Central City Concern

Providing comprehensive solutions to ending homelessness and achieving self-sufficiency. Based in Portland, Ore. since 1979.

Seven CCC Staff Named Portland's Top Medical Providers

Jan 06, 2021

Healers. Caring professionals. Life savers. Heroes.

Our health care providers have been called many things, especially as they’ve battled on the frontlines of a global pandemic. This year, seven of our employees have been ranked by their colleagues as some of the best health care providers in the Portland metropolitan region according to Portland Monthly’s Top Medical Providers 2021 annual survey. We’re honored to have them on our staff, providing compassionate care for our clients and patients.

For the past seventeen years, Portland Monthly has conducted this informal peer survey among a range of medical providers. It’s kind of personal as they ask their colleagues, “Who would you want to have looking out for your family’s health? To whom would you turn if you got sick?”

It’s a big deal if your name shows up on this list. It’s an even BIGGER deal that seven of the top vote-getters work for CCC.

Their years at CCC range from less than one to thirteen. Collectively, they bring over 50 years' experience to our organization.

We thought you might want to get know some of the top providers in our region just a little bit better. So, we posed a few questions to the group. We also asked for their advice for Portlanders as we head into the new year. We thought we’d share some of the best parts of their interviews with you. And, we want to thank each of them for their service to our community.

Our top providers are:

Lydia Bartholow, DNP

Associate Medical Director Substance Use Disorder Services

Pat Buckley, PA-C, ND, WCC

Physician Assistant

Richard Gil, MD

Primary Care Provider

Lauren Land, DNP

Associate Medical Director of Primary Care

Amanda Risser, MD

Senior Medical Director of Substance Use Disorder Services

Elijah Smith, MD

Primary Care Provider

Brianna Sustersic, MD

Senior Medical Director of Primary Care

What’s the most rewarding part of your work at CCC?

“Being able to connect with people in a meaningful way, and that we treat everyone we see with dignity and respect they deserve.”

“I LOVE being part of finding comprehensive solutions for homelessness. I love the people we serve and I love my coworkers and the compassion and excellence they bring to each day.”

“Moments of human connection and getting to walk alongside people in their healing journeys.”

“I love seeing my Spanish-speaking patients, especially those I don’t see often. They know I’m bicultural and bilingual. Knowing that they trust me to listen to them and meet their health needs… that feels awesome.”

What advice do you have for Portlanders as we enter 2021?

“At least it's not 2020 anymore! Undoubtedly, there will be unforeseen challenges, but we have demonstrated our resilience and ability to tackle them. I am hopeful that there are brighter days ahead.”

“Find joy. Keep a journal— even if it's simple! Your kids and grandkids will want to know about what this wild couple of years were like for you. Spend time near (or if you feel safe GET IN!) a big body of Oregon water. Try some local takeout. So many of our restaurants and food carts have gotten creative and have phenomenal takeout offerings.”

“Keep wearing a mask! We're all in this together.”

“Get vaccinated for COVID19 —if you are able — as soon as it is available to you.”

“Be consciously kind to others. It is a small investment with a really great return!”

What do you do for fun when you’re not working?

“Hunting for wild mushrooms. Rescuing pit bulls. Gardening”

“Spend time with my family, be outdoors hiking, and kiss as many llamas as possible!”

“Hiking, white water rafting, travel”

“Exercising in the backyard since our gym is closed and watching Lifetime movies with my wife.”

“I enjoy hanging out with my family and friends. I love to travel and be outdoors — hiking, skiing, biking, running, camping, etc. Pre-COVID: going out to eat and live music were at the top of my list as well.”

Thank You for Sipping and Supporting Central City Coffee!

Jan 04, 2021

THANK YOU, Portland, for sipping and supporting Central City Coffee for the past five years! Due to COVID-19, we've made the difficult decision to permanently close our retail operations.

