5 resources for support in 2021

One thing we can all agree on is that 2020 was a tough year. Between virtual learning, social distancing, risks of getting sick, and losing job opportunities, many transition students and their families experienced setbacks and frustrations – especially frustrating after working hard toward goals and dreams. We saw silver linings too: communities that came together to support each other, and a growing understanding of the need for diversity, equity and inclusion. We’ve learned to use new technologies, and to be flexible in hard times.

As we turn the page on 2020, we’re all ready for a fresh start. But many of us, including some transition students and their families, are still struggling. It’s tough to head into the holidays while feeling insecure about the future. Fortunately, Central Oregon has many organizations to turn to for support. We’ve gathered some resources from across Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson counties that can help transition students and their families start the New Year in a strong and hopeful way.

Our list is divided into five areas: housing, food instability, education, disability connections, and staying healthy. The organizations below either provide direct assistance in these areas, or connect people to the help they need. Please forward this list to others who could use a little support!

What kind of help do you need to create a strong and hopeful New Year? Find it here:


I need help with HOUSING

Thrive Central Oregon and NeighborImpact can help people struggling to pay their rent or mortgage as a result of COVID-19 conditions. Contact them to learn if you qualify for assistance. Thrive works in Bend and Redmond, and NeighborImpact serves all of Central Oregon.

Legal Aid Services of Central Oregon works to provide low-income Oregonians with legal assistance in many areas, including access to safe, affordable housing. The Central Oregon office is in Bend, but they serve all of Central Oregon.
Phone: (541) 385-6950.


I need help with FOOD INSTABILITY

When students are learning from home, they or their families can still pick up sack lunches on any day that would normally be a school day. Here are schedules for the “grab and go” meals for Bend-LaPine Schools and Jefferson County Schools. Crook County distributes lunches between 12-1 pm through curbside delivery at Pioneer SouthSchool.

NeighborImpact’s online list of food pantries includes up-to-date information on locations and operating times.


I need help connecting with THE DISABILITY COMMUNITY

The Central Oregon Disability Support Network (CODSN) works to connect families of people with disabilities to services and to each other. They believe peer support empowers families and changes lives, and their online calendar of events helps make that happen.

Bend Park and Recreation District’s Therapeutic Sports department offers terrific opportunities to get active and meet friends. Keep an eye on their registration dates, so you can join the fun once social distancing is over!

Check out Oregon Adaptive Sports winter ski opportunities. Skiing is COVID friendly, because skiers already wear face masks! Some scholarships are available.


I need help with HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Mosaic Medical offers medical services throughout Central Oregon, with clinics in Bend, Madras, Prineville, and Redmond. This non-profit community health center addresses medical, dental, mental health, nutrition and medication needs.

Will you need medical insurance in 2021? Browse the options for Oregon Health Plans (OHP) to compare plans and find out if you qualify for financial help.


I need help to SUCCEED IN SCHOOL

Family Access Network (FAN) Every school in Central Oregon has a FAN advocate that students can reach out to for help. FAN advocates make sure students get what they need to succeed: school supplies, clothing, help with home utilities, or scholarship funds for activities. Find the advocate for your school here.

Transition students taking college classes can find help on the Central Oregon Community College (COCC) student resources page. It’s a comprehensive list of resources to help students stay enrolled, covering everything from housing to health and wellness. One service to note is the personal counseling offered by COCC. When life becomes stressful, any enrolled student can turn to these professional therapists for help.

While we all hope to return to in-person classrooms, remote learning may continue in 2021. FACT Oregon (Families and Children Coming Together) has created a guide to remote learning for students with disabilities. FACT Oregon also answers questions related to Special Education and Developmental Disability Services through their help line. Call the FACT Oregon office at (503) 786-6082 or emailsupport@factoregon.org

Photo courtesy of whereslugo on Unsplash