NHCW Profile: Meet Ricardo Verdeguez, Puentes

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Ricardo Verdeguez’s driving motivation – in his work, in his relationships, in his aspirations – is a simple, unique spin on the Golden Rule.

“I want to do for others what others did for me.”

The list of what exactly Ricardo does for others as a case manager at Puentes, Central City Concern’s culturally-specific program that supports Latinos in recovery, is exhaustive. He engages clients new to treatment at Puentes to settle them into the journey ahead. Some days he meets Spanish-speaking patients at CCC’s Old Town Clinic to help them communicate with providers. Other days he accompanies clients moving into a place of their own for the first time in years to help them get settled. Still other days he goes with clients to the Employment Access Center to provide encouragement as they start their job search.

How apropos that in Spanish, “puentes” means bridges, which is exactly what Ricardo is to so many people served by the program. As someone who accessed Central City Concern’s housing, treatment, and employment services (including Puentes) years ago, he feels convicted to connect others to the same services that changes his life.

“Today, I’m part of the solution – I wouldn’t miss this for anything.”

For all he does, Ricardo wants to do more and improve his skills. He recently obtained his CADC II license and was even awarded a scholarship through CCC’s Employee Education Assistance program to continue improving his English language skills at Portland Community College.

“Trust is a really big part of the Latino community. I want to keep showing people that you can trust the people at CCC.”

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Ricardo's story is part of Central City Concern's week-long series to celebrate National Health Center Week by highlighting just a few of the many extraordinary people who make the work of CCC's health centers possible. The week of August 9 through August 15 is a time to recognize the services and contributions of health centers that provide affordable, high quality, cost effective health care to medically vulnerable and underserved people throughout the United States.

Learn more about CCC and National Health Center Week by reading a post introducing this series from Leslie Tallyn, CCC's Chief Clinical Operations Officer.