Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Joint venture with warming shelter goes awry

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A rift between nonprofits tasked with helping Lincoln City’s homeless population has led to the firing of recently merged staff and the termination of an agreement with a church for a warming shelter.

Communities Helping Addicts Negotiate Change Effectively (CHANCE) and the Lincoln City Resource Center & Warming Shelter (LCWS) entered into an agreement Sept. 1, 2019, to merge with the purpose of helping the homeless more effectively. The resource center and warming shelter were relocated from Taft to 4488 NE Devils Lake Blvd. in northern Lincoln City.

LCWS Program Director Amanda Cherryholmes said she was fired by CHANCE Director Jeff Blackford Wednesday and threatened with criminal action if she tried to use the LCWS logo or name in any future endeavours. She said she was also threatened with theft charges if she did not return cots, blankets, clothes and other supplies for the homeless back to CHANCE.

Cherryholmes said Blackford said she was “not a good manager” and told her she refused to follow CHANCE protocol. Cherryholmes said she was never properly trained in CHANCE protocol and believes the firing was going to happen no matter what she did.

According to the agreement, CHANCE will:

“I was following the agreement,” Cherryholmes said. “This was supposed to be a merger, not a takeover.”


Also fired by CHANCE on Feb. 8 was longtime LCWS volunteer-coordinator Sharon Padilla. Details surrounding her firing appear medically related.

First Baptist Church recently stepped up and filled the gap of providing space for a homeless warming shelter after draconian restrictions enforced by the City of Lincoln City made it “impossible” for CHANCE to operate a warming shelter. Pastor John Kendall said he terminated a memorandum of understanding with CHANCE when he learned of Cherryholmes firing.

“We’re not interested in politics,” Kendall said. “We just want to make sure the homeless are taken care of.”

“We’re trying to keep our homeless from freezing in the street,” Cherryholmes said. “We’ll do whatever it takes.”

With temperatures predicted to drop into the 40s this week in Lincoln City, First Baptist will be open as a church with volunteers ready to assist homeless in need of a warm place to stay. First Baptist Church is located at 1333 NW 17th Street.

CHANCE’S Director could not be reached for comment.



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Justin Werner
Justin Werner
Justin Werner is founder and publisher of Lincoln City Homepage and a journalist reporting news for the fine citizens of Lincoln City, Oregon and beyond. He's on a mission to seek out truth and isn't afraid to be the tip of the spear for freedom of the press. When he's not wearing his reporter hat, you can find him enjoying the Oregon Coast with his wife and three children.

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  1. I volunteer at The Warming Shelter and see first hand the good work they do for our brothers and sisters who need a little help. I am also a witness to the daily service and dedication of Sharon Padilla to this most worthy cause. This is done out of love with no hint of self service. Shame on CHANCE for taking away the assets needed for this mission. I am sure that the better angels of Lincoln City will represent the true purpose of the Warming Shelter by continuing to support them despite this unfortunate setback.

  2. Let’s be very clear the MOU was terminated by the church not CHANCE and CHANCE will be doing a feasibility study for a permanent shelter. I very sad that the MOU was broken and that the two particulars couldn’t reach a happy separation. But CHANCE did NOT take resources away and were willing to continue operations of the shelter and WILL continue to offer services at the Devils lake road location.