Central City Concern

Providing comprehensive solutions to ending homelessness
and achieving self-sufficiency.

So Many Reasons to Give Thanks

Nov 25, 2015

A job, our compassionate colleagues, the privilege to witness our clients’ and patients’ victories big and small… 

Working at a place like Central City Concern provides daily reminders that there is much for which we can and should be grateful. We asked CCC staff members what they're thankful for this Thanksgiving. Here's a sample of their responses!

• • •

“I am thankful for the tremendous opportunity to work with such amazing staff members – people are really here because they CARE about our clients and each other, and it really shows.  True Compassion in action!” – B.M.

“I grew up middle class, went to college, had a good family, etc. I never thought I would become homeless. I had just moved across the country from Michigan to Portland and my drinking eventually led me to being homeless. I tried to get clean and sober, get housing and a job, but I had no idea what to do or where to go.

“I met a woman at a 12-step meeting who had graduated from CCC programs three years prior (and who worked at the Employment Access Center at the time), who helped me sign up for housing and treatment at CCCRC. I got clean, started treatment at CCC Recovery Center, moved into the Richard Harris building, and began receiving medical and mental health care through Old Town Clinic. I got a job a month after completing treatment and moved into independent housing 6 months later. That job lead me on a career path to give back and work with folks experiencing homelessness and addiction.

“Now I work at the Employment Access Center and it feels like everything has come full circle. I am so grateful that CCC provided me with so much help and support and that it encourages clients to give back, because if that woman hadn’t reached out her hand to me, I don’t know where I’d be today. Now I get to give back what was given to me and it feels so great to do that as a part of an organization that I know and believe in. CCC feels like home for me and I’m so grateful for that.” – M.G.

“I am thankful for being able to provide a service to individuals who present hopeless and broken and after a short while they have hope in their eyes and are on their way to a life they never thought possible…” – J.J.

“I was reminded yesterday the effect we have on our clients without homes when a sweet gentleman who has been on the streets for several years came back from Home Forward, now certified for his Project Based Section 8 unit. I was then able to share with him that I would move him in on Wednesday so he’ll be “home” for Thanksgiving. Honest tears poured down his cheeks, truly warming my heart (and burning my eyes too.)” – L.P.

"I'm thankful that Central City Concern isn't in this alone. The task of ending homelessness can be daunting, so what we can do is do this work one person at a time. Thankfully, there are other agencies in Portland – housing organizations, healthcare organizations, employment organizations – who we can partner with to leverage our combined resources and make wider, deeper impacts. We're united in believing that everyone deserves to have a roof over their head and meaningful relationships." – P.H.

“I’m grateful to work with so many people who have so much care for our clients, our mission, and humanity in general.” – A.H.

“As an employee of CCC, I am incredibly grateful for many aspects of my job:

  1. I get to work with an incredible range of compassionate, smart, fun, visionary people who are working hard to help people at all levels of recovery and interdependence.
  2. The workplace is supportive of diversity and self-expression.
  3. I get to work in Portland – where I dreamed of living for years.
  4. I love working at a place that gives so many people opportunities to work in ways that best match their strengths, and…
  5. CCC recognizes as strengths some aspects of employees – like histories of homelessness, incarceration, mental illness, or addiction—that other employers may consider disqualifications.
  6. My heart is warmed every day!
  7. CCC is always growing, changing, and looking for ways to improve.” – M.H.

“I am thankful for the amazing time, compassion, and service that is given by all CCC volunteers, staff, and donors with the greater goals of changing lives for the better and positively impacting the community we all share.” – E.R.

“I’m grateful every day that I have the privilege of coming to work every day at Central City Concern. I have hanging over my desk a quote from John F. Kennedy’s speech at Rice University about the space program, in which he said, ‘We choose to go to the moon … not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.’

