April 20th Virtual Meeting With Oregon Solutions Highlights & Summary

NEXT ZOOM SESSION May 4th 1:00-2:30 pm

“It is no use in going back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” 

Alice in Wonderland

Highlights & Summary Notes
Jefferson e Funders Forum
April 20th 2020

Jefferson Funders Forum brings together public and private philanthropic leadership to share information, perspectives and experiences; cooperatively explore and leverage resources to positively impact communities in southern Oregon and northern California.

Levels of Engagement: I. Communication and Information Sharing; II. Learning Together; III. Planning for Collective & Collaborative Action IV. Action

ZOOM Facilitator – Bill Thorndike, NW Health Foundation & SO Regional Solutions Team, Chair

I. Communication & Information Sharing:

  • Participants: 24 zoom participants representing Oregon Community Foundation, NW Health Foundation, AllCare, Jackson Care Connect, United Way of SW Oregon, United Way of Greater Douglas County, The Ford family Foundation, The Ford Institute of Community Building, Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation, Rogue Community College, Green Diamond Inc., Wild Rivers Coast Alliance, Smullin Family Foundation, Gordon Elwood Foundation, Cheney, West and Dubbs Family Foundations, Oregon Regional Solutions, Carpenter Family, and a couple of unknown attendees.
  • Check-in: Agreement that spring is bursting forth, gardens are calling, and rain would be greatly appreciated!
  • Oregon Small Business Stabilization Fund Info: 

II.  Learning Together and Dialogue: Alex Campbell, Southern Oregon Regional Solutions Coordinator, Office of Governor Brown.

  • There are eight regional coordinators around the State of Oregon who coordinate eleven Regional Teams representing diverse stakeholders focusing on economic interests on behalf of the Governors Office. Alex is responsible for Southwest Oregon’s team-Curry, Jackson & Josephine.
  • In Alex’s case, the Fire Preparations and working with the county Emergency Management Structures System has been beneficial to this COVID-19 experience. The Emergency Management System is very structured so it can be deployed fairly immediately. The fires of the last few years have honed the systems ability to set up and respond. There are significant differences though, such as:
  • Fires and COVID-19 are emergencies that are more drawn out in the immediate issue sense than a Hurricane that starts, ends and then recovery begins.
  • With fires, the end is unclear as with COVID-19.
  • As a result, the Response is “blurrier” since it is not a single event to recover from and instead a longer drawn out process. 
  • Emergency Management Systems of the counties have asked for Oregon Solution Team assistance due to the longevity of the “event.”
  • Alex has stepped to support the local Emergency Managers to
    • Provide daily email communications on State & Local Resources being deployed; focus of communications are a long list of economic development partners, Chambers, SBDCs generally interface with the larger public with the latest information and resources available to businesses.  emergency partners and Solutions Team members to know about and share with their community connections. 
    • Coordinate Economic Recovery Teams. These meetings can include Senators Wyden & Merkley as well as regional legislators, County reps, Chambers, Economic Development partners. It provides a “space” for collaboration. The idea is to go “upstream” to create an economic development response to a crisis and offer regional input to the Governor. There is a Business Services Coordinator & Economic Development Organizations hoping to better referrals and direct problems to the appropriate responder. 
    • The Recovery Planning Team connects with the Economic Recovery Team as needed and to help out in order to make the transition from crisis to recovery. At a recent meeting, it was acknowledged that large local and regional institutions were not at the table, so there was follow up to bring them in. 
  • Oregon Reopening Framework was announced and shared by Governor Brown last week. (See email attachment) 
    • Meeting with Sector Leadership will be an important next step in the reopening framework to get input of what is right for regions around the State. 

Questions to Alex:

  • Oregon Workers Relief Fund Update: Alex isn’t sure where that stands at the moment. The Oregon Employment Division is still buried and working on Contractors and Self-Employed relief. 
  • Payroll Protection Plan: Those organizations with strong banking relationships seem to have gotten their payments set up but funds ran out in this first roll out by the feds. The Congress is planning to release additional funds for this program. 

III. Report Out: What we Know and What we Don’t Know by County

Regional participants share 

  • What is happening in their/our communities that is working/not working 
  • What are we thinking about related to relief & recovery? 
  • What are we learning or wrestling with as it relates to the three phases: Relief/Recovery/Emerging future and Resilience?

Coos County: Jen Shafer, United Way of SW Oregon: Jen’s office has received $33,000 in relief funds to date and supported numerous organizations with those funds. Currently seeking a second round of funding. She is working with an Elderly Services Task Force on coordinating volunteers for food delivery to home bound individuals. There is also a Homeless Taskforce working on ways to keep the homeless healthy and COVID-19 free, looking for an outdoor space that would be safe, staffing support and supplies. 

