Each year we choose a member or members of the community to chair our annual fundraiser and art auction, Expressions: An Art Benefit for ShelterCare. This year we are proud to introduce Tim and Chris Campbell as the honorary chairs for the event on Thursday, May 18. Tim is the co-owner of Campbell Commercial Real Estate and Chris is recently retired after a successful career in retail sales.
Could you each give some personal background?
Chris: I grew up in Montana and Roseburg. I graduated from Roseburg High School. I worked in retail sales from the start, working for the Bon Marche’ and then in the car business for 15 years. I am now retired and enjoying life playing with our dog, Cooper, and learning how to play golf.
Tim: I own Campbell Commercial Real Estate with my brother, Patric. The business was founded in 1968 by our father and we bought him out in 2007 (which was a huge “lesson” in when to sell and when to buy). I attended Marist High School and graduated from the University of Oregon and am an active volunteer with many local groups. We have two children—Megan, who is at the U of O studying health and human services, and Max, a freshman at Sheldon High School.
What do you see as the greatest strength of this community?
Both: We love our community, and see the power of coming together as a strength. Our community is also very passionate, which is a strength (and sometimes a weakness). We love that there are so many people in our community who come from all walks of life and all different backgrounds, but when there is a call to action or when there is a community need, everyone can put down their differences and help the cause.
What is your greatest concern for this community? What do you see as its greatest needs?
Both: Our greatest concern for the community is the lack of government-assisted programs for mental health. We are concerned about the lack of funding. We are concerned about the impact meth has had on our community, buildings and homes. The increase of violent acts and home invasions is deeply concerning as well. We also worry about the sheer number of people experiencing homelessness… the ones who are visible and also the ones that you don’t see, who may be hiding, or staying with friends, or living in a vehicle. We are concerned about homeless youth and children, too. The numbers are staggering.
What role do you see your organization playing in our community? What values does it promote? How is it impacting our community?
Both: We have always worked to make our community a better place. Campbell Commercial Real Estate has been a part of events and organizations that help the community. We encourage our employees to volunteer and get behind the causes and organizations they believe in. Personally, we have always helped in areas that involve children. Tim has been active in the 20/30 Club, Relief Nursery, and Kidsports, and has chaired events with March of Dimes. Chris has volunteered with Kendall Cares “Drive for Education” for two years. Civically, Tim has given back to the community he loves by being on the board of the Chamber of Commerce, LGAC (Local Government Affairs Council, he is a founding member with Susan Ban), and Downtown Eugene, Inc. Tim has chaired LGAC three times. Tim has also served on the Oregon Club Board ( past President), the board of the Oregon Alumni Association (2 terms), and First Tech Credit Union Auxiliary board.
Have you ever had any firsthand experience seeing the positive impact of housing on community well-being?
Tim: Yes. As a high school student in the 1980s while I was student doing my Christian service at Marist High School. We worked with some homeless families directly and I saw how delicate of a situation it was and how humbling of an experience that had a lasting impression on me as a young teenager. After visiting ShelterCare and learning more about how active they are what they do, I can honestly say that ShelterCare is the dominant group in our community, the pillar for helping and doing their part to end homelessness. They “do” by providing housing plus support. They follow through, and they are experts in our community. I was amazed at the dollars saved associated with ShelterCare’s work. This should be talked about more.
What developing solutions to homelessness in Lane County look promising to you?
Both: Eugene has been very active in helping curb homelessness for a long time, identifying and addressing the root problems. We are encouraged that the community has taken on homelessness with things like the Homelessness Task Force and Opportunity Village (tiny houses). I also think that 15th Night, of which ShelterCare is a part, is a critical solution to helping end the growing number of homeless youth in our community. ShelterCare's stability as an agency is important as well. Their expertise in counseling the city, staff and community is very positive, along with their ongoing drive and dedication to helping solve homelessness issues in our community and bringing so much hope and joy to those whose lives they touch.
What is your favorite weekend activity?
Both: Spending time with the family and going to kids' events, along with the occasional golf outing.