Supporter Highlight: Providence

May 20, 2020

Providence was one of Central City Concern’s (CCC) first partners to offer financial support for our COVID-19 response efforts when its St. Joseph Community Partnership Fund awarded CCC a grant of $20,000 in March. The grant helped cover early costs associated with the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), patient screening tools, cleaning supplies and higher levels of care for at-risk clients and residents who need to self-isolate or quarantine.

Providence has also supported CCC during COVID-19 through much-needed in-kind gifts. Amidst nationwide shortages of PPE, Providence generously gave 1,530 gloves, 1,370 procedure masks, 58 N95 masks and ten gowns to our front-line medical staff. For our residents and patients, Providence provided “comfort kits.” These included snacks, hygiene items, socks, puzzles and games which CCC distributed at our Supportive Housing and Recuperative Care Program sites.

Thank you, Providence, for your continued support of Central City Concern and our staff, patients, residents and clients!

“Providence has long partnered with Central City Concern, most recently on the development of the Blackburn Center — a beacon of progress in our communities’ efforts to collaborate through the Housing is Health network. In this time of COVID-19, Providence is pleased to have supported Central City Concern with PPE and essential funding to ensure services remain in place for our city’s most vulnerable.”
Joseph Ichter, DrPH, MHA, Director of Community Health Investment


Today is National Hepatitis Testing Day

May 19, 2020

As we wake up again amidst a flurry of thoughts on re-opening and the COVID-19 pandemic, Central City Concern encourages all of us to find room for consideration of another deadly disease.

Millions of Americans have chronic viral hepatitis but the majority don’t know they’re infected. Today, May 19, is National Hepatitis Testing Day; May is Hepatitis Awareness Month. At CCC, our goal is to encourage universal testing and ultimately eliminate Hepatitis C from our community.

At CCC, we’re taking a pioneering approach to help stamp out this disease by 2030 in alignment with the World Health Organization goals.

Prior to COVID-19, Hep C was responsible for more deaths than at least 60 other reportable diseases combined. Hep C, an RNA virus which causes an insidious systemic inflammatory illness, is most famous for causing end stage liver disease and cancer. It also increases the risk of diabetes and worsens mental illness. For some, it can cause profound fatigue and chronic pain. Others are seemingly untouched, however, are still able to pass it on to someone else through high-risk sex or sharing drug injection equipment, unaware they’re living with the disease.

At CCC, we’re taking a pioneering approach to help stamp out this disease by 2030 in alignment with the World Health Organization goals.

Here’s what CCC offers and how you can get help:

  • Opt-out Hepatitis C, HIV, and Hepatitis B screening for everyone who visits a CCC clinical setting, Hooper Detox Center and (prior to COVID-19) in CCC residential housing.
  • Individual treatment through new and innovative pathways. Often people learn they have Hep C at the same time they’re scheduled to start treatment. CCC leaves stigma at the door, allowing people to decide for themselves when they’re ready to initiate treatment. Equally importantly, all those who test positive determine their own treatment pathway.
  • Wraparound care services. Our outstanding team of harm reductionists, care coordinators, pharmacistsand providers ensure patients get the treatment they deserve, even it if means delivering medications to a client’s home, correctional facility or hospital to ensure nobody misses a pill.

Our results speak for themselves. Over the last two and a half years, we’ve treated - and mostly cured - over 750 of Portland’s most vulnerable of this deadly disease. Almost 90% of the people we’ve diagnosed are initiated on treatment, with mostfully cured. These rates are not only exemplary in Oregon, but stand out on the national and global scale. We’re proud of this work.

Over the last two and a half years, we’ve treated - and mostly cured - over 750 of Portland’s most vulnerable of this deadly disease.

“The work CCC is doing to eliminate hepatitis C is about more than just the numbers or curing a virus,” says Dr. Andrew Seaman. “It’s about allowing people to leave their past behind and start over as well as protecting the broader community by decreasing the possibility of transmission. By treating and curing Hep C, we help people build better relationships with their communities, engage in addiction and harm reduction services,and take back some control in their lives.”


Here’s how you can get tested:

If you want screening and primary care services:

Visit Central City Concerns Old Town Clinic or Blackburn Center. Request an intake and you’ll be offered screening and treatment if your test is positive.

If you’ve been given a diagnosis of Hepatitis C in the past and want treatment:

Call Central City Concern’s Hepatitis C programs at either

Old Town Clinic 971-271-6232 or Blackburn Center 971-361-7886

At CCC, we’re determined to relegate Hep C to become a disease of the past.