Marie Simmons, Wild River Coast Alliance: they have pivoted their work to support United Way’s emergency funds, support food banks and assist the SWO Investment Board to recruit volunteers to fill in for the older higher risk volunteers that need to remain at home to stay safe. They will be distributing $75,000 to food banks, recovery programs and activities in the near future.

Curry County: Sam Engle & Deb Ameen, All Care:Curry programs are very volunteer dependent so are struggling to find replacements for those roles during this time. Food and food distribution services appears to be the first basic need issue for the predominately older over 65 population. The medical care/healthcare infrastructure has always been precarious, but is faltering with the closure of non-urgent, elective medical care.  Demand for children’s snack packs. He has also heard a rumor that there may not be a summer feeding program for students k-12, but it is just a rumor at this point. Does anyone have connections to the school system leadership there?

CASA Curry office was unexpectedly closed February 7th (pre covid-19) by the interim executive director of the Douglas CASA, which had been acting as the dba fiscal agent since 2012. This February 7th Curry Office closure has resulted in a lot of discontent by residents, volunteers, judges and the commissioners of Curry County. Of the 24 advocates serving the 60-70 foster children in Curry County, apparently only 4 remain. The Douglas CASA interim executive director was assuming that the program could be managed virtually from Douglas County’s office, reducing costs, although the Curry Office raised its own private funding quite successfully that was added to State related support. There had been no contact made with stakeholders or funders of the Curry CASA prior to the closure to weigh in on the potential consequences of such action. More information to be forthcoming.  

Del Norte & Tribal Lands: No one available to report on this community.

Douglas County:Alice Cushman reported that the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation that serves seven counties in southern and central Oregon is “on hold” since the casino is closed and it is those funds that support the grantmaking for the foundation. The foundation and Tribe have provided funding for 3D printers to create PPE for local and regional health workers.  Max Gimbel with Ford Institute for Community Building reported that he is on the Incident Command Team for Douglas County. He has asked his colleagues if there would be value in having a virtual session between all the incident command teams in southern Oregon. He’ll report back anything that may be of interest to this group. Alex Campbell Oregon Solutions, pointed out that there may not be an incident command team for Curry County. Public Health programs might be a good group to bring together to share best practices, Douglas, Curry, Josephine and Jackson Counties have public health staff. Bryan Trenkle from United Way of Douglas County thanked Oregon Community Foundation, Pacificsource, and The Ford Family Foundation for the $70,000 that together they donated to United Way for an emergency COVID-19 Response Fund. Of that amount 435,000 has been allocated to agencies and for school supplies since students are learning online and may not have the tools. Bryan also worked with Melrose Winery and the OLCC to allow the winery to make hand sanitizer to disperse in the communities and first responders.  Bryan shared his heartful gratitude, “Roseburg has been the most loving, caring community I have ever experienced.” His experience of the UCC tragedy and the follow up response and engagement with The Ford Family Foundation in supporting the Roseburg community was beyond remarkable. Bryan is now setting his attention onto what will be the longer term needs of the nonprofit community in Douglas. 

The South Central Early Learning Hub is spreading the word that our Community Uplift Family Resource Facilitators are continuing to connect Douglas, Klamath and Lake families with children ages 0-5 (also, developmentally disabled up to age 22) to available needed services.  I have attached this information on what we’ve been sharing on Facebook and any other places we can think of. 

Oregon Community Foundation: Heidi Binder and Amy Drake reported out that $60 million in requests for COVID relief have come into OCF since the relief program began. There were 945 applications which is more than they receive in a year. They have distributed $12 million in support to date. About $500,000 has come into Jackson, Josephine, Lake and Klamath counties primarily to foodbanks United Ways and health centers. The focus of OCF is on Respond, Recover and Rebuild. They have three funds in the Response and Recover arena at this time:

Humboldt County: No one available to report on this community.

Josephine County: Sam Engel, AllCare reported that public schools have been very effective at getting food boxes out to their students via partnerships with the Food Bank. Programs that provide home visiting are using a variety of strategies to maintain contact with their clients, such as meeting in the front yards as well as online. The issue of Broad Band access keeps coming up. Illinois Valley Community Development Oregon (IVCDO) in is trying to create a drive-up hot stop or spots for students to download and upload homework. The drop in shower facilities have been closed in the Illinois Valley. Grants Pass has extended the time period for the temporary shelter program. Cathy Kemper-Pelle reported that RCC classes for this quarter have gone completely online. This has spurred increased use of the RCC Onsite Computer labs, which they expect connects to the issue of limited broadband service in rural areas of both counties. They are also developing survey to connect with each student to find out what is working and what is not. She is also creating teams that will look at what is needed for the summer and fall quarters. The reality for higher education in Oregon is that this whole issue falls right in the midst of the budget cycle. The State has already said that there will most likely be 10% reductions in State Funding of Higher Education, which is about $4.5 million for RCC. In an earlier survey of students about student life, they found significant student food and housing insecurity for the majority of their students. 70% of the students who responded were experiencing food and housing insecurity. This was before the COVID crisis, so she is very concerned how COVID has impacted this already large number. RCC is down about 9.5% in spring enrollment, which may be a sign of this housing and food insecurity issue. The student population that are taking 6 credits or less are the group that have reduced enrollment at this time. Meanwhile, health professionals and organizations are asking for more graduates in the healthcare services arena. It is hard to impossible to graduate individuals who need practicums to complete their certification and study. Using a rubber arm for phlebotomy is not the same as a real person.  She is hoping that face to face training can take place in summer courses.

