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In July 2019, Blackburn Center opened its doors to patients and job-seekers — weeks after welcoming nearly 100 residents to their new, affordable homes. This moment was the culmination of years of dreaming, planning and designing a first-of-its-kind, deeply integrated care model. Finally, CCC’s signature services, from housing to health care to employment assistance, would all be available under one roof.
The hard work didn’t end with opening the doors to Blackburn Center, and it continues each day as we connect with clients and deepen our roots in the East Portland community.
Since opening, Blackburn has served:
- 214 residents
- 1,956 health patients
- 68 job-seekers
As we celebrate one year of Blackburn Center, we also celebrate every individual who has walked through our doors seeking housing, health care, recovery support, employment, or any combination of our services. One of those individuals is Charlette, who came to Blackburn Center as soon as it opened seeking a new path. Today, we’re celebrating two anniversaries: one year of recovery for Charlette and one year of services at Blackburn Center.
Charlette was homeless and addicted to heroin for six years — living in cars, sleeping in bus stops or just walking around all night. Then, six friends died of overdoses in one week. That was when she knew she had to turn her life around.
Blackburn Center. Within a single day, Charlette:
- Saw a primary care provider, who treated her for her chronic thyroid condition
- Saw a psychiatric nurse practitioner, who started her on buprenorphine (also known as Suboxone) for acute opioid withdrawal
- Immediately filled her buprenorphine prescription via the Blackburn Pharmacy
Over the next few weeks, Charlette saw a drug counselor and became active in groups and one-on-one counseling. She was also one of the first residents of Blackburn’s alcohol- and drugfree transitional housing.
“Having my housing and health care together in one building is a big thing!” Charlette says. “I can just go right downstairs and get my Suboxone at the pharmacy, or go to a group meeting, without ever leaving the building. That’s huge.”
Within less than six months, Charlette graduated from her outpatient program and, guided by Blackburn’s on-site employment specialist, began training as an on-call employee in CCC buildings.
Having my housing and health care together in one building is a big thing!
One year later and Charlette has stable housing, is working at CCC’s Letty Owings Center, and has one full year of recovery under her belt.
Clearly, the full slate of services available at Blackburn Center is working well for Charlette. She says, “I’m paying back everything that CCC has given me by being a success. That’s exactly what I want to be.”