We’re thrilled to share that Central City Concern (CCC) has been selected as a nonprofit featured in Willamette Week’s 2019 Give!Guide!
We are one of about 150 local nonprofits chosen by Give!Guide, and we’re honored to be among such incredible company.
This is our seventh year participating in Give!Guide — an opportunity to support our mission with a donation and receive fantastic gifts in return.
In addition to helping us end homelessness, your donation also gives you the chance to win fantastic prizes from iconic Portland restaurants, your
favorite local businesses and much, much more.
If you're ready to make a difference, make a gift to CCC any time between Nov. 1 and
BIG GIVE DAYS
When you donate $10 or more on Give!Guide’s Big Give Days, you’ll also be entered for a chance to win a number of exciting prizes in addition to CCC’s
exclusive incentives. Tomorrow, Nov. 1, is the first Big Give Day — when you donate $10 or more, you could win a $500
shopping spree to Powell’s Books! Explore all of this year's Big Give Days here.
JOIN THE PARTY
Give!Guide is hosting an official kickoff party Celebrate tomorrow at the Jupiter Hotel Next (910 E Burnside) from 5 to 7 p.m. Join the fun for music,
food and prizes. The event is free and open to the public. Find details here.
STAY UP TO DATE
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and
Instagram for more frequent updates about Give!Guide and CCC through the end of the year.
We’ll remind you about upcoming Big Give Days, share more information about our CCC-only incentives and even point you toward other nonprofits doing
good, important work in our community.
When you give to CCC, you help bring hope and healing to those who need it most. Thank you for believing in CCC and supporting our work.
Most Portlanders know John and Renee Gorham as the duo behind some of the city’s most exciting restaurants like Toro Bravo and Tasty n Alder. Their cuisine
is renowned for the breadth of inspiration they draw from all over the world — from Spain to Israel to the Carolinas.
when it comes to making a difference, the Gorhams focus on their own community. This holiday season, John and Renee are leveraging their star power
to support Central City Concern’s (CCC) Give!Guide campaign, as well as those of several other nonprofits, particularly
those addressing the homelessness epidemic in Portland.
We caught up with John and Renee for a quick Q&A to learn more about how they approach giving and doing their part to elevate the community.
Why did you decide to partner with CCC for the 2019 Give!Guide? CCC’s wide range of services and versatility offers the most wraparound and overarching support to transform the lives of families and individuals
in our community. Partnering with CCC in Give!Guide opens up the opportunity for us to reach a broader audience to support the critically important
and necessary work with the most vulnerable populations of our community.
What inspires you to give? In the restaurant industry we provide a service to those who can afford to dine out, but we also offer jobs and build a community within our group.
There have been several points in our careers where we found family within the industry, so trying to create that sense of community beyond the walls
of our restaurants is what inspires us to give.
How is your giving different than in past years? Each year we shift our focus to an area of larger need. Right now it’s abundantly clear that homelessness is the most immediate problem facing our
community. We’ve learned that collaborating with organizations who are on the ground providing services that make real differences in people’s lives
allows us to leverage what we can do to make a meaningful impact. We want to be a part of the solution.
“Every person deserves an opportunity to better their lives and have a chance to champion the best life that they can live.”
What message would you like to share with the community? Homelessness in Portland is something that needs all of our attention and our focus. Changing the lens of the way we all see homelessness is the first
step all of Portland can take. Whatever got a person or a family into the situation they are in is irrelevant. Every person deserves an opportunity
to better their lives and champion the best life that they can live.
Beyond what we see on the streets there is a huge population of people living on the cusp of homelessness. There is so much opportunity for us all to put
our money where our mouths are if we want to make meaningful change in this community. We just can’t rely on someone else to fix a problem that is
bigger than us all.
It’s just the damn right thing to do.
• • •
Give!Guide goes live on Friday, Nov. 1! Check out the details of our exclusive incentives
for donors who give to CCC through Give!Guide this holiday season.
