As the holidays near we’re approaching the one year anniversary of the Sunnyside Shower Program. This year we have sponsored several vaccine events, instituted a vaccine mandate, and conducted a de-escalation training for the volunteers. In the coming months we are conducting a needs assessment of our regular clients to see how we can improve the program in 2022. We gratefully accept donations to keep our volunteer-run project going. You can donate on our website (https://sunnysideportland.org/donate) or via Zelle to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please specify the Sunnyside Shower Program. Thanks!
Q&A with Corey Schuster
During the pandemic, you might have seen Corey Schuster selling wine out of the back of his pick-up truck on Taylor Street just east of the Sunnyside Environmental School. When we were all stuck at home — and some of us weren’t even venturing out to the grocery store, let alone to a wine shop — it was lovely to be able to buy a bottle of rosé on the street while taking an evening walk. Talk about buying local!
For the past decade, Schuster has been the sole winemaker at Jackalope Wine Cellars (jackalopewinecellars.com). He purchases grapes from farmers and makes his wine at the Portland Wine Company at Powell and SE 50th. To taste his wines (and those made by Love & Squalor winery) head there on Thursdays or Fridays from 4-8 p.m. or Saturdays and Sundays from 1-7 p.m. You can bring your own food and order a glass, a bottle, or do a tasting. He lives with his partner Candace Fallon, a biologist who works at the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
How long have you been a winemaker?
Corey: This is my tenth vintage! You would think I’d do something about it. I spent a couple years working for different wineries, doing anything they put in front of me. I had a lot of opportunities to do work in tasting rooms, lab work, and events. When the Southeast Wine Collective opened in 2012, they hired me to run the bar. It felt like a safe place to start making wine so I jumped in.
When did you move to Sunnyside?
Corey: I moved to Portland in 2006 and have lived within a half mile radius — in Sunnyside — pretty much the entire time. The first place I lived was on Yamhill and 26th. Then I moved to 34th and Stark for a year. We’re now at 35th and Taylor and have been here since 2007.
Do you rent or own?
Corey: We’re renting. It’s an old house that was turned into a fourplex. Our landlords are awesome. We really love it here. Our location is pretty much perfect.
What do you love about Sunnyside?
Corey: I love all the amenities: restaurants, bars, and grocery stores. We have access to downtown and the highways to get out of town. It’s pretty great. And now that the winery is 1.5 miles away, work is also an easy commute.
What is one thing you’d like to see change about Sunnyside?
Corey: I love the piazza idea! [Floated by a Sunnyside board member at a recent meeting.] It’s not something this country does really well—having a central area. The center of Sunnyside—a place you can sit and hang out and greet the neighbors.
How is the harvest going?
Corey: The quality [of grapes] is looking good. Some of the vineyards I work with—their yields will be way down. Part of it was the heat, especially for vineyards that don’t irrigate. The grapes just don’t bulk up, which means really small clusters and small grapes. It’s just less fruit. The last time we did get rain was while flowering was happening—so the rain affected the fruit.
Schuster’s 2020 releases include a rosé, a carbonically macerated Merlot, a Pinot Noir, a Viognier, and a white Cabernet Franc. You can find them at New Seasons, Division Wines, Providore, and Whole Foods.
Follow Corey on Instagram or Twitter at @JackalopeCorey
The SNACC committee met on Thursday, Sept. 16th after a long hiatus. Jes Maran is stepping down as chair. Board member Emily McCadden offered to co-chair (for the time being with Jes) until someone else volunteers to co-chair with her.
We gave brief updates on the shower project, which has recently been blessed by a lot of donations of both funds and toiletries, and we discussed the possibility of a vaccine mandate for those who come for showers. 20+ shower volunteers participated in a super awesome de-escalation training in September, led by Zack Hart from Hygiene4All. Hannah helped organize a vaccine event on September 30th for the houseless at the Sunnyside Methodist Church. We also discussed rolling out the “Get on the Sunnyside” campaign that a group of U of O grad students helped prepare for us
last year as part of a class project. This would entail some work on the website, but the posters are already made. The focus of the campaign is to acknowledge the need for a neighborhood that is healthy, safe and welcoming for all who call it home. We encourage anyone who is interested in these efforts to attend our next SNACC meeting on Thursday, Oct. 21st at 6:30 p.m. Meeting details will be posted on the SNA website the week of October 18th.
Awesome shower volunteer Marisa Espinoza, who works at the Northwest Pilot Project, crunched the numbers for us. Since January, when we launched the shower program at the Groves, we have served 63 houseless individuals. Some shower weekly, some come less often, but all of them thank us repeatedly for offering them this opportunity to get and stay clean. I often get texts like this from our houseless neighbors: “Thank you a ton for everything, Hannah. It really means a lot what you do.”
Thanks to the Groves for continuing to allow us to use their facilities for this program. I’m also so grateful to all 23 of our amazing volunteers—most from Sunnyside but some come from nearby neighborhoods to help out. We could still use two additional volunteers for an every-other-week shift this fall. If you’re interested, please reach out to me at email@example.com. Shower days are in the afternoons on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.