Moving In and Moving Forward: Gratitude for a Caring Community

Friday, June 05, 2015
A selection of thank you notes new residents of Central City Concern housing have written after receiving their move-in kit. These kits, which include a number of household and kitchen basics, are funded by the generous donations of Portland-based Airbnb hosts and Airbnb.

In December of 2014, Airbnb invited Portland-based hosts to join in a new way of investing in their community. Through a tool on Airbnb’s website, local hosts are now able to donate a percentage of their hosting income to Central City Concern; and Airbnb has pledged to match up to $125,000. The money raised so far has funded 325 move-in kits for new CCC clients moving into our supportive housing programs. Each kit contains household supplies like pots, dishes, linens, and pillows: things essential to creating a sense of stability and a sense of home.

We spoke with several new CCC residents who received move-in kits, and it’s clear how much of an impact this act of caring from the community has had on them.

Regina, 42, has been homeless for much of the last 10 years. Recently released from prison, she wanted a clean and sober place to rebuild her life. She arrived at Central City Concern’s housing with a small bag of clothing. The Resident Services Coordinator for the building gave Regina an Airbnb move-in kit a few days later. “I felt like someone actually cared about me,” said Regina. “Everything in the kit was very useful. I am currently working on maintaining my recovery and becoming a better, more responsible person.

“It is very caring and compassionate and it makes a big difference in our lives.”

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Sacaria found himself homeless for the first time this year. He entered Central City Concern’s clean and sober housing from another transitional housing building in Portland. He had some clothing and a small TV upon arriving. He was surprised to find the move-in kit in his room when he opened the door. “It made me feel like this was going to really be my new home.” He has used everything in the kit but particularly valued having pots and pans to cook with. A past lifetime union employee, his goal is to return to the workforce.

“This helps so many people. Thank you.”

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Though she’s only 30 years old, Patricia, has had about five periods of homelessness over the last 10 years. She came to Central City Concern housing after completing an in-patient drug treatment program. She arrived at CCC housing with some clothing, a handful of paperwork, and not much else. One of her new neighbors in the apartment building saw that she did not even have a fork to eat with. Patricia says she was reluctant to ask for such necessities. She was “relieved, hopeful and shocked” when staff brought the Airbnb move-in kit to her door. She has found every item in the kit of use and was particularly pleased to find laundry and dish soap included.

“Thank you and please know these are being used and are very helpful. I hope to be able to return the favor and help others in need someday.”

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John, age 38, has experienced 15 periods of homelessness over the past 10 years. Central City Concern considers him to be “chronically homeless.” He came to CCC housing for an employment and recovery program. All he arrived with was some clothing and hygiene items. He was “relieved and grateful” when his case manager gave him an Airbnb move-in kit. Of all the items in the kit, his favorite was the clean, new towel. John’s goals are to become employed, stay focused on his recovery and maybe return to culinary school.

“Thank you for help and support. I would like to do the same for someone at some point. It’s a good program and I’m grateful to be here.”

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Bryan, age 42, was referred to Central City Concern housing by his parole officer and he has been homeless three times over the past 10 years. When he arrived, he had nothing but the clothes on his back and the proper paperwork to check into his room. The Airbnb move-in kit was waiting for him upon arrival. “Receiving the move-in basket helped me feel welcome. It relieved some of the stress I had about getting day-to-day items that I knew I would need.” His most valued item from the kit is his pillow.

“Receiving this basket when I walked into my room for the first time gave me hope about my future and about society willing to give me a chance and some support in reaching my goals.”