We’ve started by attempting to eliminate Hepatitis C from within the walls of our institutions, however, we’re not stopping there. We’ll continue to innovate and develop new relationships and treatment pathways until every person in Portland has the opportunity for zero barrier, destigmatized access to the cure.



New Funding for Homelessness Needed Now More Than Ever

May 13, 2020

By now, you’ve received your ballot.

One of the measures you’re being asked to vote on is Measure 26-210. If approved, this measure will provide an estimated $250,000,000 annually of flexible dollars to fund homeless services, focusing on client-centered, wraparound, highly adaptable services and economic opportunity. Funds will be spread throughout the Portland Metro area,including all of Multnomah and most parts of Washington and Clackamas counties.

Measure 26-210 will fund flexible services that are critical for Portlanders like Jessica. In 2016, Jessica was deep in a decades-long struggle with meth and alcohol use disorder, unemployed, newly homeless and suddenly estranged from her three children. Getting back to her daughters was the motivation Jessica needed to seek treatment. She began her journey at CCC’s Hooper Detoxification and Stabilization Center, and she quickly found out she wouldn't walk the rest of the path to recovery alone. Instead, she entered the Recovery Mentor Program, accessed health care and mental health treatment and found employment through the Clean & Safe program. Throughout her journey, Jessica had safe, supportive housing, including transitional housing prior to moving into a permanent home with her three daughters in CCC’s family housing.

July marks four years clean and sober for Jessica. She’s a member of CCC’s environmental services team, saving to buy a home and preparing her growing daughters for careers of their own. Mother and daughters are happy, healthy, together. “Wow, Mom,” they said. “We’re doing pretty good.”

Voting for Measure 26-210 ensures that families like Jessica’s can build futures together.

Voters have been asking for a comprehensive solution for over ten years to help fund these critical services. In 2018, we courageously voted for a region wide affordable housing bond.

Let’s take the next step.

Voting for Measure 26-210 ensures that families like Jessica’s can build futures together.

Affordable housing can end someone’s experience of homelessness. The supportive services outlined in Measure 26-210 will keep our neighbors housed, resilient and connected.

At Central City Concern, we know providing comprehensive, wraparound services work to end people's homelessness. HereTogether, a coalition of more than 450 organizations, including CCC and other nonprofit service providers, people of color, people with lived experience of homelessness, elected officials, business leaders, faith communities and more has worked tirelessly to create this measure for the voters of our region.

Here are some examples of how the funds will be used:

  • Expanded case management, outreach services and clinical services.
  • Increased access to job training opportunities.
  • Long term rent assistance and eviction prevention; and
  • Expanded access to affordable, culturally responsive housing services.

A region wide problem requires a region wide solution with a region wide revenue stream.

By increasing our investments to this level, our community will be able to transform the reality of our chronic homeless crisis and improve the lived reality of tens of thousands of people who now live without a safe, stable home.

At Central City Concern, we know providing comprehensive, wraparound services work to end people's homelessness.

There are two actions you can take TODAY.

  1. Fill out your ballot and send it using the prepaid postage on the return envelope, or drop off your competed ballot to an Official Ballot Drop Site by 8 p.m. on May 19.
  1. Show your support for comprehensive, wraparound services that have been proven to end people's homelessness by donating to CCC.



Now is the Time for Bold Action to Invest in Solutions That Work

May 06, 2020

A message from Rachel Solotaroff, Central City Concern President & CEO


Those of us living in the Portland metropolitan region have received our ballots, and it couldn’t be a more important time to vote. One of the critical measures on our ballots is Measure 26-210. If approved, this measure will provide major new funding for homeless services in the Portland Metro area, including all of Multnomah and most parts of Washington and Clackamas counties.

I want to share with you why a YES vote is important to Central City Concern (CCC) and to me.

Measure 26-210 will raise an estimated $250,000,000 annually to fund homeless services, focusing on client-centered, wraparound, highly flexible services and economic opportunity. We know these services work to end people's homelessness because these are exactly the kind of services CCC provides. HereTogether, a coalition of more than 450 organizations, including CCC and other nonprofit service providers, people of color, people with lived experience of homelessness, elected officials, business leaders, faith communities and more, has worked tirelessly to create this measure for the voters of our region.