Central City Coffee began in 2012 as a social enterprise and evolved into a women’s empowerment job training program in 2015. The program specialized in helping women achieve gainful, permanent employment and self-sufficiency. Most of the trainees came from backgrounds of homelessness, substance use and involvement with the criminal justice system. These were resilient clients, many of them single moms working to rebuild their lives after facing homelessness and substance use disorder. With the help of Central City Coffee, these women have gained valuable skills to help them achieve their goals.

The all-female crew did everything from roasting coffee to office administration to sales, gaining a variety of skills. Over the past five years of operation, we estimate we provided training to fifty women.

This closure is bittersweet for many reasons, but it’s the right decision for CCC.

There is good news, however. We still have an inventory of donated coffee beans. In the coming months, CCC will be working with Percasso/Nossa Familia to sell these beans in a smaller office coffee operation.

Other social enterprise opportunities will be considered in the future to fulfill the mission of CCC Coffee, to offer focused assistance to women in their path to self-sustainable careers.

We can’t tell you how much we’ve appreciated the support of our community over the years.

You sipped … to do good.

From the bottom of our coffee cups, thank you!

Building Our Neighborhoods with Bank of America

Dec 03, 2020

We’re thrilled to announce Central City Concern has been named as a 2020 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® awardee. Along with Portland Community College Foundation, we were selected for our work to address issues fundamental to economic mobility by providing housing and workforce development services in Portland.

Annually, the bank’s selection committee chooses two organizations to receive the Neighborhood Builders award that includes a $200,000 grant in flexible funding, a year of leadership training, a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and the opportunity to access capital to expand our impact.

CCC will dedicate the dollars to expanding Flip the Script, our unique program serving recently incarcerated men and women with integrated housing, employment and peer support services. Over the next two years, our goal is to double the number of people receiving housing and workforce training services through the program.

Since the start of the pandemic, CCC has seen a dramatic increase in demand for services that address different levels of housing insecurity, health disparities and homelessness. For example, the need for rent assistance has increased by over 200% since the same time last year. In response, we’ve pivoted operations to provide more relief to more people. One of the changes includes moving the physical location of Flip the Script to the newly renovated Henry building, a more accessible space for clients and in closer proximity to the Justice Center. This move and program expansion are supported by the Neighborhood Builders grant and will help more applicants leaving the justice system learn about Flip the Script.

“This investment will help us reach more individuals with the opportunity to turn their lives around,” says Rachel Solotaroff, CCC President & CEO. “Homelessness in Portland was already on the rise before the pandemic, but the dramatic increase in financial insecurity has meant even more individuals find themselves on the brink. We need a variety of programs to address the needs of different at-risk populations. Flip the Script works with individuals exiting the justice system to provide stable housing and workforce development pathways.”

This newest grant builds on a partnership with Bank of America that began earlier this year with a $50,000 COVID-19 response grant to support CCC’s efforts to provide safe housing to our community’s most vulnerable individuals and families.

“Central City Concern and the Portland Community College Foundation are reaching disadvantaged communities through housing and workforce development programs, which align with Bank of America’s commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity,” says Roger Hinshaw, Oregon and Southwest Washington market president, Bank of America. “As we consider many of the challenges that our communities are facing – from the health and humanitarian crisis brought on by the coronavirus to the need for progress on racial equality and economic opportunity – the Neighborhood Builders program continues to be a relevant and timely initiative to support the communities we serve.”

Since 2004, through the Neighborhood Builders program, Bank of America has invested more than $260 million in 50 communities, partnering with more than 1,300 nonprofits and more than 2,600 nonprofit leaders.

Thank you, Bank of America, for your continued support in helping us meet the needs of our community!



Central City Concern helps people find the stability of home, as well as a new community to support their goals. Our Housing Choice model allows people to choose the kind of housing based on their personal needs. Learn more »

Health and Recovery

Access to integrated primary and behavioral health care is key to successful recovery. CCC offers exceptional, compassionate care to meet patients' primary care, mental health care and substance use disorder treatment needs. Learn more »


The journey from being homeless to finding a living wage job can be arduous, especially without a guide. CCC's employment programs provide vital supports to those desiring to make progress toward self-sufficiency. Learn more »