A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Second Chance: A big deal for Albany homeless

Written December 14th, 2020 by Hasso Hering

Jeff Blackford, executive director at C.H.A.N.C.E., works in his new office on Monday.

The regional recovery-assistance nonprofit known as C.H.A.N.C.E. has moved into its new Albany headquarters and has told its Facebook followers of “other big news” coming soon. And here it is.

Shortly after the first of the year, between Jan. 1 and the middle of February, the organization will take over the 140-bed homeless shelter run by the Signs of Victory Mission on the corner of Jackson Street and 11th Avenue.

That’s a big step for everyone involved and for Albany as a whole. City Manager Peter Troedsson referred to it in his Friday report to the city council on Dec. 4. And a formal announcement in the form of a joint press release from George Matland of Signs of Victory and Jeff Blackford of C.H.A.N.C.E. is expected in about a week.

While we’re waiting for that, I dropped in on Blackford Monday at his organization’s new headquarters, the completely remodeled former Pizza King restaurant at the corner of Third Avenue and Lyon Street  downtown.

The gist of what I learned:

The deal has been talked about or in the works since late 2019 as the result of a suggestion in the city’s Solutions Team, which includes several public agencies and Samaritan Health and works on solutions to the problems faced by Albany’s homeless people.

C.H.A.N.C.E. will form a second nonprofit organization to operate the homeless shelter and related services to be known, fittingly, as “Second Chance,” and the facilities on Jackson Street will become the Second Chance Shelter.

Various improvements are planned in the shelter’s services to try to help people out of the problems that made them homeless. With Samaritan’s help, there will be a “respite clinic.” Second Chance will build a third dormitory as well as a professional kitchen and a cafeteria.

To make it possible, C.H.A.N.C.E. raised $700,000 from public agencies and private sources in the last two months, Blackford told me.

As I said, this is a big deal all around. Why? Because C.H.A.N.C.E., which has branches in three counties from Sweet Home to the coast, also has plenty of experience in helping people turn their lives around and leave addiction and related problems behind. (hh)

It’s the Christmas season in the new Albany offices of C.H.A.N.C.E.


Unloading supplies Monday at the Signs of Victory shelter on Jackson Street.


17 responses to “Second Chance: A big deal for Albany homeless”

  1. Timothy Spitzer says:

    That is so awesome! Things are really beginning to change in a very positive way. Let’s keep the snowball rolling.

  2. Chaundra Carter says:

    I love this so much! What a great plan to unite organizations to help make Albany better for its people!

  3. Marjorie says:

    Will there be future employment opportunity for somebody who wants to work in this type of agency…?

  4. Cheryl P says:

    So how to you “help” someone who is homeless because rents are outrageous?

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      Step one would be to refer them to the multiple locations that possibly can help… Search Google for “rent assistance in Albany, OR”

  5. CHEZZ says:

    Congrats Second Chance! Thank you, Hasso on the scoop!!
    They are a ‘make it happen organization that will greately improve the wellness of the homeless. Let’s get behind Second Chance and support their good work.

  6. Joanna S says:

    Wow – what great news! Thanks so much for brightening my day Hasso!

  7. Viyanna says:

    I am so very happy to hear this. CHANCE supported me in my efforts to begin my recovery journey. Grateful to see that they are supporting others still.

  8. Katherine says:

    Great News! Signs of Victory has had so many issues with running their facility in the past. As homelessness grows let’s hope this merger will stay ahead of the problem.

  9. Chaim Uri says:

    Congratulations Jeff, John & everyone at CHANCE. This new development will be a major blessing to the community & to those CHANCE began to help when it was conceived way back when!

  10. James Engel says:

    Hey H.H., move’m out to your expansive property in N. Albany if you’re so concerned. Those people didn’t exist back when I grew up in Portland. They are the result of the last 30 years of educators of telling the millennials they have entitlements, rights, privilege’s, a government obligation to be their mother! To pick up after them, clean up after them, provide services for them. So…why should they work for it now? You never see them doing any “volunteer” work!

    • Brad says:

      James, 30 years ago the entire country had better mental health facilities and now we don’t. These homeless people aren’t lazy millennials, they’re people with serious problems and they usually don’t have a place to go. The entire situation sucks, but it’s no reason to yell at Hasso for not moving all the homeless people into his house. Addiction and mental issue are a real thing even if you’ve never experienced them yourself.

    • centrist says:

      There were plenty “on the skids” in Portland in the 60s. Alcohol was the drug of choice.
      I was taught that bums and hoboes are not the same. A hoboe will work.

  11. William C Tucker says:

    For me the big deal here is how Mr.Blackford and CHANCE have worked with Linn County during COVID and with the fires. He has been a great partner, and I believe will make the new relationship work.

  12. Chris Johnson says:

    So what’s happening to the “Signs of Victory” organization?

  13. Alexandria Davis says:

    This is an amazing blessing for our Community I am so thankful for everything C.h.a.n.c.e. does and stands for. Thank you to all of you and for putting hope in the lives of many. God bless you all

  14. Tammy Malloy says:

    Absolutely Amazing!! Right on C. H. A. N. C. E. ❤️❤️❤️


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