Flexible funding for supportive services and housing assistance means we can build person-centered plans and address the unique needs of the people struggling most in our communities. CCC has been building integrated programs in spite of our funding systems that often require services be strictly limited and siloed.

Measure 26-210 will raise an estimated $250,000,000 annually to fund homeless services, focusing on client-centered, wraparound, highly flexible services and economic opportunity. We know these services work to end people's homelessness because these are exactly the kind of services CCC provides.

There are up to 12,000 people experiencing homelessness across the tri-county region, people like a client of ours, “Jennie.” Jennie was sleeping on the streets, struggling with substance use, mental health and physical health challenges when she met the Community Engagement Program (CEP). CEP is the kind of program Measure 26-210 seeks to scale up, providing both supportive services and housing. Jennie was able to get both a transitional and a permanent housing placement, treatment for her addiction and mental health, a new wheelchair to replace her broken one, assistance in paying back debt, new friendships and reconnections to her family. She’s still engaged with her case manager to support long-term stability and she’s doing great! We need to assist the many Jennie’s out there facing multiple barriers which current silos of limited funding often don’t allow.

A region wide problem requires a region wide solution with a region wide revenue stream.

By increasing our investments to this level, our community will be able to transform the reality of our chronic homeless crisis and improve the lived reality of tens of thousands of people who now live without a safe, stable home.

The measure will be paid for by two revenue streams in the Metro area. 1) High income earners tax: 1% marginal tax on taxable income over $200,000 (household) or $125,000 (single). Ninety percent (90%) of individuals are exempt from this tax. 2) Tax on large businesses: 1% business net profits tax exempts small and medium size businesses with gross income up to $5 million. Ninety-four (94%) of businesses are exempt. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has only highlighted how many people in our communities have been living without proper care and stability. With talks of budget cuts looming, this new funding for homeless services is needed now more than ever.

Thank you for your dedication and compassion to the people of Portland and our community. I’m asking you to support Measure 26-210. You can learn more here and help spread the word about Measure 26-210.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only highlighted how many people in our communities have been living without proper care and stability. With talks of budget cuts looming, this new funding for homeless services is needed now more than ever.

There are two actions you can take TODAY. You can fill out your ballot and send it using the prepaid postage on the return envelope, or drop off your competed ballot to an Official Ballot Drop Site by 8 p.m. on Election Day. You can also show your support for comprehensive, wraparound services that have been proven to end people's homelessness by donating to CCC

 

Join me and vote YES on Measure 26-210. Let’s take bold action together.



Spreading the Human Connection

May 04, 2020

Six months ago, Ralph was addicted to meth and alcohol and running out of chances with his family. Today, he’s in recovery and making face shields for local hospital workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Ralph had tried hospital-based detoxification programs in the past, but they never stuck. The game-changer was Central City Concern’s Recovery Mentor Program and his treatment counselor, Robert (Bobby) Tsow.

“Without CCC, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Ralph said. “I’d be in jail or I’d be dead.”

The process for Ralph started at CCC’s Hooper Detoxification and Stabilization Center, where he spent ten days withdrawing from meth and alcohol while receiving around-the-clock care. From there, a peer mentor drove Ralph directly to CCC’s Madrona Studios, a supportive housing program where he would live while completing intensive outpatient therapy through the CCC Recovery Center.

For the next four months, Ralph would work hard toward recovery – this time, with the long-term support he had been missing in his past experiences with detoxification and sobriety.

Ralph checked in with his program mentor every day, participated in support groups and attended daily meetings of Narcotics Anonymous. He received primary care treatment at Old Town Clinic, mental health therapy and regular sessions with his counselor, Bobby. He did homework and developed new tools for coping with anger, stress and thoughts of using. He found purpose through the CCC Community Volunteer Corps, which let him give back to the community after feeling like a “taker” for so long.


Then the coronavirus pandemic put an end to in-person meetings and gatherings, risking the social connections that had been foundational to Ralph’s recovery. But CCC developed new plans and protocols to adapt to the unprecedented situation, ensuring that the networks of support that clients like Ralph rely on would remain strong.

Most of Ralph’s counseling sessions with Bobby moved to the phone instead of face-to-face, and his regular recovery meetings changed as well. But Ralph also had a phone list of supporters to call on, a mentor, Zoom meetings – in addition to the groundwork he had already laid. He didn’t feel alone.

“The Recovery Mentor Program gave me all the tools I needed to stay in contact,” said Ralph.

