Get Out the Vote!

Oct 20, 2020

Tuesday, November 3, 2020 is the general election.

You have until October 27 to safely return your ballot by mail, so now is the time to vote. After October 27, be sure to get your ballot to your nearest drop box to make sure it's turned in on time and counted. If you're outside the Portland metro area, use this statewide drop box locator.

CCC's Public Policy Director, Mercedes Elizalde, mailing in her ballot.

CCC believes voting is important, civic involvement and using your voice through voting is critical. Remember to vote the whole ballot. There are many important races and measures for you to consider.

CCC has endorsed two statewide measures on the November ballot. Both are critical to serving our communities:

  • YES on Measure 110 - Drug Treatment and Recovery Act. Measure 110 decriminalizes simple possession of illegal drugs and reallocates some marijuana taxes towards recovery services and treatment. We need a health care approach to health care needs. This is an opportunity to put more funds into recovery services. With the impacts of COVID-19 and the economic downturn, we need to protect and invest in treatment and recovery. 
  • YES on Measure 108 - Yes for a Healthy Future. Measure 108 raises new funds for the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) through a dedicated increase in tobacco taxes. OHP is one of the most important safety net services our community has to offer. Keeping OHP financially sound ensures more people can find stability in their health care. OHP is a lifeline in our state, allowing people to access primary care, dental care and behavioral health supports, at a time when health care is needed now more than ever. 

Earlier this month CCC hosted candidate forums for the City of Portland races. You can listen into the candidates discuss homelessness, economic stability, housing and community safety.


If you have not received your ballot, or if you have misplaced it you can get a replacement. Check your Multnomah County Elections Department for details and any other questions you might have to make sure your vote is counted.

Make a PLAN. Be PREPARED. VOTE by November 3!



Mental Illness Awareness Week: “You Come from Kings and Queens”

Oct 08, 2020

We could not let Mental Illness Awareness Week pass by without sharing the story of Central City Concern’s Imani Center. Imani pushes back against stigma, prejudice and inequity to provide culturally responsive treatment for mental health conditions and substance use disorders to Black individuals who need it.

“The historical experience (for Black and African American people) in America – of violence, trauma, enslavement, colonization, dehumanization, oppression – it creates disparities, both in illness and treatment,” said Linda Hudson, Director of African American Services at Imani.

The Imani Center focuses on building community and connection among their clients, starting when they walk through the front door. Artwork and light fill the space, bringing with them cultural and historical healing.

One barrier to effective treatment is a nationwide scarcity of Black mental health providers. “When people go to the doctor, they don’t see anyone who looks like they do. There’s a lack of trust in the medical system,” said Hudson. It's different at Imani, where Black care providers and team members can relate directly to their clients’ backgrounds and treatment is grounded in the African American experience.

“We say, ‘You come from kings and queens in Africa.’ Those are magical words. They lift people up,” Hudson said.

The tight-knit Imani team includes psychiatrists, mental health counselors, addiction counselors and peer support specialists who work together to meet each client’s needs. Through group and individual therapy, the team facilitates healing.

"In mainstream programs, our clients often don’t feel like they’re part of their treatment. They have to put a mask on and conform so they won't be labelled as noncompliant, aggressive, scary. They just try to get through it. But we have a right to be angry. It might seem pathological, but anger can just be a normal reaction to our historical experience,” said Hudson.

During group sessions, now online instead of face-to-face, the Imani team uses evidence-based practices to help people process and talk about their trauma in a safe and supportive space. “It’s loud, it’s passionate. Sometimes you’d think they’re arguing — but they’re not,” Hudson said.

The tight-knit Imani Center team works together to support clients and one another. Pictured here in 2019 are mental health and addiction counselors Walter Bailey (left) and Orlondo Smith (far right). Other team members include Lanetta Garner, Administrative Assistant; Sheri Hamilton, Counselor; Linda Hudson, Director of African American Services; Dr. Christopher Hobart, Psychiatrist; Charlene McCleoud, Counselor; Richard Owens, Peer Support Specialist; and Andre Pruitt, Social Worker. The Imani team mourns the recent loss of team member Charles Bryant Jr.

