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What Does Sammy’s Place Do?

Feb 19, 2024

What is Sammy’s Place?

Imagine, with an open heart, if you primarily had to rely on someone else so you could access your community, recreation, music, art workshop, or employment…

There are 850 people that receive Developmental Disability (DD) services from Knappa in Clatsop County to just past Yachats in Lincoln County, that’s over 173 pot-holed and land slid-rugged-coast highway miles. There are approximately 34,000 Oregonians receiving these services statewide.  These DD services are sometimes equipment, technology, or education, but mostly they come in the form of ‘support hours’ to hire a person so an individual may get the unique support they need to perform their daily activities of life such as accessing communication, medical care, their community, or meaningful employment.  On the North Coast of Oregon, these services often go unfilled leaving gaping holes with limited daily support, unmet needs, or unfulfilled dreams. We all had a small taste of this during COVID, but many of us have reinstated our lives and moved on – not so true for those that count on supports to live independently.

Sammy’s Place is a 501(c)(3) devoted to creating living, working, and respite choices, inspired by nature. We work so everyone living on the Coast can fully participate and thrive in their community of choice. While disability is a natural part of life, the Oregon Coast is not yet universally accessible and welcoming to people with disabilities. Our solution is to work, in partnerships, to create the conditions for easy access that would allow any individual to participate and enjoy a place, product, service, or role independently. We do this through our North Coast networking and support programs, and in our affordable and workforce housing efforts, especially with families and individuals experiencing disability.


The COAAST Network

Loneliness can have major impacts on physical, mental, and cognitive health.1 We all know what this feels like at times. We all became even more familiar with this during COVID. Unfortunately, for many living with disabilities, loneliness and isolation is an all too common part of their daily lives. So we created the COAAST Network where individuals and families can meet others living on the North Coast of Oregon traveling a similar journey in the DD system or living with a disability. The COAAST Network stands for: Communities of All Abilities Succeeding Together and is one of eight similar statewide family networks. COAAST hosts trainings and local coastal activities where families and individuals can meet one-another and form meaningful relationships which often lead to more resources and a devoted support network. The work of the COAAST Network comes in many forms such as one-on-one peer support, group meetups, elevating voices of lived experience, advocating for better policies and outcomes, and building authentic relationships. The COAAST Network seeks to provide more supports alongside the formal system and we believe the strongest supports can come from the community. We have a great community on the Oregon Coast, but unfortunately so many people in our community are unaware of the needs of their neighbors living with disabilities and simply do not engage. Information is the key, and Sammy’s Place is here to educate about what is happening right in their very own backyard.


Coming up…get involved…

The COAAST Network has many free local coastal meetups, to help create real relationships, planned for 2024, with a variety of community partners. They invite you to visit the new website calendar to see what is coming next, everyone is welcome: www.sammysplace.info.  From whale-watching trips and community cleanups to art programs and theater, we will be forming connections to knock back isolation and loneliness. Opportunities exist to participate or volunteer, and if you are new to hanging with this community, please join us at one of our coastal activities, everyone is welcome.

To find out more… 

Career opportunities exist as support workers all along the coast of Oregon.

To become a Personal Support Worker, contact the Tillamook Community Developmental Disabilities Program: https://tfcc.org/developmental-disabilities-2/

To learn about Direct Support Professional work or Job Coaching and other support opportunities, contact Sammy’s Place.


Other Cool News!

Unified Local Program Sports is very new to Oregon and Tillamook County is leading the way! This is a community sport program where every single community member is encouraged to play on local teams…together! (Ages 8 and up) Think bowling, alongside your neighbor and friends; or have you been recollecting your basketball glory days but need a realistic pace, you’re invited! Unified Sports is an inclusive sports program that unites Special Olympics athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities) and partners (individuals without intellectual disabilities) as teammates for training and competition.2

Coming March 17: Winter Regional Basketball Tournament, Beaverton Hillsboro

Get more information and register to play here: https://soor.org/unified-sports/

For more information contact:




Enjoy our new website here: www.sammysplace.info

1 Amy Novotney; May 2019 (pre-COVID); The risks of social isolation; American Psychological Association; Vol 50, No. 5; Print version: page 32; viewed 1/31/24; https://www.apa.org/monitor/2019/05/ce-corner-isolation

2 Special Olympics Oregon; Unified Sports; viewed 1/31/24; https://soor.org/unified-sports/