February 22, 2023 was the second snowiest day on record for the Portland Metro Area according to the National Weather Service. Events like this have a way of reminding us that we are all providing critical care to our clients and to be grateful for the positive energy and commitment to our values displayed by our CCC family. CCC staff in every corner of the agency rolled up their sleeves to help those we serve. The Navigation Team braved the elements to deliver survival gear and provide resources to folks on the street.
“We pivot pretty quickly to coordinate coverage and really focus on the safety of the residents in our buildings, on our staff as they come to and from work and on the people who live around our buildings,” said Sarah Holland, senior director of supportive housing and employment services. Sarah also mentioned she herself picked up a shovel. She wasn’t alone—Drew Grabham, director of behavioral health outreach services spent his day off delivering hot meals out of his own van to three separate warming shelters. We were proud to see his efforts covered in a KOIN news story.
Coverage Where it Counts
Stephen “StevO” Sullivan is lead community building assistant at the Starlight. Sullivan worked a double shift in order to provide coverage for the Sally McCracken, Biltmore and Butte Hotel facilities, properties part of CCC’s downtown supportive housing portfolio. “Someone has to be here to make sure the building is clean, secure, and to provide reasonable accommodation for anything the residents need, he said. To that end, Sullivan shoveled a path from the sidewalk across the street to the MAX station so residents using mobility devices could access public transit.
“It takes a lot longer to get to work,” said Jerry Allen, a peer case manager at Hooper, who is also trained as a sub-acute tech. “Hooper doesn’t stop because it rains or snows. We take as many as we can.” The Hooper team admitted five patients the day of the storm and did not make them wait in line.
Keeping the Doors Open
“We provide level 3.5 substance use disorder recovery that integrates mental health,” said Amy Simpson, a mental health specialist and art therapist at Centro Letty Owings, a residential facility for mothers and their young children run by CCC. With school and daycare services canceled due to the weather, the staff at Letty Owings had to quickly switch to a holiday schedule, which added extra duties such as taking care of sick kids and food prep. Despite the added duties, staff were still able to provide care to their residents: “The kids were here, groups were canceled and programming came to a halt but I was able to continue to provide mental health counseling.”
Holland referred to the on-call team at Dotación de personal de la ciudad central as the “glue that holds the agency together” and offered special praise for the Community Building Assistant and Stabilization and Treatment Program teams. Many of these team members worked double shifts the day of the storm and also on the following day. Lisa Quinn, CCC staffing supervisor echoed the same sentiment saying, “they did what needed to be done,” adding, “the biggest issue was transportation. If it weren’t for the cabs, people wouldn’t have gotten to work.”
CCC wishes to extend its thanks to the entire community building assistant and supportive housing teams and the numerous other staff members who, in Holland’s words, knew how to, “show up, figure out what needs to happen, and get it done.”
At CCC, we’re committed to helping our neighbors in need, whatever the circumstances.