On Tuesday, Oct. 15, Central City Concern (CCC) held our annual Compassion In Action fundraising luncheon at the Hilton Portland Downtown. This year, CCC
used the opportunity to celebrate not only all that is possible when community members work together to bring lasting change to people in need, but
also four decades of helping people find home, hope and healing.
With a blast of horns, Portland-based 12-piece funk and soul band Soul Vaccination kicked off the day’s program, performing their hit song “Funk P-Town”
with several lyrics altered to celebrate CCC’s 40th anniversary.
President and CEO Rachel Solotaroff then took the stage, thanking elected officials in attendance; the event’s Presenting, Home of Our Own and Ready
to Work sponsors; and several corporate partners who have generously given to CCC for more than 20 years.
Rachel went on to speak about a concept that is vital to the staff members, clients and the very spirit of CCC: resilience. She shared that resilience
“isn’t something people are born with. It’s something people are given, and they are given it through human connection.”
“Resilience requires relationships, not rugged individualism,” Rachel continues. “We are not the survival of the fittest. We are the survival of the nurtured.”
“Resilience requires relationships, not rugged individualism."
G. Robert (Bobby) Watts, CEO of National Health Care for the Homeless Council, served as the luncheon’s keynote speaker. Bobby tapped into the deep familiarity
with CCC’s work that he’s developed as the leader of the nation’s preeminent membership organization of homeless health care organizations, people
with lived experience of homelessness and advocates. CCC is, Bobby said, “doing some things that no one else is doing and they are doing some things
better than most others are doing. We, as a council, are going to rely on them.”
Bobby then pivoted to speaking about homelessness as a national epidemic. He shared that our collective hope and goal should be moving toward “compassionate
justice”: a society that not only sees housing and health care as human rights, but provides them as such. Our path toward that goal consists of doing
what we know works: affordable housing and housing subsidies, health care to people experiencing homelessness, supportive housing, medical respite,
practicing a Housing First approach, trauma-informed care, harm reduction and addressing racism.
The audience was treated to the premiere of “40 Years of Hope and Healing: The Human Connection,” a video feature that showed the transformative ripple
effect of making human connection through the stories of two long-time CCC employees, Bobby T. and Medina. (Watch the video for yourself at the end
of the post.)
Stacey Dodson, market president at U.S. Bank, followed the video to make the pitch. Before she began her ask, however, she shared about her intimate connection
to the devastation that addiction can ravage on families, making the work of CCC all the more vital to our community.
Soul Vaccination closed the program with three more songs, including a raucous version of Earth Wind & Fire’s “September.”
In total, CCC’s 2019 Compassion In Action campaign raised over $290,000.
Central City Concern’s annual We Are Family fundraising dinner is coming up on May 2. The event raises funds
in support of Letty Owings Center (inpatient treatment for pregnant women and mothers with young children), and our Family Housing programs. This year,
guests will be treated to the unique and entertaining perspective of Portland stand-up comic, Julia Ramos.
Julia has made her mark by leaving no issue in her life off limits. She’s been invited to perform at the Northwest Women’s Comedy Festival and the All Jane Comedy Festival,
and is a co-host for Minority Retort, a showcase in Portland highlighting
the talents of local and non-local comedians of color. Julia’s main goal is to keep the conversation open on topics that aren’t always easy to discuss.
She feels a solid punchline is the best way to fuel that conversation.
We recently squeezed into Julia’s busy schedule to get a few more details.
CCC: How long have you been doing comedy?
Julia Ramos: I've been doing comedy for a little over six years, however I've been doing comedy sober for almost six years. Stand-up comedy
has been a dream of mine since I was five. Television and comedy for me was my first escape. I was fascinated with words and making a group of people
laugh. Especially darker subject matter—the ability to turn dark subjects upside down and create laughter from them is powerful.
CCC: Why did you get into comedy?
