Creating better places to live and work
Bringing residents, business owners, community leaders and nonprofit agencies together to enhance local neighborhoods is one of the things we do best at NeighborWorks Umpqua. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for all of us in Coos, Curry and Douglas counties by helping locals organize, network and work together to tackle issues. We work with communities to: support local food producers and processors; assist neighborhood associations with leadership capacity building and technical support; assist business associations to reach their goals; foster partnerships between organizations to build community; and restore, preserve and renovate historic sites. We work with neighborhoods to build, restore and develop affordable housing and other community facilities that serve local residents.
NeighborWorks Umpqua helps Oregon communities in Douglas, Coos, and Curry counties with economic development feasibility projects and community facility upgrades. We’ve participated with community leaders, Umpqua Community College and the Cow Creek Tribe to launch the Umpqua Business Center, generated the Port Orford Visitor and Marine Education Center Feasibility Study and other like projects. Our staff has many years of experience with enriching and strengthening SW Oregon communities.
We have a long history of building, restoring and developing community facilities that serve residents of Douglas, Coos and Curry counties. These facilities continue to be a vital part of our communities. Such projects include the historic the Olsen Baxter Building (the OSU Extension Service Offices in Myrtle Point), the Sutherlin Senior Center and multiple community water and sewer system upgrades.
Community building & organizing in South East Roseburg
Since the summer of 2012, NeighborWorks Umpqua (NWU) began meeting with the South East Roseburg Voices In Community Enhancement (SERVICE) neighborhood association, the Downtown Roseburg Association and City staff, to come together around a facilitated Community Building &Engagement (CB&E) project. The intent of the project is to unite the efforts of NWU and community-based organizations that have specific goals to enhance the livability and vitality of SE Roseburg. The purpose of this initiative is to:
- Increase each partnering organization’s effectiveness and sustainability (bringing local leaders to Community Leadership Institute)
- Encourage community organizations to work together to enhance communication and to address common issues (SE Roseburg Marketing Plan)
- Identify and meet common goals that make SE Roseburg neighborhoods and commercial districts more vital and desirable to live, work and raise families (Umpqua Dairy Community Garden).
2013 Community Impact Survey
In the summer of 2013, NeighborWorks Umpqua undertook an intensive data collection process. 200 respondentscompleted resident satisfaction surveys and data was collected on street and housing conditions within a specific area in SE Roseburg. The data was done to establish baseline data. The intent is to repeat the process a couple years for comparative purposes to determine effectiveness of the community’s CB&E efforts.
Community Marketing Plan – The Heart of Roseburg
In March of 2015, NWU facilitated the development of a new Logo and Marketing Plan for SE Roseburg. Timing of this work coincided with two major corridor / commercial streetscape upgrades in the historic core of Roseburg as the community rebounded from a period of deep economic recession. The process surrounding this effort opened new opportunities for enhanced communication and partnerships between community-based organizations, business groups and residents.
Food systems development
Local food production and consumption are economic development and self-reliance building blocks. This sector of our economy not only represent opportunities for exporting food products regionally but helps prevent economic leakage; the “buy local” multiplier effect. In other words, purchasing a local chicken or produce for a Sunday dinner not only supports our farm community and in return keeps a portion of that money cycling through our economy, it prevents a higher percentage of that cost from leaving our area to support farmers, processors and distributors elsewhere. Local food production lends itself to higher accountability on the producer’s (“know your farmer”) and lower reliability on larger corporate distribution systems (food security). NeighborWorks Umpqua focuses on developing stability at multiple levels of local food production: Douglas County Community Food Assessment – In partnership with the Oregon Food Bank, NWU has supported two years of analysis focusing on locally produced and consumed food, and developing a set of actions to strengthen opportunities for local producers and access to that production. This includes the development of a “SNAP Match” program that doubles purchasing power for SNAP recipients for healthy locally grown food at our local farmer’s market.
Market of the Umpqua – Building small agriculture capacity, NeighborWorks Umpqua has helped organize Douglas County’s farmer’s markets through technical assistance, access to marketing and developing sound organizational governance. Southwest Oregon Food System – Coordinating WealthWorks Northwest, the first WealthWorks rural economic development model west of the Mississippi, NWU is coordinating a 10 agency effort to increase the financial vitality of meat and fish producers in the Coos, Curry and Douglas County region, working with food producers, processors, distributors and consumers to maximize economic, cultural and community stability with broad community impact outcomes. NeighborWorks Umpqua has made a commitment to providing resources to build a more resilient food system in Douglas, Coos and Curry Counties.
Historic rehab and renovation
NeighborWorks Umpqua has a commitment to community continuity which means preserving historic structures to maintain a sense of the past linking to the future. Highlights of this work include the Washington School in Oakland, Oregon (Library, City Hall and Community Center); The Grand Apartments in downtown Roseburg; and the Hotel North Bend (North Bend Oregon). All three of these restored buildings represent valued historic resources within our service area.