When Ralph graduated from treatment in April, he had a quiet ceremony with just Bobby present. But he still felt proud. He knew he’d met a big goal.

Bobby was proud of Ralph, too. “He was hungry for recovery and a new way of living – open, teachable and willing,” Bobby said.

“The Recovery Mentor Program gave me all the tools I needed to stay in contact.”

After his graduation, Ralph shared that he was looking for a job, and a fellow member of the program made a connection for him. He worked with an Employment Specialist at CCC’s Employment Access Center to put together a professional resume – and he landed the position. Now, Ralph works the nightshift at a company producing face shields for front line hospital workers.

“I’m in a position to reach out and help others,” he said. It feels good when he returns home to his apartment after work.

Thanks to CCC’s dedicated staff and compassionate donors, Ralph has been able to stay on the path to long-term recovery during this time of turmoil. “I have my life back,” said Ralph.


When you make a donation to our COVID-19 Emergency Fund, you are giving the gift of human connection to individuals transitioning away from homelessness and addiction. With your support, we are strengthening the bonds that will keep us all connected through COVID-19 and beyond. Please make a gift today.



The Struggle for the Vote: Black History Month 2020

Feb 11, 2020

2020 is a landmark year for voting rights; it marks the 150th anniversary of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870), which gave Black men the right to vote following the Civil War, as well as the centennial of the 19th Amendment (1920) and the culmination of the women’s suffrage movement. This year’s theme for Black History Month – African Americans and the Vote – recognizes the struggle for voting rights among both Black men and women throughout American history. The fight for a say in our democracy has continued well into the 21st century, and barriers to voting disproportionately impact the populations we serve at Central City Concern (CCC). Racial discrimination and interaction with the criminal justice system are not only among the leading causes of homelessness, but voter disenfranchisement as well. And poverty, housing instability and homelessness create significant obstacles for voters.

While the Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendments granted voting rights to Americans regardless of race or gender, the struggle for access to the ballot box has been ongoing. During the Jim Crow era in the South following the end of the Civil War, state and local governments evaded the Fifteenth Amendment through polling taxes, literacy tests, “whites-only” primaries and open hostility and violence. The federal government didn’t ban Jim Crow voting laws until 1965 with the Voting Rights Act, and barriers remain for Black people and people of color today. Voter ID laws disproportionately disenfranchise voters of color, and mail-in ballots create barriers for people who have difficulty reading English. Even in Oregon, where voter turnout is among the highest in the nation, Black people and people of color as a whole are less likely to vote than their white counterparts.

Our neighbors experiencing housing instability and homelessness face additional barriers to the ballot box. Voter registration and mail-in ballots are particularly challenging for people without a stable mailing address. Lack of identification is another obstacle in registering to vote that disproportionately impacts poor and homeless individuals. In Oregon, voters without access to housing can use the county elections office as their mailing address, but transportation can make it difficult to utilize. And unfortunately, many people struggling with homelessness have more immediate needs to worry about than registering to vote.

While obstacles to voting for Black people, people of color and people experiencing homelessness are significant, CCC is working not only to alleviate voter disenfranchisement, but also provide our clients with avenues to make direct impact on our political processes and systems. CCC regularly promotes voter registration and Get Out the Vote efforts for our residents, patients and clients. On National Voter Registration Day in 2019, Next Up Oregon volunteers registered 120 people at Old Town Clinic, Old Town Recovery Center, the Richard Harris, Estate Hotel and Blackburn Center. We also provide pathways for those most severely affected by voter disenfranchisement to make direct, tangible impact on policy change. Through Flip the Script, our reentry program providing wraparound services to African Americans exiting incarceration, participants advocate for change in the reentry system by meeting with legislators, providing public testimony and sharing their experiences and expertise with lawmakers.

We believe that the voices of our clients, our communities of color and our neighbors experiencing homelessness matter. While much work remains in ensuring that everyone has a say in our democracy, we will continue to meet the individual needs of our clients, alleviate barriers to their right to vote, and work alongside our clients to impact systems and make their voices heard.

 



Portland-Area 2020 Black History Month Events

Jan 31, 2020

Each year, Black History Month serves as an opportunity to celebrate the richness of Black history and culture, and pay tribute to the many contributions of African Americans that have made our community a better place. At Central City Concern, this is a time to recognize the achievements of our African American staff, program participants and our culturally specific programs aimed at addressing structural barriers and historic inequities. Portland’s legacy of exclusion, displacement and disinvestment in our African American community underscores our responsibility to eliminate disparities in housing, health care and employment that disproportionately impact Black Portlanders and lead to their over-representation among the homeless population.