JR: I really wanted to do comedy writing. I wanted to create sitcoms and be in writers’ rooms with other creative and funny types. Stand-up
to me was something I wanted so much, but I felt more comfortable behind the scenes. I read books on comedy writing and all of them stated the only
way to see if jokes would work in a taped show, was to try them out in front of a live audience. The books recommended stand-up, so I knew I needed
to at least try it out.
CCC: What is your favorite part about entertaining?
JR: It's selfish. Entertaining people and getting a laugh feels good. It feels great. The feeling of relating situations I used to feel
shame about is adrenaline inducing. Entertaining others gives them an escape from their lives for a few minutes. That's my job when I'm on stage, I
bring them into my world and give them a mini vacation.
CCC: Why are you interested in helping to raise money for Letty Owings Center and Central City Concern’s Family Housing programs?
JR: I like helping, in any way I can. I'm grateful to be an addict; my life is better because of what I've been through. My wish is to
give the same opportunity to others, helping women and children especially. I can't think of a more important cause than women, children, and addiction.
If there's anything I can ever do to take the stigma from addiction away, and give other humans a foundation into the life they were meant to live,
sign me up.
To sponsor a table at the event or two purchase individual tickets to We Are Family, visit our ticket purchase page!
Still curious about Julia and her comedy? Check out one of her hilarious sets!
Whenever December gets into full swing, we’re asked how people can support Central City Concern as a way to do good during the holiday season. This year,
we’ve compiled a dozen ways you can give to CCC, making it easier than ever to find a way that works for you to make a difference in the lives of our
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. Plus, donating $10 or more on Big Give Days gives you a chance to win an extra special prize package!
Double your impact: If you decide to become a monthly donor or to increase your current monthly donation to CCC through our secure online donation portal, the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund will match your gift dollar for dollar! A $25 monthly donation will become $50, a $50 monthly gift becomes $100, and so on!
Adopt-a-Child: Help us bring joy this holiday season to the more than 300 children living in CCC’s family housing! Learn how you or your business can help make the holidays bright for our families working toward recovery and stability.
In-kind Wish List: Portland’s wet and cold winter season creates unique needs and challenges for our clients, especially for those who are living outside. Our In-kind Amazon Wish List offers a convenient way to purchase and donate items to meet our current needs.
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.
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.
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.
Season of Sharing: The Oregonian has chosen CCC’s Letty Owings Center (LOC) as a featured beneficiary in the paper’s annual holiday fundraising drive. Read the Season of Sharing story to find out how our inpatient treatment program for young mothers can alter the path of a young family for good.
Cooking Matters Wish List: We are currently in need of kitchen supplies to help keep Cooking Matters—a program that teaches our clients cooking basics and healthy eating—going at CCC. Our Cooking Matters Amazon Wish List makes it easy for you to donate the items we need!
Evergreen In-kind Needs: Download our list of year-round needs to find out how you can provide items for the people we serve, whatever time of year you’re able to give. In most cases, we will accept items in both new or gently used condition.
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!
Events: Keep an eye on the CCC events page for information about upcoming fundraising events. Each year, hundreds of community members gather to support and celebrate the work CCC is doing to end homelessness one person at a time.
On Monday, Nov. 6, Central City Concern ground onthe Blackburn Building, the last of three buildings in the Housing is Health initiative, a pioneering commitment from local hospitals and health organizations to bring 379 units of affordable housing to Portland.
• • •
Yesterday, Nov. 6, Central City Concern (CCC) broke ground on the third of three buildings in the Housing is Health initiative,
a pioneering commitment from local hospitals and health organizations to supportive, affordable housing. CCC also announced the name of the building
(25 NE 122nd Ave., Portland)—the Blackburn Building—which honors CCC’s President and CEO Emeritus Ed Blackburn, who recently retired after 26 years at CCC. Ed was instrumental in pulling together the Housing is Health initiative, which was the
culmination of years of outstanding leadership and relationship building.
