Creating a Two-Year Road MapMay 24, 2023
Meet the NHS Camp ManagersDecember 27, 2023
Sometimes, reading the news, it’s easy to think that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. That’s an understandable reaction until you stop to realize that for every story in the news, there are a million stories that don’t make it. The truth is that so many of these untold stories are about the basic goodness of people.
Neil Edmiston is the embodiment of one of those stories. His focus is on enhancing the lives of others. For years he served as an army medic, helping people in their toughest times. Years after his service he ended up at Community Supported Shelters, helping again by working on the ubiquitous Conestoga huts that shelter our unhoused residents throughout Eugene and Springfield.
He started doing maintenance for CSS and learned on the job how to repair and improve the Conestoga huts and how to do basic plumbing and carpentry. After five-years on the job, Neil, was promoted to the maintenance supervisor position at CSS, and became adept at diagnosing and fixing the myriad problems that crop up in any housing complex.
Neil is no stranger to Nightingale. He’s helped on several projects in the past, devoting his time, energy and skills to making NHS function better and more efficiently. He’s contagiously upbeat and constantly on the go, and he’s a veritable fount of knowledge about the needs and hopes of our local unhoused population.
This year, Nightingale Hosted Shelters was fortunate to receive a grant to refurbish the huts on our site. Neil agreed to take on the project in his spare time. With the blessing of CSS, Neil and a helper from NHS, began the task of refurbishing the Conestoga huts at NHS. It is no easy task. They are steadily progressing through the camp, installing vinyl floors, putting in new double-pane sliding windows to replace the old single-pane awning windows, replacing the old insulation, painting the porches, covering the storage boxes and adding new vinyl siding. The result of their work is that each hut is more comfortable and inviting.
It’s people like Neil, people who don’t make the headlines, that help make Nightingale Hosted Shelters a place that demonstrates respect for its residents and helps them transition to a better life. We couldn’t be more thankful for his being a friend and ally.