As we embark on another year of ending homelessness and helping people reach their highest potential, we remain committed to centering diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism in our work – not only during Black History Month, but throughout the year. Central City Concern’s success in achieving our mission hinges on our ability to invest in underserved communities, shrink disparities and meet the individualized needs of the rich tapestry of clients we serve.


This Black History Month, we encourage you to celebrate by supporting and attending the many exciting events organized by and/or featuring Black Portlanders. Click on the link to access the event’s official page for more information – many are free and appropriate for all ages.

Throughout February

FREE Cascade Festival of African Films: A free popular Portland event for 29 years, this year’s film festival features five weeks of more than 30 feature, documentary and short films by established and emerging African directors from 18 countries. The Cascade Festival of African Films shows us Africa through the eyes of Africans, rather than a vision of Africa packaged for Western viewers. The films celebrate Africa’s achievements, expose its failures, and reveal possibilities for a hopeful future. More information at https://www.africanfilmfestival.org/

FREE Seeing it through: A visual manifestation of the Black Panther Party's legacy in Portland at the Central Library: Black history is far more than the Civil Rights era. In response to the racism that marginalized and harmed Black Portlanders, the Portland Black Panther Party formed its Portland Chapter in 1969. Their goal was to build equity for the oppressed in our city. This exhibition features artwork by Elijah Hasan and the HeArt Gallery that responds to the legacy of the Black Panthers' Ten-Point Program. More information at https://multcolib.org/events/seeing-it-through-visual-manifestation-black-panther-partys-legacy-portland/113367

Portland Black Film Festival: The Portland Black Film Festival aims to offer diverse perspectives and stories in an art form all too often dominated by white filmmakers. The festival features films which showcase the cinematic achievements of African American stars and filmmakers and examine the black experience in America. More information and tickets at https://hollywoodtheatre.org/programs/series/portland-black-film-festival/

Saturday, Feb. 1

FREE Black History Festival NW Kickoff: Black History Festival NW is a celebration of culture and heritage showcasing African American artists, businesses, organizations and leaders. For the dancer in you, join Trainer Tyra and Nikki Brown Clown in the festival kickoff. Tickets available at https://blackhistoryfestival.org/register-for-festival/

Mt. Olivet Gospel Roots: Portland has a rich history of gospel music. From choirs to quartets, some of the most inspirational voices in America have come out of the church, and it’s no different in Portland. Join artists from Portland, Washington, California and special guest artists as Black History Festival NW concludes the festival kickoff with a culmination of gospel sounds from the early 1900s to modern day. Tickets available at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4484243

Friday, Feb. 14

FREE Story Hour with Nikki Brown Clown at the Central Library: Join the library and Black History Festival NW in a story hour featuring Nikki Brown Clown. This story hour is a culturally creative blend of picture books infused with music and movement to a range of African American music. This will be an interactive experience and participation is encouraged! More information at https://multcolib.org/events/story-hour-nikki-brown-clown

Sunday, Feb. 16

FREE Story Hour with Nikki Brown Clown at Rockwood Library: Join the library and Black History Festival NW in a story hour featuring Nikki Brown Clown. This story hour is a culturally creative blend of picture books infused with music and movement to a range of African American music. This will be an interactive experience and participation is encouraged! More information at https://multcolib.org/events/story-hour-nikki-brown-clown

Thursday, Feb. 20 through March 1

PDX Jazz Festival, Feb. 20-March 1: Dedicated to preserving America’s indigenous art form by presenting internationally recognized jazz masters alongside local musicians, the festival always includes education and outreach programs that extend into Portland’s schools and neighborhoods, as well as a generous offering of free performances. More information at https://pdxjazz.com/

Friday, Feb. 21

Rip City Celebration of Black History, Feb 21: Celebrate Black History on Friday, February 21 as the Trail Blazers take on the New Orleans Pelicans! The night will feature special performances, retail items and multiple fundraising efforts benefiting Elevate Oregon, a nonprofit whose mission is to build relationships with urban youth to promote education, self-reliance and leadership. More information at https://www.nba.com/blazers/bhm