The two-story health care facility will serve 3,000 people each year with recovery and mental health services, as well as targeted primary care services.
The clinic will include a pharmacy and 52 units of respite care, including 10 units of palliative care. Additional housing will include 90 units of
transitional housing and 34 permanent homes. Integrated resident and health support services will help residents stay housed.
The groundbreaking celebration began at 2 p.m. CCC President and CEO Rachel Solotaroff, M.D., Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson and Metro
Councilor Shirley Craddick spoke about the new project. Other speakers included Tricia Tillman from Oregon Housing and Community Services, Drew Hammond
of US Bank, Melissa Garcia of Low Income Investment Fund and Heather Lyons from Corporation for Supportive Housing.
Community member and CCC client Mike Holevas described his journey from high school science teacher to addict, to a person in recovery working toward wellness
and self-sufficiency. He once bought drugs on the very corner where the Blackburn Building will be. “This corner now can be the site where thousands
who are suffering—and believe me, we suffer—can come for transformation, healing; families will be restored,” he said. “I’m so proud to
be part of something that will bring hope and healing to thousands of people like me."
"This corner now can be the site where thousands who are suffering—and believe me, we suffer—can come for transformation, healing; families will be restored.” - Mike Holevas, former CCC client
Additional speakers included representatives from the Housing is Health initiative’s six hospitals and health organizations: David Russell, Adventist Health
Portland president and CEO; Eric C. Hunter, CareOregon president and CEO; Janet O’Hollaren, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals chief operating
officer; Mark Enger, OHSU vice president of Network Operations; Pam Mariea-Nason, Providence Health & Services – Oregon executive, Community Health
Division; and George Brown, M.D., Legacy Health president & CEO.
“The Housing is Health collaboration is an excellent example of health systems recognizing the impact housing has on an individual’s health,” said Rachel.
“They’ve united for improving health outcomes as well as the common good of our community.”
"[The Housing is Health collaborative has] united for improving health outcomes as well as the common good of our community.” - Rachel Solotaroff, M.D., CCC President & CEO
The developer is Central City Concern, the architect is Ankrom Moisan, the general contractor is Walsh Construction and the construction manager is GLI.
In addition to the Housing is Health partners, funding for the development of the Blackburn Building is provided by Oregon Housing and Community Services,
US Bank, Portland Housing Bureau, CSH, Low Income Investment Fund, Oregon Health Authority, Metro, Energy Trust of Oregon and Multnomah County.
CCC is engaged in a $3.5 million capital campaign to complete funding for the Blackburn Building. Early supporters of this campaign include The Collins
Foundation; Downtown Community Housing, Inc. Fund of OCF; Harbourton Foundation; The Hearst Foundations; Meyer Memorial Trust; PGE Foundation; Silvey
Family Foundation; The Standard; Wells Fargo Housing Foundation; Building Owners & Managers Association of Oregon; Downtown Development Group;
Melvin Mark Companies; Meridian Wealth Advisors; R2C Group; Acme Bader Fund of OCF; Brody Family Charitable Fund; Crooke Family Charitable Fund; Ginny
& George Charitable Fund; Mitzvah Fund of OCF; the Paul & Sally McCracken Fund of OCF; and numerous individuals.
Find a full list of contributors to the Housing is Health initiative here.
For more information about the campaign or to make a contribution, please contact Kristie Perry, Director of Donor Relations, at 503-200-3926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Central City Concern's annual fundraiser for the Letty Owings Center and Family Housing programs took place on Tuesday, May 2, at the Multnomah Athletic Club. Click on a photo to begin the slideshow.
• • •
On May 2, Central City Concern held our annual “We Are Family” fundraising dinner for Letty Owings Center, celebrating 20 years as a Central City Concern program, and our Family Housing programs. The big event took place for the fourth consecutive year at the Multnomah
Athletic Club in southwest Portland. Rain couldn’t keep the partygoers away and a good time was had by all.