Hudson remembers a client who came to Imani with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, a substance use disorder and a history of multiple arrests. He was in a desperate place. “After a year of treatment, we just didn’t see that diagnosis in him,” she said. Like many African Americans, the client had likely been misdiagnosed during a mental health crisis. Research has shown that misdiagnosis — especially of schizophrenia — occurs more often for Black people than for other ethnicities, likely due to provider bias or prejudice. An incorrect diagnosis makes it even harder for Black individuals to get the right kind of care.

But at Imani, that client accessed culturally competent support and treatment for his substance use disorder in addition to his mental illness. In group sessions, “he was around his people,” said Hudson. He could share truthfully and be open — perhaps for the first time — and he graduated from the program into a new life.

“Now he has faith in himself. He has faith in his people. He drops by the Center every year and people hang on his every word,” Hudson said.


If you are struggling with a mental health condition, know that You Are Not Alone: please seek help. To learn more about culturally competent mental health services at Central City Concern, call us at 971-361-7888 or walk in at Blackburn Center (12121 E. Burnside) or Old Town Clinic (727 W. Burnside) to get started.



Mental Illness Awareness Week: Manos Abiertas

Oct 07, 2020

“I walked into therapy feeling broken, alone, and defeated. Today, in my last therapy session, I can say that I walk with my head held high, I feel confident, strong and no longer reflect the person who walked into services. I have the skills to manage my mental health and have developed the motivation to be happy with my life.”

 

“Entré en terapia sintiéndome quebrada, sola y derrotada. Hoy, en mi última sesión de terapia, puedo decir que camino con la cabeza en alto, me siento confiada, fuerte y ya no reflejo a la persona que entró en los servicios. Tengo las habilidades para manejar mi salud mental y he desarrollado la motivación para ser feliz con mi vida.

As Mental Illness Awareness Week unfolds, we want to highlight the support and services that Spanish-speaking community members can access at Central City Concern’s Puentes program. Puentes provides mental health services, recovery support and wraparound case management to nearly 300 people each year, many of them first-generation immigrants to the United States.

For non-English speakers or recent immigrants, barriers to care are high — language barriers, legal documentation status, employment status, and prejudice and discrimination can all negatively impact people’s access to care. During the COVID-19 pandemic, those barriers have grown even more — and so have anxiety, depression, trauma and other mental health challenges. At Puentes, the team acts as a bridge to the care people need, regardless of insurance.

But it’s not just structural barriers that keep people in the Latinx community from getting help for a mental illness. Stigmas around mental illness can also make people reluctant to seek care.

Mental health counselor Cesar Ramirez knows that COVID-19 is presenting increased challenges for his clients. “They’re thinking, ‘I can’t get sick: my daughter won’t eat.’” He works with clients on staying centered in the moment and focusing on what they can control, so they don’t get stuck in fear.

“There’s a taboo. People say it’s ‘algo para locos’ – just for crazy people,” said Cesar Ramirez, a mental health counselor at Puentes. Often, people avoid mental health services until they are in crisis.

The team at Puentes works together to build lasting relationships and provide personalized support, so that clients don’t have to be in a dire state before they get help. They provide counseling, recovery support and intensive case management to connect people to housing, health care and other resources. And Puentes team members are bilingual and bicultural, grounding their work in a deep understanding of and respect for their clients’ backgrounds.

“When someone has the strength and courage to come in for help, we want them to know: You are in a safe space. This is your casa. We welcome them with manos abiertas — open arms,” said Cesar.

