up to. He saw me getting up every day with a purpose, and I saw how his behavior improved because of that."

One of the resources offered by Community Services Consortium is the HELPS Program, which aims to improve access to mental health resources for youth alongside access to alternative education and work readiness training. With help from Social Accountability grant funding from Samaritan Health Services, the program makes individual counseling sessions available to the youth to help navigate the barriers and hardships they may be experiencing.

"A lot of the kids here have some really tough obstacles in their life that are out of their control, and it can be really hard to know how to navigate that,” Schoppy explained. “Being able to talk to the counselor can be really helpful in learning those life skills."

In Schoppy’s eyes, even one session with the counselor is beneficial.

"Even if it might not seem to stick right now, maybe later in life when they experience a hard situation, it will help them manage the problem,” he said.

Initiatives like the Community Services Consortium HELPS Program not only improve access to mental health resources, but also help to reduce the stigma that is sometimes associated with the topic of mental health.

"They need to see it and have access to it to be able to reduce the stigma,” said Schoppy. “The HELPS Program is that missing piece we needed to be able to help our students grow as whole people."

 In 2016, the Community Services Consortium HELPS Program:

  • Provided 18 counseling sessions to participants
  • Helped nine individuals gain access to mental health resources

Learn how Community Services Consortium in Corvallis is supporting local youth with work readiness training and access to mental health resources.

Watch Video

Background image: teen support group

Other Partners Supporting Programs and Services for Greater Access:

  • Boys & Girls Club of Albany
  • Fish of Lebanon
  • Benton County Oral Health Coalition
  • Corvallis Daytime Drop-In Center
  • Salvation Army
  • Medical Teams International
  • The River Center