The evening’s program was led off by Executive Director Ed Blackburn, then Chief Housing and Employment Officer Sean Hubert offered thoughts on generational
poverty and the steps Central City Concern is taking to provide housing for families in need. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rachel Solotaroff followed
Sean with powerful insight on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). She spoke of how CCC addresses childhood trauma while helping people break the
cycle of addiction and poverty.
Our featured guest was Family Housing resident and mother Jamie, along with her 10-year-old son Dante. Jamie shared her story of overcoming addiction in
the safe and supportive environment of Letty Owings Center, a six-month residential addiction treatment program for pregnant women and those with young
children. She also talked about her transition from Letty Owings Center to CCC Family Housing, where she has a family mentor, has learned basic money
management, and continues to safely raise and care for her three children. Jamie’s goals include pursuing a career as a medical assistant after completing
the prerequisites at Portland Community College.
Entertainment was provided by Jazz Society of Oregon Hall of Famer Shirley Nanette and Friends. Stumptown Photo Booth added to the to the picture perfect
All in all, close to 400 guests attended to celebrate and support our families and raised over $120,000 for the Letty Owings Center, which has witnessed
the births of more than 270 babies, and the Family Housing program, which is home to 154 families.
The support that Central City Concern received through our end-of-the-year giving campaign, starting in November and up through the holiday season,
was truly breathtaking. Together, the Central City Concern community gave $210,000 to support our programs and the people we serve. Now a smidge
past the halfway point in January, we at CCC finally have a moment to take a beat to truly let the outpouring of community support sink in, and
we want to say, THANK YOU.
In early November, we shared Elyse’s story of
years getting knocked down by addiction, homelessness, and disease, but eventually stabilized, built up, and put in position to thrive with the
help of Central City Concern’s continuum of services. Her
courageous journey struck a chord with our community, as we received donations to support the programs that were so crucial to Elyse’s success.
Our 2015 Willamette Week Give!Guide campaign—just the third time CCC has participated—was
our most successful to date. Give!Guide is a community-wide effort to encourage year-end giving throughout the Portland area and a celebration
of the good work being done by local nonprofits.
Many others found their way to our website to make a year-end gift to CCC through our online donation page.
The causes of homelessness are complex; in turn, our services are comprehensive. And thanks to your support, Central City Concern can continue to provide
those life-transforming programs that help individuals and families not only get off the street, but remain housed and work toward a life that
fulfills their higher potential. It takes a full range of supports—integrated primary and mental healthcare,
addiction treatment, housing, peer mentoring, and employment services—that you make possible.
Thank you for trusting Central City Concern to do this work in a way that honors each person’s unique journey. Your support means the world to us and
those we serve. Here’s to a most fulfilling 2016.
In addition to the great Portland-based incentives distributed by Give!Guide to people who make a gift of $10 or more to any participating nonprofit, Central City Concern is happy to offer a few incentives of our own. (Skip down to the bottom of this post for a full list.)
Today, we take a brief look back on the partnership that led to our second incentive – a $500 Airbnb gift certificate to one lucky person who makes a donation to CCC through Give!Guide! When you're ready to enter the drawing, simply head over to Central City Concern's Give!Guide page and make a gift today!
• • •
Almost exactly one year ago, Airbnb began inviting Portland-based hosts to give back to their community in a brand new way. Airbnb developed a tool on their website through which local hosts can choose to donate a percentage of their hosting income to Central City Concern. Furthermore, Airbnb pledged to match the hosts’ donations up to a total of $125,000!
These donations from hosts and Airbnb are put toward move-in kits for individuals moving into CCC’s supportive housing communities. Each kit contains a multitude of household supplies: linens, a comforter and pillow, kitchen items like dishes and cups, and more, all lovingly assembled by volunteers (often from Airbnb’s Portland office) in a laundry basket.