The bicultural, bilingual Puentes team provides culturally-informed care and support to their Latinx clients. From left: Daniel Garcia, Director of Latino Services; Albert Parramon, Clinical Supervisor; Maide Almeda, Alcohol & Drug Counselor; Cesar Ramirez, Mental Health Provider; Ricardo Verdeguez, Alcohol & Drug Counselor; and Jesus Mendoza, Case Manager. (Not pictured: Nuvia Chavez-Tellez, Ivette Iparraguirre, Marysol Jimenez, Gabriela Lule and Cindy Ross.)

And Puentes is still providing services, despite the ongoing pandemic. The team offers individual and group counseling sessions, in addition to recovery support, online and over the phone. New clients are welcome, and the team has had great success with moving individual and group counseling sessions to the phone or online.

“We want people to know, ‘Si se puede.’ Yes, you can. You can find help. There is light at the end of the tunnel: it’s okay to ask for help. Sometimes you need support from community. And we are part of your community, too,” said Albert Parramon, Puentes Clinical Supervisor and a licensed mental health and addiction counselor.


To connect with Puentes, call 503-546-9975 or visit them online for more information.


Ahora mas que nunca necesitamos mas ayuda o apoyo profesional. Puentes es un programa que ofrece servicios de recuperación para las adicciones y de consejería de salud mental para usted o algún ser querido que lo necesite. 

¡Ofrecemos varios tipos de tratamiento y apoyo, de acuerdo con sus necesidades y en suidioma! Para mas información, por favor comuníquese con nosotros. Llámenos al 503-546-9975. ¡Gracias!



Join Us for a Special Virtual Event!

Oct 01, 2020

Please join us on Tuesday, October 20 at 6 p.m. for a conversation about ending homelessness. Central City Concern President and CEO Rachel Solotaroff and Chief Medical Officer Andrew Mendenhall will lead a discussion about how CCC is keeping our doors open during COVID-19, plus how we’re providing real solutions to ending homelessness. Special guest Chief Equity Officer Freda Ceaser will speak on our commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization.


Meet Our Speakers

 

Dr. Rachel Solotaroff, MD, MCR, has served as CCC’s President and CEO since 2017, overseeing all aspects of the organization. Rachel began her career at CCC in 2006 as the Medical Director of Old Town Clinic, providing primary care to people experiencing homelessness.


 

Dr. Andrew Mendenhall, MD, joined CCC in 2017 as Senior Medical Director for Substance Use Disorder Services, becoming Chief Medical Officer in 2018. In his role, Andrew oversees all medical and clinical services, as well as promoting ethical and quality care.


 

Freda Ceaser, MSW, serves as CCC’s Chief Equity Officer, providing leadership for CCC’s Diversity Committee. She has been instrumental in CCC’s ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion work, as well as pivoting CCC to becoming an anti-racist organization. She’s been with CCC since 2004.


 

To view the livestream, visit avcast.me/inthistogether at 6 p.m. on October 20 and press "play" on the video. Tech support will be available on the day of the event. Please send questions to margaret.floberg@ccconcern.org.



Recovery and Connection

Sep 29, 2020

A rare afternoon in the office for LEAD case managers Hubert Mathews, Jr. (left) and Brennan Edwards (right). The LEAD team spends most of its time out in the field, connecting with clients wherever they are.

As National Recovery Month comes to a close, we want to shine a light on a team that uses the power of recovery and supportive connections to transform lives. CCC’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) teams work to help low-level drug offenders move toward recovery, find stability and avoid reoffending.

For people experiencing homelessness, contact with the criminal justice system is often unavoidable. Offenses like trespassing, sleeping at a bus stop and “aggressive littering” – when belongings are spread out in a public space – lead to unpayable fines, arrest and incarceration. Homeless individuals who are also navigating substance use disorders are often arrested for low-level drug crimes and can get sucked deeper and deeper into the criminal justice system.

CCC’s LEAD teams work at the nexus of substance use, homelessness and criminality to disrupt that pattern. “We’re thinking differently about addiction, and recategorizing it as a mental health and social justice issue – not a criminal justice issue,” said Erica Thygesen, LEAD Program Manager.

