Make a Difference

Everything we do is done by volunteers.  Every success we have is because of the strength of our members.

We have seen the effects of our work on park and marina communities and many of our neighbors and industry partners have asked how they can help.  Beyond memberships, we gladly accept donations and contributions of your time.

Check the list below to see our current volunteer needs.

Why Give? This is why I give.

In 2014, I was making repairs to my floating home that the previous owner had neglected.  But as soon as I completed the demolition work and my house went from being liveable to being an uninhabitable construction zone (no floor, no plumbing, no kitchen), the owner of my marina began changing the rules and causing problems for me that prevented me from doing any more work on the home.

I was paying moorage fees (space rent) to the marina owner for a house that I could not occupy, but I was also paying rent for the temporary apartment I had leased for 3 months during the construction.  But with the landlord-induced delays and no end in sight, I had no choice but to keep paying for 2 homes month-after-month because I had a house that I couldn’t sell in its present state. I began researching “floating home owner laws” but found nothing.

This situation continued for nearly 2 years until I stumbled upon an online article from John VanLandingham (OSTA’s current Vice-President) which showed that Oregon law considers a floating home owner in a rented slip to be a tenant (not a homeowner). I began devouring Chapter 90 laws and I realized for the first time that my landlord had been violating many of my rights.

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After reading the laws, I was empowered with the knowledge I needed to advocate for myself by exercising my rights.  My landlord backed down when confronted with the law and allowed me to finish construction.  After paying double rent for 2 years, I moved into my home within 3 months.

Nothing can replace the money and time I had lost from not knowing my rights, nor the stress and the opportunity costs from not being able to settle down and spend time on building a life instead of fighting a landlord who didn’t respect the law.

But I have found healing by dedicating my time and skills to park and marina residents to try to make sure that what happened to me will not happen to others. I founded Floating Home Owners (FHO – a group of floating home owner tenants from Gresham to St. Helens who meet to discuss issues at their marinas), as well as a residents group at my own marina.  In addition to the volunteer time I spend on education and empowerment efforts in my community, I participate in the Landlord-Tenant Coalition and serve on the Board of OSTA to make legislative changes that improve the lives of park and marina tenants.

By placing myself in the service of others, my volunteered time is my gift to you, but I can attest that my service has paid me back several times over in the knowledge that I have helped others and made a difference in your lives.

Angela Garvin – Floating Home Owner in Portland

Make a Difference

We are currently looking for talents and skills in the following areas:

  • Handyman Services – are you handy with tools, good at repairing things, or can build an ADA ramp to support our Helping Hands Grant program?
  • Outreach – are you good at talking to people in your community and spreading the word about what our organization does at parks and marinas?
  • Grant-Writing – do you have experience researching or writing grants?
  • Printing – do you have ties to printers to help offset the costs of printed materials?
  • Graphic Design/Layout Skills – do you have desktop publishing skills to help us revamp our OSTA Review?
  • Editor/Writer – do you like talking to people and learning about the stories of others? Can you help us gather or write articles for the OSTA Review or our website News/Blog page?
  • Legal Services – are you an attorney or studying to become one and would like to help translate the law for us for our website and outreach publications?
  • Marketing – are you familiar with print, online, and social media advertising and campaigns to attract members?
  • Leadership – do you have leadership skills and wish to start an OSTA chapter at your park or marina?

Become an OSTA District Director

Do you want to help others living in parks or marinas?  Do you enjoy empowering people?  Do you like the way it feels to make a difference?

Directors’ responsibilities include educating our members, empowering park and marina residents to improve their living situations, growing our membership, advocating for legislative improvements, supporting the formation of new chapters at district parks and marinas, and remaining in contact with chapters once they are formed.

Contribute Your Time At These Events

We cannot live only for ourselves.  A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.

Herman Melville, Author

I believe that every human mind feels pleasure doing good to one another.

Thomas Jefferson, American President and Founding Father

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

Mahatma Gandhi, Activist and Peaceful Protestor