“That sentence, to me, summarizes precisely why CCC is such an incredible place to work, and why I’m so grateful to be here. We have the opportunity every day to set ourselves against some of the most difficult problems our society faces—homelessness, poverty, inequality, oppression—and the people who work here bring the best of their energies and skills to partner with the people we serve to win those challenges, one step at a time. They approach every day’s work with grace and skill and absolute dedication, and I am humbled and thankful to have the opportunity to work with them.” – Leslie T.

“I am grateful to work for a company that feel like family!” – D.M.

“I am thankful for all the wonderful people who work for CCC. Their compassion, courage and devotion to human kind truly makes a difference every day.” – I.D.

“I'm thankful for family, friends, and my health care team at Old Town Clinic.” – A.R.

“What I am grateful for is the opportunity to be employed here, my family, being drug-free for over a year and my sister coming up on a year clean as well.” – D.D.

Holiday Adopt-a-Child Needs Your Help!

Nov 24, 2015

Season's greetings! The cold weather abruptly rolling into Portland reminds us that the holidays are getting closer. Soon many of use will be getting ready for the holidays, thinking of preparing special meals, and buying the perfect gifts for our loved ones.

Parents in Central City Concern's family housing are doing the same. But for many of these parents, it is a time of stress and worry about how they are going to make these special memories for their families.
Before letting you know how you can help, we want to share this short video of Randi with you. She is an example of how living in a supportive environment like Central City Concern can transform people's lives.
Like Randi's mom said in the video, "it takes a village, and that's truly what Central City Concern is." You are a part of that village!

Now, how can you help? Central City Concern's Family Housing has an annual “Holiday Adopt-A-Child Program” and with your help we can bring much joy and unexpected happiness to the 88 families who currently live in our low-income and drug-free communities.

These moms and dads have made a commitment to become better parents and community members. Some juggle employment with school, and others are just starting the path to a better way of life. They are all in need of some assistance during the holiday season.

Here are a few ways you can help.

1)  Register to Adopt-A-Child for this Holiday Season
You can register to adopt one or as many as children as you wish. We will provide the first name and gift wish list of each child you choose. Please contact Catharine Hunter as soon as possible to get registered: e-mail her at catharine.hunter@ccconcern.org or call her directly at 503-200-3903.

2) Send a gift card
We encourage the donation of gift cards for our families. Over the years, we’ve learned that gift cards are deeply appreciated by families because they not only provide supplemental holiday items, but they also give parents the opportunity to personally purchase items for their children.

Please send gift cards to
Attention: Catharine Hunter
Central City Concern
232 NW 6th Ave
Portland, OR 97209

3) Purchase and deliver items from our Gift Ideas list (please see the very bottom of this email for the list)
Based upon children’s wish lists, we have compiled a general Gift Ideas list from which you may purchase individual items.

These items can be dropped off at the following:
Central City Concern Administration Office
232 NW 6th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Central City Concern Sunrise Place
5724 NE Prescott
Portland, OR 97218
Saturday, December 12th and/or Sunday, December 13th between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
If you would like to arrange a time outside of these options please contact Catharine Hunter at 503-200-3903!
We are very grateful for you partnering with our Holiday Adopt-A-Child Program this year and look forward to hearing from you. Your contribution to this program will make such a big difference in the lives of many Portland families during the winter holidays.

We Met Our Match... Donors!

Nov 10, 2015

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:

  1. All donors 35-years-old and younger will have their donations matched by a generous CCC supporter (up to a total of $5,000)
  2. The first 20 donors of $100 or more will receive one bag of freshly roasted Central City Coffee delivered to their home
  3. 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.

Central City Bed®

Central City Bed® - unfriendly to bed bugs, stackable, easy to clean and reuse. Appearing at national trade shows. Check Central City Bed for details. Learn more »

Volunteer Spotlights

What motivates CCC volunteers? What do they do when they volunteer? Why do they choose to give their time to those we serve? Find out by checking our Monthly Volunteer Spotlight! Learn more »

Central City Coffee

Through craft roasting coffee in Portland, OR, Central City Coffee supports the clients and mission of Central City Concern. Available at local retailers and as office coffee! Learn more »
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