Sunday, Feb. 23

Black Futures Ball at Portland Center Stage: The Black Futures Ball will feature 7 categories celebrating Black excellence & the Ballroom community at large. The first three categories Face, Future Fashion, & Mic Drop are for Black participants only, while Runway, Old Way Vogue & Vogue Femme are open to all. ALL CATEGORIES HAVE $$$ PRIZES. Tickets available at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4496259



Toward Greater Integration & Coordination with CCC's 2020 Policy Agenda

Jan 30, 2020

With the 2020 Oregon legislative session set to begin on Feb. 3, our public policy team is hitting the ground running with a bold set of policy priorities rooted in our belief that ending homelessness requires a coordinated approach to address housing access, health and well-being, economic resiliency and social connectedness. Our policy advocacy work in 2020 is guided by the following goals:

  • Prioritizing an integrated approach across systems, funders and delivery points.
  • Supporting policy initiatives that center people with lived experience.
  • Recognizing a sustainable and skilled workforce is the foundation of successful interventions.
  • Seeking solution-oriented advocacy efforts that adequately fund the programs and solutions that are effective in ending homelessness and addressing poverty.

The 2020 public policy agenda was developed after a review of last year’s activities and interviews with staff, clients and former clients. These conversations helped us better understand the challenges people face on the path toward self-sufficiency, as well as the successful interventions that should be scaled for greater impact.

Housing was the number one issue facing people in 2019 and the same is true going into 2020. The problem isn’t that we don’t know how to address homelessness, the problem is our systems were built for far fewer people than the number that are in need of services. In 2020, we will look at how to make the deep investments needed to change the course on the housing affordability crisis. We know housing paired with rent assistance and support services create the foundation that sets people up for success. Locally, we can make a bigger impact through deep investments in specific key areas, such as permanent supportive housing and stabilizing recovery housing.

In 2020 we are bringing a more integrated approach to our advocacy around health care. While in 2019, we had separate policy focus areas for recovery and health care services, this year we are following the lead of our clinicians by fully integrating health care. Our advocacy around mental health, physical health, substance use disorder treatment and long term recovery will be a collective call for improved access, quality and connectedness. When we talk to our government partners, we will not talk about health in pieces, but rather as a complete unit of care able to meet the diversity of people’s needs.

In 2019, we had a policy focus looking at stabilization, but after a year of work and more input from our community it is clear that we need to be striving for more than just stability. Stability is a first step to the longer road of social and economic opportunity, both for the people we serve and for our workforce. The incredible champions we have working at Central City Concern and other service organizations deserve to be valued by the systems we work under, and in 2020 we will be advocating for workforce investments while at the same time advocating for the people we serve.

A few of the specific things we will be advocating for:

State –

  • HB 4002: Statewide housing rent assistance program to help people and families experiencing homelessness afford housing
  • SB 1153: Co-occurring disorder treatment reforms to better integrated mental health and substance use disorder treatment
  • HB 4067: Creating more affordable utility rates for low-income households
  • 1115 Medicaid Waiver to include funding for recovery support in community and in housing

Locally –

  • More funding for supportive services in affordable housing, especially including education, training and employment support
  • Prioritizing people existing institutional settings like state hospital, incarceration and in-patient treatment for supportive housing placement
  • Equitable Transit Oriented Development that includes deeply affordable housing, open space and commercial space for community based organizations

We hope you’ll join us in supporting policies and investments that will bolster our work to bring greater integration and support for our neighbors experiencing and exiting homelessness. Check in on our Advocacy and Public Policy page to learn more about how you can get involved.




2019 Sandy Anderson Award Winner: A True Listener and Advocate

Dec 12, 2019

Every winter since 2015, members of Central City Concern’s Health Services Advisory Council (HSAC) have gotten together to choose a deserving recipient for the Sandy Anderson Award. The award is a heartfelt recognition given by the group to a CCC staff member who:

  • Is always person-centered in their interactions with consumers.
  • Puts the needs and goals of consumers first.
  • Listens deeply and sees and hears beyond how people might seem on the surface.
  • Is collaborative and solves problems with us instead of for us.
  • Keeps long-term care goals in mind while also meeting people where they are.
  • Can instill hope, no matter what.

This year, HSAC bestowed the award to Leslie Tallyn, CCC’s director of quality. Leslie has been the lead staff member attending HSAC meetings since 2013, walking alongside the group through many changes and new faces within both HSAC and at CCC.

“I’m humbled and deeply touched to receive this award. I admire the other Sandy Anderson Award recipients so much, and being in their company is an honor,” Leslie said.

