The Roseburg office of the Department of Human Services is preparing for its December move by reaching out to the community to help with furnishing projects to make the new building functional for DHS recipients.

In early December, the three agencies of Aging and People with Disabilities, Self-Sufficiency and Child Welfare will be consolidating their offices in one location at the old Douglas Community Medical Center site at 738 W. Harvard Ave.

When DHS moves from its current location on 1937 W. Harvard Ave. near Stewart Parkway to its larger facility, it will provide 11 visitation rooms. In these rooms, the 442 Douglas County children and young adults in foster care can visit with their parents and siblings to maintain a healthy relationship while they prepare to reunite. These rooms will need new furniture.

“Everyone is working on coming back together as families, so we are trying to make it as much as a homelike setting as possible,” said DHS Child Welfare Resource Developer Marlana Potter.

DHS is looking for local businesses, groups or individuals to sponsor the 11 rooms, which can be carried out in several ways. Sponsors can furnish an entire room themselves. Donations can also be made for portions of a room or for one piece of furniture or a toy.

Monetary donations can also be made to DHS to furnish the rooms themselves. Some groups and businesses are holding fundraisers to raise money to furnish the rooms. Sponsored rooms can also be named after a sponsor with a name put on a plaque.

West Harvard Furniture owner Karen Kohlman said her store will provide DHS with discounts on furniture. Those interested in buying furniture from West Harvard Furniture for DHS should contact Marlana Potter at DHS to get a discount.

DHS has also quantified the cost of the new furnishings to make it easier for sponsors and donors to monetarily fund a room or make partial donations.

With discounts, completely furnishing one of four small visitation rooms would cost $1,691. Completely furnishing one of four large visitation rooms would cost $2,345. Completely furnishing one of two extra large family rooms would cost $2,804. Furniture and utensils for one kitchen visitation room is $1,000.

“To have an environment where children and parents can feel safe and comfortable and bond is important during times of chaos,” Potter said.

An estimate of discounted furnishings was also made. Sofas made of easy-to-clean material were estimated at $500 each; chairs are $391; two end tables or one coffee table are $250 each; a plastic playhouse is $300; a toy storage cabinet is $100; and children’s toys are $150.

Prices for partial donations for the kitchen include a kitchen table and six chairs at $654; a cookware set for $150; a flatware set at $50; a dinnerware set for $60; a cooking utensil set at $40; and a microwave for $46.

For more information about sponsoring a visitation room or to make arrangements for furniture discounts or to make donations, please contact Marlana Potter at the local DHS office at 541-464-2142 or by email at

Reporter Vera Westbrook can be reached at 541-957-4216 or

Vera Westbrook is the education, nonprofits, and arts and entertainment reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4216 or by email at

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.