The Multnomah County LEAD program has supported more than 300 clients in transforming their lives since the program opened in 2017. Pictured from left: Case Managers Brennan Edwards, Hubert Mathews, Jr. and Carlos Reynoso. Not pictured: Case Managers Michelle Courtney and Kayla Humphrey, Screening & Outreach Coordinator Jason Sheffey.

In Multnomah and Clackamas counties, law enforcement officers are getting that message. Since the program began in 2017, officers have diverted nearly 500 individuals toward intensive case management by the LEAD team. Case managers prioritize harm reduction, helping their clients take incremental steps toward recovery and stability. Safer use usually begins with access to Naloxone (for reversing opioid overdose), needle exchanges and safer places to sleep. As they're ready, clients can also access health care, transitional housing, employment services, and recovery support at CCC.

Critically, clients also build positive and healthy relationships with team members. “It takes a long time for change to happen, but the more relationships they can build, the more successful they are in the long term,” said Thygesen.

“Everyone’s recovery is different, but it comes down to human connection,” said Glen Suchanek of the Clackamas County LEAD team. Pictured from left: Case Managers Charlesetta Dobson, Wendie Taber and Joslyn Gheen; Glen Suchanek, Screening & Outreach Coordinator; and Erica Thygesen, LEAD Program Manager.

It’s not an easy journey, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has increased feelings of alienation, hopelessness and despair for many in our community. Many LEAD clients are vulnerable to recurrence of use, which could lead back to the cycle of arrests. But the LEAD team has flexibility to stay engaged for the long term. “People don’t fail in our programs,” said Thygesen. “They can take as long as they need to get where they’re going, even if the path is crooked.”

LEAD team members emphasize that recovery looks different for everyone – some folks are ready to move toward sobriety, while others are just celebrating making it to a court date. Regardless, the team is there to provide support. “We’re changing the trajectory of their lives,” Thygesen said.



Hansen Clinic Expands to the Banfield Shelter Motel

Sep 22, 2020

• • •

The Hansen Clinic is one of CCC’s shelter-based programs that serves chronically ill homeless individuals, helping them to manage their health and avoid emergency room visits while they seek to stabilize their lives. This month, the Hansen Clinic is expanding from serving around 15 medically-vulnerable shelter residents to nearly 60 at the new Banfield Shelter Motel – one of three new motel-based shelters opened by Multnomah County in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

For a person experiencing homelessness, managing a serious chronic illness like congestive heart failure, COPD or diabetes can be a nearly insurmountable challenge requiring frequent hospitalizations. Once stable, they’re discharged with no home to recover in, and the cycle of illness begins again: increasing costs, worsening disease, and sadly often, early death.

The Hansen Clinic team composed of physician assistant Pat Buckley, PA-C, and Treva Drake, BSN, RN, interrupts that cycle by helping homeless folks successfully manage their chronic conditions, outside the hospital.

“We call it ‘supportive primary care,’” said Buckley. “We're nurturing people into a place of stability. We see fewer patients per shift, and if I need to spend 45 minutes with a patient, I can.”

Lead care provider Pat Buckley prepares to greet the next medically-vulnerable patient at the new Hansen Clinic location, in the Banfield Shelter Motel.

Buckley is full of stories about patients whose lives have been transformed, and the burden of chronic disease lifted, simply through steady care from the Hansen Clinic.

One patient was cycling in and out of the hospital frequently for issues with COPD, heart failure, diabetes and pneumonia. He got connected to a medically-vulnerable shelter program, and then to the Hansen Clinic. Buckley met with him twice weekly and he worked with a nurse almost daily, learning to manage his diabetes and his breathing. Because he was in a shelter that didn’t require him to leave each day, he had regular access to his belongings, could manage his medications and take a rest when he needed to. And while he was learning to manage his health, he was also accessing other services that ultimately led to permanent housing. Now, that patient has a home and the tools he needs to manage his health – with only one hospital visit in the last year.

