The Coleman

Homes for Good Housing Agency, Lane County, and Sponsors Inc. are leading the effort to develop 38 units of new affordable housing along with community space, offices, conference room, art space, landscaping, parking, and associated infrastructure.

This building will also serve as an interface between Sponsors Inc. and the larger community. The Coleman is intended to serve individuals exiting Sponsors’ transitional housing program by providing permanent housing with on-site supportive services. These services would be available to clients living on-site, as well as for clients coming from off-site. Additionally, the site consists of two parcels (intended to be expanded through a property line adjustment process), is zoned C-2, and is currently owned by Lane County. The development will consist of a single three-story building and will consist a mix of studios and 1 bedroom units.

Homes for Good intends to use resources from Oregon Housing and Community Services Department (OHCS) and other financial subsidies necessary to develop the project. The estimated timeline is to start construction in 2024. The Architectural Firm has recently started conceptual design work and Homes for Good has selected Essex as the CM/GC selected through an RFP process.

About The Name

Homes for Good and Sponsors Inc. worked in collaboration to name "The Coleman" in honor of Dr. Edwin “Ed” Coleman and his wife, Charmaine.

"The late Dr. Coleman was a founding Sponsors board member, community activist and long-time Sponsors supporter. He and his wife, Charmain, whose support of Sponsors spanned over five decades, left an indelible mark on the organization. They donated their time, energy and resources whenever there was an opportunity. As Charmaine recently recounted, they were at every garage sale, bake sale, art show and organizational gala since the organization was founded in 1973. The Coleman’s were well-known local musicians and played at many Sponsors’ events over the years. In fact, Dr. Coleman was a renowned jazz musician who once toured with Peter, Paul and Mary in the 1960’s. Both Ed and Charmaine had a deep connection to the Sponsors mission with family members dating back over a century who were impacted by the mass incarceration of blacks in the country. They supported Sponsors financially but also went out of their way to connect with and mentor the people in Sponsors programs. Ed and Charmaine would regularly hire Sponsors clients to do work at their home in West Eugene. With each person they hired, Ed would take the time to get to know them and would help guide and mentor them, much like the original Sponsors volunteers did in the 70’s. The Coleman’s were also active in the Eugene community, advocating for social justice and human rights. Hired by the University of Oregon in 1971, Dr. Coleman taught generations of students English where he modified courses to weave in more African American literature to expand students perspectives on racism and economic disparity. He was loved for his passion to help make the world a better place through action, and for the personal time he spent with people encouraging them to reach their best.

The Coleman’s were also fierce and powerful Sponsors advocates. This was illustrated at a community meeting held for area neighbors in 2016 when Sponsors and Homes for Good were siting the Oaks at 14th, a 54 unit apartment community for people with conviction histories. As neighbors to the project, the Coleman’s showed up. After listening to concerned neighbors voice unfounded worries about criminals moving into the neighborhood and the loss of property values, Charmaine stood up and said, 'Shame on you. What gives you the right to say whether or not someone can live in a neighborhood. As a black woman who has lived in this community for over 40 years, I know what it is like to not feel welcome in my neighborhood, and it is not a nice feeling. These people deserve every opportunity for success and Sponsors helps people succeed.' That was a defining moment in the conversation and played a role in the organizations efforts to successful work with neighbors and site the facility. That is the type of advocacy Ed and Charmaine Coleman brought to Sponsors."

-Paul Solomon, Executive Director of Sponsors Inc.

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