So Many Reasons to Give Thanks

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A job, our compassionate colleagues, the privilege to witness our clients’ and patients’ victories big and small… 

Working at a place like Central City Concern provides daily reminders that there is much for which we can and should be grateful. We asked CCC staff members what they're thankful for this Thanksgiving. Here's a sample of their responses!

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“I am thankful for the tremendous opportunity to work with such amazing staff members – people are really here because they CARE about our clients and each other, and it really shows.  True Compassion in action!” – B.M.


“I grew up middle class, went to college, had a good family, etc. I never thought I would become homeless. I had just moved across the country from Michigan to Portland and my drinking eventually led me to being homeless. I tried to get clean and sober, get housing and a job, but I had no idea what to do or where to go.

“I met a woman at a 12-step meeting who had graduated from CCC programs three years prior (and who worked at the Employment Access Center at the time), who helped me sign up for housing and treatment at CCCRC. I got clean, started treatment at CCC Recovery Center, moved into the Richard Harris building, and began receiving medical and mental health care through Old Town Clinic. I got a job a month after completing treatment and moved into independent housing 6 months later. That job lead me on a career path to give back and work with folks experiencing homelessness and addiction.

“Now I work at the Employment Access Center and it feels like everything has come full circle. I am so grateful that CCC provided me with so much help and support and that it encourages clients to give back, because if that woman hadn’t reached out her hand to me, I don’t know where I’d be today. Now I get to give back what was given to me and it feels so great to do that as a part of an organization that I know and believe in. CCC feels like home for me and I’m so grateful for that.” – M.G.


“I am thankful for being able to provide a service to individuals who present hopeless and broken and after a short while they have hope in their eyes and are on their way to a life they never thought possible…” – J.J.


“I was reminded yesterday the effect we have on our clients without homes when a sweet gentleman who has been on the streets for several years came back from Home Forward, now certified for his Project Based Section 8 unit. I was then able to share with him that I would move him in on Wednesday so he’ll be “home” for Thanksgiving. Honest tears poured down his cheeks, truly warming my heart (and burning my eyes too.)” – L.P.


"I'm thankful that Central City Concern isn't in this alone. The task of ending homelessness can be daunting, so what we can do is do this work one person at a time. Thankfully, there are other agencies in Portland – housing organizations, healthcare organizations, employment organizations – who we can partner with to leverage our combined resources and make wider, deeper impacts. We're united in believing that everyone deserves to have a roof over their head and meaningful relationships." – P.H.

“I’m grateful to work with so many people who have so much care for our clients, our mission, and humanity in general.” – A.H.


“As an employee of CCC, I am incredibly grateful for many aspects of my job:

  1. I get to work with an incredible range of compassionate, smart, fun, visionary people who are working hard to help people at all levels of recovery and interdependence.
  2. The workplace is supportive of diversity and self-expression.
  3. I get to work in Portland – where I dreamed of living for years.
  4. I love working at a place that gives so many people opportunities to work in ways that best match their strengths, and…
  5. CCC recognizes as strengths some aspects of employees – like histories of homelessness, incarceration, mental illness, or addiction—that other employers may consider disqualifications.
  6. My heart is warmed every day!
  7. CCC is always growing, changing, and looking for ways to improve.” – M.H.


“I am thankful for the amazing time, compassion, and service that is given by all CCC volunteers, staff, and donors with the greater goals of changing lives for the better and positively impacting the community we all share.” – E.R.


“I’m grateful every day that I have the privilege of coming to work every day at Central City Concern. I have hanging over my desk a quote from John F. Kennedy’s speech at Rice University about the space program, in which he said, ‘We choose to go to the moon … not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.’

“That sentence, to me, summarizes precisely why CCC is such an incredible place to work, and why I’m so grateful to be here. We have the opportunity every day to set ourselves against some of the most difficult problems our society faces—homelessness, poverty, inequality, oppression—and the people who work here bring the best of their energies and skills to partner with the people we serve to win those challenges, one step at a time. They approach every day’s work with grace and skill and absolute dedication, and I am humbled and thankful to have the opportunity to work with them.” – Leslie T.


“I am grateful to work for a company that feel like family!” – D.M.


“I am thankful for all the wonderful people who work for CCC. Their compassion, courage and devotion to human kind truly makes a difference every day.” – I.D.


“I'm thankful for family, friends, and my health care team at Old Town Clinic.” – A.R.


“What I am grateful for is the opportunity to be employed here, my family, being drug-free for over a year and my sister coming up on a year clean as well.” – D.D.