“Of all the things I’ve done at CCC, this is by far the most rewarding and making the greatest difference for our community,” said Buckley. “[Keeping people out of the hospital] saves money for the community as a whole – it's very impactful in that way. But it’s also life-altering for the people in the program.”

When nurse Treva Drake arrives to work at the Hansen Clinic, it often feels like she’s making a home visit. That’s because the clinic is located right where the patients live, if temporarily. “It feels like I’m a co-housemate, coming into their space, and they greet me with friendliness and warmth,” Drake said.

Pat Buckley, PA-C, ND, WCC (at right) and Treva Drake, BSN, RN (at left), are a tight-knit team supporting chronically ill homeless individuals in better managing their conditions so they can stay healthier and avoid hospitalization.

Every day is different. On a recent morning, she was working with a patient whose lung cancer made her vulnerable to COVID-19. At other times, Drake might triage a patient with an abscess or difficulty breathing, check on a patient after a medication change, or provide individualized education about staying healthy — and because the clinic is onsite, patients can easily knock on the door to ask questions as they arise.

“I tell patients, 'I’m here, and I’m going to be here tomorrow too,’” said Drake.

Protecting the health of vulnerable Portlanders is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those at the Banfield Shelter Motel are all at disproportionately high risk of COVID-19 infection and complications – they’re homeless individuals over the age of 60, with underlying medical conditions, and many are people of color. The Banfield’s private rooms allow for physical distancing that isn’t possible in a congregate shelter setting, and enable residents to safely quarantine if necessary. Case managers from Transition Projects (TPI), a longtime CCC partner, coordinate services for residents, while the Hansen Clinic team ensures they stay as healthy as possible.

“Our ultimate goal is to stabilize their health and help them transition into housing,” Buckley said.



Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month

Sep 18, 2020

In 2019, the Nahua group Huehca Omeyocan taught CCC staff about their culture through music and dance.

It’s Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month at Central City Concern, a time to celebrate our Latinx clients and staff and appreciate the depth of history of this community. This national observance started in 1968 with an annual proclamation of National Hispanic Heritage week. 20 years later, it was expanded to a month-long celebration. Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month begins September 15 and ends October 15. The timing is key because the Independence days of Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Mexico fall between these dates. This year, the national theme of Latinx Heritage Month is “The Power of Our Vote.”

Celebrations have been canceled due to COVID-19, but we still would like to acknowledge this time and the importance of this year's Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month. This celebration comes during a presidential election where Latinx people will make up the largest racial and ethnic minority voting bloc. Pew Research states that Latinx people represent over 13% of eligible voters. While we know the coronavirus has disproportionately impacted our local Latinx community, we also know there are additional issues this community faces.

September is also National Recovery Month, so we'd also like to shine a light on our Puentes program that serves Spanish-speaking populations in the Portland metro area. Since 2005, Puentes has welcomed Spanish-speakers into a culturally responsive community where things like language, country of origin and documentation status are not barriers to a life in recovery. Puentes is one of the few programs of its kind in the Portland area and a pillar within the Latinx recovery community.

In the spirit of celebrating Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month while also educating ourselves, we’d like to share a list of eight must-see documentaries that PBS and OPB have put together to help gain a better understanding of Latinx culture in the United States. These films take a deep dive into the many ways Latinx communities have influenced American culture, politics and economics. We encourage you to take your time and engage with the rich histories of our Latinx communities through these documentaries.



It's Time for a More Humane Approach

Aug 25, 2020

This November, Oregonians are being asked to vote for a more humane, effective approach to substance use disorder. Instead of addressing addiction as a health issue, we continue to arrest and punish people for drugs. It's time for this to change.

From our forty years of experience, Central City Concern (CCC) knows treatment paired with recovery support works. We have helped tens of thousands of people on their road to recovery by pairing treatment with supportive housing, peer support and employment. Unfortunately, we have been operating in a system that has not valued or invested in robust treatment and recovery.

