Monthly Volunteer Spotlight: December 2018 Holiday Edition

Dec 18, 2018

For this month’s volunteer spotlight, we’re revisiting last year’s holiday spotlight format and posing a new question to a few of our volunteers.

One very big part of the holiday season is the idea of giving. What that means to each of us though, can be very different, so we checked in with a few of our volunteers to ask them, “What does giving mean to you?”

It was so humbling to see how each person, in their own way, expressed that their ultimate way to give was to provide their time and themselves to others in need. We feel incredibly honored to have volunteers that have found such pleasure in giving openly of themselves to others and that they have chosen our CCC community to give themselves to in their service.


Tricia: When you say the word giving, the first thing that comes to my mind is time and being with people that are in need of some companionship, or that appear to be in need of it, or want some. For example, in my family, a lot of it right now is around them needing me to help out with grandkids. I intentionally choose to give of my time to them, even if they’re being taken care of in the moment. So there’s the part that’s kind of the needing of my services, and then there’s the part of just giving of my time and myself.

Peter: And isn’t that something we all wish we had more of: time?

T: I think for me that’s probably the strongest thing I have to offer. And that giving could be listening to somebody, it could be taking somebody somewhere, it could be just being with somebody. It’s something I want to do, it’s not something that’s like, “Oh my gosh, I have to.”

So that translates to [the Old Town Recovery Center’s Living Room program] as well. I like being here because a lot of people who are homeless or have mental health challenges or drug addiction… they can be pretty isolated as individuals and so just them knowing that somebody cares about them. I care. I care enough to sit with someone. So I guess giving is more emotional—helping to fill a need that somebody might have, or a want that somebody might have… things that we need, or maybe want, that are good for us.

P: And giving time that openly is really a way of giving yourself.

T: And meaning I care about you. I care. I want to spend time with you. So it’s not like I’m feeling like I have to do it, it’s that I want to do it. Obviously there’s lots of material things, but that doesn’t mean that much to me, personally. It’s really the offering a piece of myself to somebody who looks like they might need it.

."It’s really the offering a piece of myself to somebody who looks like they might need it."


So I grew up in a small town in Ohio. At that time what giving meant to my family was, if you had, you gave. Whether it was time, money, skills, whatever—that was just part of life, to share and give. It wasn’t like, “Oh, we’re good people.” It’s just what you do.

When my dad died ten years ago, all these people got up at the funeral and said, “I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone this, but when my dad died in high school, [Malinda’s father] came to me and said, ‘I’ll make sure you go to college. Do not tell anyone.’” Nobody, even my mom knew these things. So giving wasn’t something where you wanted to go “Aren’t I great?” It was never that way. I think [my husband] Doug and I have always felt that way. If you have, give. It rewards you.

You know, we arrived here with no money in 1972, but we had skills, and with skills you make money to donate, which is great fun at our age to be able to do that. But what both of us love to do is volunteer. Giving means volunteering where we’re passionate. So this is for my passion. Giving is finding your passion. Giving is something you do. Giving is something you get to do. It’s our opportunity and people that do it get the reward of being a part of the things we’re passionate about. Not for thanks and not for recognition.


To me, giving is, simply put, sharing my free time to help make a difference. Central City Concern changes the lives of so many. I always hope I make someone’s day a little brighter, because sharing my time certainly makes my day brighter.

Two Building Grand Openings Provide 204 New Homes!

Dec 12, 2018

Rain, cold and a whole lot of wind didn’t dampen the joy the Central City Concern (CCC) community felt during TWO building grand openings in as many weeks. On Tuesday, Nov. 29, the soggy clouds actually parted in the afternoon as we celebrated Hazel Heights, 153 units of affordable housing on SE Stark St. at 126th Ave. The next week, on Tues., Dec. 4, a cold but sunny day, we welcomed 51 households into their new homes at Charlotte B. Rutherford Place on N Interstate Ave.

Both buildings are part of the Housing is Health initiative—a pioneering commitment from local health organizations to support the development of urgently needed affordable housing in Portland.

At the Hazel Heights grand opening, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson spoke, as well as David Russell from Adventist Health Portland (a Housing is Health partner), Rilla Delorier from Umpqua Bank, Ann Melone from U.S. Bank and Margaret Salazar, director of Oregon Housing and Community Services. Before he cut the ceremonial ribbon, Hazel Heights resident Jerrod M., a single dad to three kids, expressed his gratitude that several other single dads will live in the community. He then sang a stirring honor song in his native language, Ojibwa.



Hazel Heights will welcome people exiting transitional housing programs who have gained employment and seek a permanent home, but still may have barriers to housing. The four-story building contains 153 homes total: 92 one-bedroom and 61 two-bedroom apartments. Rents will range from $412 to $995 per month, depending on Median Family Income.

These homes are important for supporting employed people with affordable housing. When people are housed, they have a better chance for a healthy future.

Exactly one week later, more than 100 people gathered at Charlotte B. Rutherford Place, a 51-unit building in North Portland. One hundred percent of its new tenants are part of the Portland Housing Bureau’s N/NE Housing Strategy Preference Policy, designed to address displacement and gentrification in historically Black North and Northeast Portland neighborhoods by prioritizing long-time or displaced residents with ties to the community for new affordable housing opportunities in the area.

Mayor Wheeler spoke again, along with Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, CareOregon President and CEO Eric Hunter, Cathy Danigelis from KeyBank and Latricia Tillman from Oregon Housing and Community Services’ Housing Stability Council.

The Honorable Charlotte B. Rutherford was the woman of the hour. She is a community activist and former civil rights attorney, journalist, administrative law judge and entrepreneur. Her grandfather, William Rutherford, ran a barbershop in the Golden West Hotel—now a CCC residential building. Her parents, Otto G. Rutherford and Verdell Burdine, were major figures in Portland’s Black civil rights movement. Her father was president and her mother was secretary of Portland’s NAACP chapter in the 1950s, and together they played an important role in passing the 1953 Oregon Civil Rights Bill. In her remarks, Judge Rutherford said she’s glad the city is finally making amends for past injustices. “But it’s just a start,” she said. “There is plenty more to do.”



The ribbon cutting was a memorable one: Anthony J., a new resident who grew up in the neighborhood and is currently working hard to take full advantage of second chances, and Charlotte jointly cut the ribbon to much celebration.

Housing is Health’s coalition of six health organizations—Adventist Health Portland, CareOregon, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, Legacy Health, OHSU and Providence Health & Services – Oregon—provided initial funding for both housing projects.

Hazel Heights’ major contributors include Umpqua Bank, Portland Housing Bureau, U.S. Bank, Oregon Housing and Community Services, Federal Home Loan Bank and PGE’s Renewable Development Fund. The design and development team is Central City Concern, the architect is Ankrom Moisan and the builder is Team Construction.

Charlotte B. Rutherford Place's major funders include KeyBank, Oregon Housing and Community Services, Portland Housing Bureau, Multnomah County and PGE’s Renewable Development Fund. The development team is Central City Concern and Home First Development, the architect is Doug Circosta and the builder is Silco Commercial Construction.

A robust capital campaign completed funding for these two buildings, as well as Blackburn Center, opening in July 2019.