In July, the Clackamas Service Center (CSC), one of the first grantees of The Portland Clinic Foundation, suffered a fire, temporarily shutting down many of its services. CSC serves more than ten thousand of our neighbors experiencing poverty and/or homelessness, many of whom have nowhere else to go. The closure of the damaged facility has been a tremendous loss for those who rely on its services, which range from hot lunches, food boxes, and social service referrals, to clothing donations, medical and dental treatment, and a mobile shower unit.
However, with a support system as large as our city’s, employees at The Portland Clinic generously donated hygiene products so CSC can reopen its mobile shower service. Employees at each Clinic branch came together to collect hygiene supplies that filled a whole station wagon, and stocked CSC with enough body wash, wipes, diapers, deodorant, shampoo, razors, hand sanitizer, dental hygiene products and more, to last the organization and those relying on its services for months.
Between The Portland Clinic Foundation’s grant and the successful hygiene products drive, The Portland Clinic’s community has made an immediate impact on CSC, and has helped them move closer toward offering its full complement of services.
Reopening the shower service is a big first step, says CSC’s Executive Director Debra Mason. “Many people in our community who are low-income or homeless struggle each day to have the opportunity to feel clean and cared for,” Mason explains. “Offering simple items such as deodorant, shampoo or toothbrushes provides so much more – the dignity and respect that should be afforded to all individuals no matter their status. It’s easy to forget how something so small can have such a large impact on the daily lives of others. We are grateful for The Portland Clinic Foundation and look forward to using their donations to keep our community safe.”
When CSC reopens fully this winter, it will stand firm on its legacy of over 40 years of community outreach. Operating out of a small former church which it bought for $10 in the early 1980s, CSC has built up an astounding array of services: in addition to those mentioned above, it also provides a winter warming shelter, free bedding, pet food, , a needle exchange, haircuts, computers, a mail service, mental health counseling, job and technology training, and help signing up for healthcare, housing, rent and energy assistance, and more.
CSC first opened its doors back in 1973 after three women saw the level of poverty in their community, and contributed $3000 of their bingo winnings and thousands of volunteer hours to do something to help. The Portland Clinic Foundation is proud to partner with the Clackamas Service Center, and celebrates that same caring spirit in all of The Portland Clinic patients and employees who generously and rapidly came together to help the CSC community.
If you would like to learn more about the Clackamas Service Center, please consider attending their Harvest Hope luncheon on September 27th or visit their website: http://cscoregon.org/
If you would like to learn how to get involved with The Portland Clinic Foundation, please call or email Foundation Executive Director Kris Anderson ([email protected] / 503.221.0161 x 2154). You can also visit our website and donate online: theportlandclinic.com/foundation