Central City Concern

Providing comprehensive solutions to ending homelessness
and achieving self-sufficiency.

Town Center Courtyards Is Keeping Families Together

Jul 25, 2016

Amber L. is absolutely over the moon. The 27-year-old mom is moving back to Clackamas, Ore., where she grew up, into a brand new apartment. “I am so happy to be coming back with my son to a safe, beautiful home,” she told the crowd of close to 100 people who attended the grand opening of Town Center Courtyards on Wednesday, July 20.

Town Center Courtyards will become a stable, supportive home for families who are homeless or vulnerable to homelessness. The 60-unit, mixed-income apartment complex is a shining example of form and function. All the units have exterior doors and overlook courtyards where families can socialize and kids can play. The apartments are spacious and bright. There will be two Central City Concern (CCC) staff members on-site to help residents with life skills, employment, educational development, recovery, parenting and wellness support. The neighborhood is well located near public transportation, public schools, public parks, child care centers, grocery stores and numerous employment opportunities.

CCC Family Housing has served more than 1,000 families since 2000. Just last year, our Family Housing program served 122 families that included 189 children:

- 75 kids were able to stay with their families and avoid foster care.
- 79 of those families were able to find permanent housing.
- 30 of the parents found employment and 20 entered school. One parent even graduated from college.

But clients can wait as long as six months to access family housing. Town Center Courtyards will add 60 units (20 one-bedroom, one-bath; 32 two-bedrooms, one-bath; 8 three-bedrooms, 1.5 bath) to CCC’s existing 92 units of family housing.

Town Center Courtyards was completed on time and ahead of schedule. Families should start moving in during August. This is just one of several CCC affordable housing projects moving forward this summer.

Town Center Courtyards is the result of robust collaboration between CCC, Clackamas County, Oregon Housing & Community Services and U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, as well as many foundations and individual donors. These partners are providing the opportunity for families to have a safe, affordable place to call home.

During the grand opening, Clackamas County Commissioner Martha Schrader, Director of Clackamas County Housing & Community Development Chuck Robbins, Director of Oregon Housing & Community Services Claire Seguin, Vice-president of U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation Ann Melone, and CCC’s Senior Director of Housing and Recovery Support Services Sharon Fitzgerald all spoke of the importance of supporting the community by providing affordable housing in which families can thrive.

Amber says she was filled with gratitude when she cut the ribbon to officially open Town Center Courtyards. “Thank you for making my dream come true," she said.



Restaurant Depot: 2016 “Opening Doors" Employer of the Year

Jul 14, 2016

On July 13, Central City Concern held its seventh annual Employment Access Center celebration to honor more than a dozen clients for their exceptional diligence and success in the employment process over the past year. The EAC also recognized two Portland-area employers—Washman Car Washes and Restaurant Depot—for their superlative commitments to helping individuals find stable employment and attain self-sufficiency.

Restaurant Depot was honored as the “Opening Doors” Employer of the Year for their “commitment to giving those with high barriers to employment an opportunity to thrive.” Learn more about Restaurant Depot below!

• • •

Anyone who works in a Portland restaurant knows about Restaurant Depot. This cash-and-carry warehouse offers one-stop shopping to Portland’s ever-expanding food service industry. Shoppers will find fresh meat, poultry, seafood and produce; dairy products; a huge variety of frozen and canned foods; beverages; bakery supplies; catering supplies; cleaning supplies; and food service equipment.

Restaurant Depot has been an extremely supportive partner of CCC’s Employment Access Center (EAC) for more than five years, hiring five to 10 people annually. Most people work out; one CCC referral has been there five years and became the union shop steward.

Dan Williams (pictured here), Restaurant Depot’s branch manager, appreciates working with the EAC because they do such a great job identifying people who will be a good fit with the company, and likely to stay. “We like giving people a chance,” he says. “A lot of people make mistakes but it’s important to get them a job and get them out of that rut so they can improve their lives.”

Dan says people from CCC work hard and are likely to stick around. The EAC also helps him solve hiring struggles and remain fully staffed.

“It’s a great partnership,” he says.



Washman Car Washes: 2016 “Enduring Partner” Employer of the Year

Jul 14, 2016

On July 13, Central City Concern held its seventh annual Employment Access Center celebration to honor more than a dozen clients for their exceptional diligence and success in the employment process over the past year. The EAC also recognized two Portland-area employers—Restaurant Depot and Washman Car Washes—for their superlative commitments to helping individuals find stable employment and attain self-sufficiency.

Washman Car Washes was honored as the “Enduring Partner” Employer of the Year for their "history of partnering with Central City Concern and believing in our customers.” Learn more about Washman below!

• • •

With 11 locations across the Portland metro area, Washman Car Washes are a familiar site to community members. According to Amy Colvin (pictured here), the company’s Human Resources Coordinator, this is all the more reason that the company is intent on giving back to the area.

“We aim to be citizens who are part of this community. We do a lot in terms of giving back, not just in supporting schools and the Special Olympics and more, but also in the way we hire and how we work,” Amy says.

Over the past several years, clients of Central City Concern’s Employment Access Center have certainly felt the good work of Washman Car Washes. As part of their commitment to the community, Washman has been intentional in giving individuals experiencing barriers to employment—extended periods of unemployment or homelessness, less-than-spotless criminal histories, various scheduling needs, among other reasons—something invaluable: an opportunity. As Amy says, “Washman believes in second chances, in getting people back to work.”

While Washman’s compassionate hiring practices have helped more than a dozen EAC customers get back to work, the company has seen benefits, too.

“I think the people who come to us from Central City Concern display a great commitment to turning their life around,” says Amy. “They’re not interested in just finding a way to get by, they’re looking to get better.”

According to Amy, Washman takes pride in being understanding and flexible with its employees to help them succeed not just in the workplace, but in life. They do their best to accommodate employees’ childcare schedules, treatment program commitments, and even AA or NA meetings.

“We encourage them to continue those things because we know how important they are. We want to make sure they get the support that they need.”

Amy says the past several years of investing in CCC Employment Access Center clients looking to get on the right track has been absolutely worthwhile.

Giving people a chance when others don’t, Amy says, “makes for better employees, for a better relationship with us their employer, and for better people.”



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