According to HSAC members, Leslie has been the ideal bridge between CCC’s health care consumers and CCC’s services. With a deep understanding that CCC can only improve our services by acknowledging and responding to our clients’ whole experiences, Leslie has encouraged transparency and honesty. As someone who is deeply embedded in our clinic operations, she is perhaps one of the most knowledgeable people at CCC about why we do things the way we do them. And according to HSAC members, there’s no one better at explaining that in terms that all HSAC members can understand.

Leslie doesn’t just take in what she hears. HSAC members commend her for being incredibly proactive about following up on topics that come up during meetings and sharing how clinic staff received and responded to their feedback.

Above all, HSAC shares, Leslie is kind and thoughtful, and she truly listens. For six years, they’ve trusted her to pave the road for consumer-driven changes and improvements. As a clinic that serves a patient population familiar with feeling marginalized or ill-served by the mainstream health care system, finding someone like Leslie — a genuine listener, a supportive advocate and trustworthy collaborator — is worth celebrating.

“Our HSAC members volunteer their time to help improve the quality of care we provide and the experiences of the people we serve,” Leslie shared. “Centering the experiences and voices of consumers is vital to our mission, and I’m grateful to have had the privilege of supporting our HSAC members’ service to CCC over the past six years.”

The list of previous CCC awardees reveals the high honor and regard in which they hold all Sandy Anderson awardees. Sandy Anderson, was CCC’s first pharmacist who became a beacon of kindness and compassion to thousands of OTC patients. She was the first to receive the award named for her; other recipients include Carol Weber, a care team manager who has served our patients for more than 15 years and Old Town Recovery Center psychiatrist Phil Shapiro, whose counseling and guidance around healing has changed countless lives.

There’s no doubt that Leslie fits right in to such esteemed company.



Nine Ways to Support CCC This Holiday Season

Dec 11, 2019

As we enter the thick of the holiday season, lots of people ask how they can support Central City Concern. After all, the season is just as much about giving back as it is getting gifts, and we rely on your support to help our most vulnerable community members find stability, wellness and opportunity.

So we’ve put together a list of all the ways you can support us during the holidays. We hope that you can find at least one channel of generosity that works for you to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve!

Willamette Week’s Give!Guide:
Portland easiest path to year-end giving. Visit CCC’s Give!Guide page to make a gift while earning fun incentives. Give!Guide also has a few Big Give Days remaining: give $10 or more on those days for a chance to win an extra special prize package! Further, CCC also has a number of mouth-watering incentives exclusively for our donors.

Make a one-time gift online:
Make a one-time monetary gift through our secure donation website and know that your donation will make a difference in the lives of people CCC serves. Even a $50 gift can be used to provide shoes for three children in CCC’s family housing program.

Become a recurring donor:
Instead of giving once, set up automatic payments to make a contribution at an interval of your choosing. Recurring donations help us know the support we can count on while you make a difference all year long. Become a recurring donor on our secure donation site.

In-kind Wish List:
People on different parts of their journeys toward stability need different kinds of things. We’ve put together a list of in-kind needs that can benefit our clients, no matter where or how we meet them. We accept most items in new or like-new condition.

Amazon Wish List:
Our Amazon Wish List offers a convenient way to purchase and donate items to meet our current needs. Check it out, purchase some items and have them shipped directly to us.

AmazonSmile:
Many people find Amazon.com to be a convenient way to take care of their shopping. The AmazonSmile program allows you to link your Amazon shopping cart to CCC so that a portion of your Amazon purchases will be donated to us.

Fred Meyer Community Rewards:
Did you know that you can support us while shopping at any Fred Meyer store? All you need to do is link your Fred Meyer Rewards account to CCC. Once it’s linked, Fred Meyer will donate a portion of your spending to CCC! Follow this link, sign into your Fred Meyer account, search for Central City Concern and enroll!

Purchase art:
Two local art exhibits will generously donate a portion of their proceeds to CCC! The Elisabeth Jones Art Center will donate 10% of all sales from their “Artistic Sketchbook II” exhibit of sketches by local artists. Steve Diamond’s “From a Distance” photography exhibit running at Mississippi Avenue Lofts; he will donate 20% of the proceeds from sales.

Volunteer:
Giving can always be more than about money or items. CCC volunteers give their time, skills and presence to help our programs do more and do better. Visit our Volunteer page to learn more about our opportunities or submit an interest form.