Jackson County:  Kathy Bryon reported for Dee Anne Everson, United Way of Jackson County who was double booked for this time today. The United Way of Jackson County Payroll Loan was approved and funded. They also received grants and individual gifts totaling $208,685 to date for the COVID emergency fund. $139,301 has been awarded to help 375 families and 24 nonprofits. The types of individual awards ranges from mental health services fees to utilities, car payments, insurance, birth certificates and housing. She reminds everyone to direct individuals interested in volunteering or needing volunteers to go to the link for  https://roguevalley.recovers.org/

Samantha Watson, Jackson Care Connectreported that JCC has donated $175,000 in grants to respond to the COVID crisis. Medford YMCA, Rogue Retreat and the Greenway feeding the homeless program are among those programs they have supported. The JCC staff are meeting weekly and reviewing funding requests, with high concern for the unsheltered population, mental health services and the ability to use telehealth and looking ahead to see how we move into recovery and be part of “braided funding” with other donors. If you have an interest in being involved in a “braided funding approach, please contact Samantha Watson, Jackson Care Connect. 

Deborah Ameen, AllCare reported that their staff is continuing to work with their constituencies on smoking cessation.  Sam Engel reported on the CHIP Housing Meeting (All in for Health) this past week. Quite a bit of good information was shared among the 20 or so participants in the zoom meeting. (See attached notes)

Klamath-Lake Counties: Kathy Bryon directed participants attention to the last virtual meeting notes on Klamath County. She had added information from Bob Kinzette with Wendt Family Foundation. (April 6th) Also see OCF info above.

Lane: No one available to report on this community.

Siskiyou: No one available to report on this community.

What are the questions we are holding individually or collectively that we want to explore going forward?

  • Effective & Inclusive Communication-Ways to utilize ZOOM going forward-and how do we engage voices of those who are not able to participate in the democratic process due to childcare responsibilities, language differences, work schedules, disabilities etc so that we can better connect with our eyes and our hearts?
  • Public K-12 Education– What is ODE thinking now how are they deciding how public education will be rolled out and how are they thinking about or not the regional differences and resources as it connects with their decisions. Districts have different resources and there are very different resources and capacities from district to district. Bill Thorndike recommended asking Scott Beveridge to be at the next meeting. 
  • K-12 Teachers- They have had to move from face to face, to technology based teaching. This has also put them into a therapist role as they reach out to their students. What is the role of philanthropy to support the reconfiguration and professional development of teachers to meet the current realities? 
  • Students- How do we assist students who may be isolated or feel isolated? How can we SAFELY link together individuals who are isolated with students who are isolated as well.  Students with Homebound. (See what Ashland is doing that is not this but is a step towards this https://roguevalley.recovers.org/news/5e8a793ab02814e81d001879
  • What is the long term impact on non-profits that support our communities and how can we “flatten the curve” as said by Jim White, NAO, of their potential demise? (Recommend asking Jim White to return to this meeting.)
  • Looking at our “lessons” related to our Public Health Systems in the country, state and locally and what we need to learn and reinvent to be prepared and not “waste this crisis” Issues like, disparities in the state for PPE, tracing, management and engagement of best practices beyond the limited current Federal requirements. How can we braid OHP and the larger public to be served better through a more robust framework of Public Health.


  • Wild Rivers Community Foundation: Accepting excepting funds for their two county Curry County & Del Norte & Tribal Lands within that geographic area. https://www.wildriverscf.org/
  • United Way of Southwestern Oregon also has an Emergency Relief Fund for Coos/Curry County community partners supporting those most in need:


  • United Way of Greater Douglas County: AcceptingEmergency funds for Douglas County Working with COAD. Waiting to see what transpires on the federal level before making more plans. https://www.unitedwaydgco.org/
  • Oregon Community Foundation: Accepting funds for programs throughout Oregon. Special Arts support program. https://oregoncf.org/