Much of my career has been in public relations and administrative work. I lived in the Coos Bay area in the early 1990’s and returned in 2013 from the Northern California coast. During my time as the Director, my compassion and understanding of mental illness and homeless communities has deepened. The challenges that our clients face are amazing and at times very overwhelming. I admire their tenacity and desire to live.
Our clients are cold, hungry, and in need of support every day but we are only open to clients four days a week. This takes approximately $500/day to cover staff salaries, food, water, electric, natural gas bills and insurance. We offer laundry, showers, hot meals and advocacy services each day. We also know that many of our clients appreciate a warm, dry place to hang out for the day. Daily, we help clients connect with our many community partners to allow assistance with health care, identification and housing.
“Tiger” and Mark are both tremendous success stories having been long term clients who have truly risen from the ashes and now show up to cook, serve and clean up after our meals. We are incredibly proud of their journey’s to recovery and their willingness to give back to the community.
Chuck, Drew Norm, Rod & Ron provide 24/7 security at Coalbank Village ensuring the safety of our property and greeting all guests. Each of them has a story rooted in homelessness, addiction, or both. Several were clients at the Devereux Center before their current employment with us. Their stories allow them to encourage and help restore the guests at Coalbank Village.
Juanita Epperson started her journey with the Devereux Center through a work experience program. She now oversees the front desk greeting clients and guests with a smile and enthusiasm. Her easy manner allows clients to feel comfortable when they arrive. Juanita also coordinates our numerous volunteers ensuring that the building is clean and ready for the day. Juanita also has a deep understanding of those struggling with homelessness and addiction.
Lori Holland is the Devereux Center Case Manager. Lori’s background in the medical field provides a strong base to help clients find the resources they need to begin their journey out of life on the streets and into permanent housing. We are pleased to welcome Lori to the team.
Joel Johnson is our Food Services supervisor. Often this finds Joel in the kitchen cooking meals that provide the high calories needed for those living outdoors with ample provision for fruits and vegetables to help our clients remain healthy. Joel has a strong background in repairs & maintenance allowing him to jump in and help in an urgent R&M situation as well. Joel makes sure our pantry is well stocked and ready to meet the needs of our vulnerable and very hungry population.
Laura Fitouri is the Case Manager at Coalbank Village. We frequently hear clients saying that Laura is irreplaceable. Her quiet demeanor shows the deep still waters that are born from a place of hurt and heartache. Laura’s story of addiction and homelessness offers hope to clients in need. Her resolve to see clients succeed helps motivate them to take the next step when they want to give up.
Mel Ross is our dedicated administrative assistant. Mel’s compassion makes her a favorite with clients and co-workers alike. Her attention to detail helps keep our Executive Director on track. Mel is a firm believer in the value of recovery as she is celebrating 20 years of sobriety.
Travis Patterson is a veteran who oversees the operation of Coalbank Village. His desire to help those in need comes from an understanding of the challenges facing those struggling with PTSD and addiction. Travis started as a volunteer and quickly became a valuable part of our team with his strong work ethic and desire to serve others.