“Despite our intensive discharge care coordination efforts that leverage long-standing collaborative referral pathways with more than a dozen supportive housing and residential treatment programs across the region, we fail to secure supportive housing or residential treatment for 40 out of every 100 people who are experiencing homelessness when they are admitted to Hooper,” says Dr. David Lawrence, Associate Medical Director at CCC’s Hooper Detox Center.

It’s time we make big moves and big investments to correct these gaps.

The Drug Addiction Treatment & Recovery Act, or Measure 110, is a statewide initiative appearing on this November’s ballot. The idea is straightforward: instead of arresting and jailing people for possession of drugs, we would use a portion of existing marijuana tax money to pay for expanded addiction and recovery services, including:

  • Peer support and recovery services so people are able to remain clean and sober;
  • Housing (stabilizing and permanent) for persons with substance use disorder;
  • Harm reduction interventions, including overdose prevention education, access to naloxone hydrochloride and other drug education and outreach.

“People incarcerated for possession offenses are more likely to lose protective factors such as housing, employment and supportive community relationships,” says Dr. Andy Seaman of CCC’s Old Town Clinic. “We now have decades of evidence demonstrating the ineffectiveness of this approach to addiction. It’s time to replace criminalization with care and access to treatment for addiction.”

Our drug laws are deeply inequitable, disproportionately targeting and impacting people of color and in poverty. Regardless of the color of their skin, Oregonians use drugs at similar rates. However, people of color are much more likely to be arrested, charged and convicted of drug crimes. People of color are also sentenced more harshly and pay higher fines. The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission has reported Measure 110 would reduce convictions of Black and Indigenous people by over ninety percent.

CCC supports Measure 110, along with more than seventy organizations and individuals across the state. The Act would shift Oregon toward a health response to addiction, rather than a criminal one, while also removing drugs as an excuse to stop and detain people of color.

Together we can get this important measure over the finish line, but it’s going to take all of us! Here are three things you do TODAY to help:
  1. Has addiction touched your life, or the life of someone you love? Are you fed up with our current criminal justice system? Share your story with the campaign.
  2. Add your name to the Wall of Supporters.
  3. Sign up to volunteer.

Supporter Highlight: Hanes

Aug 18, 2020

 

Central City Concern (CCC) is grateful to Hanes for supporting our COVID-19 response efforts. In August, CCC received a donation of 3,000 dual piled cotton masks to support our personal protective equipment (PPE) distribution efforts.

All CCC’s programs have remained open to clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. While we have adapted our clinic operations to protect patients and providers alike, restocking critical supplies through normal channels has been a challenge. Which is why we greatly appreciate partners like Hanes.

Hanes has been a long-time supporter of CCC. Since 2017, CCC has been selected by Hanes to partner on their annual Hanes Sock Drive. Every November, Hanes donates 3,000 pairs of socks, which we then distributamong our clients, patients and residents.

This year, to ensure those in need have access to face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hanes is donating one million face masks to nonprofit organizations across the country supporting those experiencing homelessness. Working with long-standing partner Mark Horvath, founder of nonprofit Invisible People, which is dedicated to educating the public about homelessness, Hanes is supporting local homeless assistance organizations in all 50 states, including Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

These masks will be distributed throughout all CCC operations. They underlie one of the key messages CCC has been amplifying to our staff, patients, residents and clients: we wear face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Thank you, Hanes, for your continued support of Central City Concern and our staff, patients, residents and clients— let’s all stay safe!


“Hanes is thrilled to partner once again with Central City Concern, and applaud their important work, now more than ever, in changing lives every day by reaching out to the homeless community with help, hope and safety.”
Jamie Wallis, Hanes Brand Team



Lighting the Way for Healthier Communities: Serving Portland, Together

Aug 13, 2020

For our final National Health Center Week installment, we're shining the spotlight on our incredible community partners who have made it possible for us to face the unique challenges of COVID-19 and serve the Portland community together.