Each of these items are essential to creating a sense of home, a sense of stability. Many of the people moving into our housing communities arrive after months (or years) of living on the street or unstable housing situations with few, if any, personal items. Walking through the door of their own place for the first time – keys in one hand, move-in kit in the other – represents a new chapter in our clients’ lives.
We know that having housing is critical to becoming healthier, staying on the road of recovery, managing mental illness, finding and keeping employment, and more. Thanks to Airbnb and generous Portland-based hosts, these move-in kits send a message that people in the local community care about our new residents and are rooting for their success.
So when Airbnb found out that Central City Concern was looking for a business to donate an enticing Give!Guide incentive, they again stepped up, providing the $500 gift certificate.
New residents often write thank you notes for the move-in baskets after they’ve had time to settle into their new homes. We compiled a number of them into a gallery we shared a few months ago, but we believe it’s valuable to share it again.
A selection of thank you notes new residents of Central City Concern housing have written after receiving their move-in kit.
• • •
Ready for your chance to win? Visit Central City Concern's Give!Guide page and make a gift of any amount today. Every gift – no matter the size – makes a difference. The winner will be contacted in early January.
In addition to the Airbnb gift certificate, Central City Concern offers several more incentives:
All donors 35-years-old and younger will have their donations matched by a generous CCC supporter (up to a total of $5,000)
The first 20 donors of $100 or more will receive one bag of freshly roasted Central City Coffee delivered to their home
Every Monday, one donor from the previous week will win a book that a CCC staff member has found to be informative and/or inspirational to their work
As you may have heard, Central City Concern is in the 2015 Willamette Week Give!Guide. We are ecstatic and thankful to have been chosen as one of 143 local Portland nonprofits to participate!
In addition to the great incentives Give!Guide distributes to donors who make a gift of $10 or more to any nonprofit over the course of Give!Guide season (November 4 through December 31), Central City Concern is excited to offer a few incentives of our own:
All donors 35-years-old and younger will have their donations matched by a generous CCC supporter (up to a total of $5,000)
The first 20 donors of $100 or more will receive one bag of freshly roasted Central City Coffee delivered to their home
One randomly chosen donor will receive a $500 Airbnb gift certificate
Each of these incentives has a direct connection to Central City Concern’s community and work, so we’re excited to share the story behind these incentives over the next several weeks.
Our first “deep dive” into our incentives is a Q&A with donors James and Ashley-Renee Nye, the generous family behind the incentive to match every gift made to CCC by a 35-and-younger donor through giveguide.org—up to $5,000! We wanted to learn more about their commitment to encouraging philanthropy among their peers, so CCC’s Director of Communications, Kathy Pape, sat down with them to find out!
• • •
Q. What is it about CCC’s mission that calls to you?
A. We knew that homelessness was one of the big issues we wanted to address with our charitable giving, and after looking everything over, CCC seemed like a great fit for what we were trying to accomplish. The fact that CCC provides wraparound services aimed at getting people out of homelessness made us feel really good about deciding to support you.
Q. Do either of you serve on any nonprofit boards or regularly engage in volunteerism?
A. Not as much as we’d like to, especially since having a baby! My wife regularly volunteers for VoiceCatcher, a nonprofit women’s collective of writers and artists, and I serve on CCC’s Planned Giving Committee. I’ve also volunteered on the Finance Committee of the Rose City Rollers, Portland’s own roller derby league.
Q. Why do you suppose Give!Guide focuses on younger donors?
A. It’s definitely important to start the donating habit early. Many people think that under-35s don’t donate to charity. But according to a 2012 survey commissioned by the Millennial Impact Project, about 75% of people between the ages of 20 and 35 gave to charity in the previous year. As long as Give!Guide can get into young people’s hands, and make a case for helping the charities that make Portland a better place to live, I think we can really make a difference.
Q. What would you say to a friend about why they should donate to CCC?
A. There’s really no other local organization that does what CCC does. Portland is a great city, and everyone deserves to have a chance at helping it become even greater. CCC is helping provide that chance.