• • •

Relationships with government, partner organizations and the entire community have made it possible for Central City Concern to rise to the unique challenges of COVID-19 and protect those who are most at risk of the physical, economic and social impacts. From city, county and state agencies, to other non-profit service providers, to compassionate businesses, we're grateful to all of our community partners for helping us create a solid web of support for those experiencing homelessness. These are a few of the partners who have made it possible for us to keep our doors open through the coronavirus pandemic.

Multnomah County

Before Governor Brown issued Oregon’s shelter-in-place order, CCC’s Incident Management Team was hard at work preparing for the reality of COVID-19. One of our most critical, immediate needs was Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – we didn’t have enough on hand to keep our doors open while keeping our staff and community safe. We sounded the alarm, and Multnomah County swiftly responded with a delivery of much-needed PPE.

“It changed our whole posture on how we could operate safely,” said CCC CEO and President Rachel Solotaroff. “The responsiveness and resourcefulness of the County allowed us to keep our face-to-face, onsite and outreach-based services intact.”

The County’s partnership has been consistent and ongoing. Multnomah County Public Health has provided CCC with crucial guidance on topics including testing, contract tracing and operating safely in congregate settings. The Multnomah County Health Officer, Jennifer Vines, has been especially responsive to our concerns and questions, always a phone call away. Ebony Clarke, Director of Multnomah County’s Mental Health and Addiction Services Division, has provided outstanding leadership to our behavioral health providers. Her ongoing weekly phone calls with providers have been an invaluable resource for sharing concerns, communicating needs and creating community. CCC is grateful for Multnomah County’s leadership and partnership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

OHSU

Ensuring the safety of our staff, clients and community has been CCC’s priority since the start of the pandemic, and OHSU’s partnership has been critical in helping us keep this promise. OHSU provides free, no-barrier COVID-19 testing to all CCC employees through their convenient, drive-through testing site. No appointment is necessary, making it easy for staff to get tested and quickly receive results. CCC and our employees are grateful – thanks to OHSU, our workforce has been able to stay where they need to be: serving patients and clients. Special shoutout to OHSU’s Occupational Health Manager Misti Powell for making this important partnership possible.

Legacy Health Partners

CCC’s single room occupancy (SRO) buildings and congregate care facilities have remained cluster-free throughout the pandemic – an incredible achievement given the higher risk of transmission associated with these settings. This has been possible in part due to the mobile COVID-19 testing clinic provided by Legacy Health Partners.

When two CCC residents self-reported positive COVID-19 tests, our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Andy Mendenhall reached out to Dr. Nick Kashey at Legacy Health Partners to devise a plan to prevent a potential cluster. Dr. Kashey and his team quickly sprang into action and set up a mobile testing station on the sidewalk outside of the building in less than 24 hours. Over 100 residents and staff were tested and results were available within three days. No other positive cases were found, and residents and staff could breathe a sigh of relief knowing that CCC’s infection prevention protocols have remained effective. CCC is grateful to Legacy Health Partners for helping us keep our communities safe.

CareOregon

Our long-time partner CareOregon has been instrumental in meeting the needs of our patients and keeping CCC sustainable in the face of financial challenges resulting from COVID-19. Early in the pandemic, CareOregon allowed CCC to rapidly transition to virtual appointments through phone and video visits, and even donated phones for clients without access to technology. CareOregon has also made sure that the overall decline in medical visits due to COVID-19didn’t undermine CCC’s financial stability. By supporting CCC through a financial payment model that offsets some of our losses, CareOregon has helped us keep our doors open. Thank you, CareOregon, for ensuring our services remain available to those who need us most during these challenging times.





Central City Concern (CCC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency serving single adults and families in the Portland metro area who are impacted by homelessness, poverty and addictions.