Ad agencies help promote new health center for homeless

Multnomah County

The Blackburn Center is right off the MAX blue line on Southeast 122nd and East Burnside

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Central City Concern is celebrating the grand opening of a state of the art healthcare and housing facility in East Portland.    

Making sure people know these services exist is a challenge but some local advertising agencies stepped in to spread the word.

Central City Concern’s newest facility — the Blackburn Center — opened its doors in July. It provides healthcare, housing and employment services in East Portland.​​

The Blackburn Center is right off the MAX blue line on Southeast 122nd and East Burnside, easily accessible by public transit. ​​

It provides health and medical services, along with substance use and mental health care for people experiencing homelessness or marginal housing. ​​

“We have it all here in this one building so people can get all of those services in one place,” Services Director Eowyn Reike said.

Reike said this improves their ability to get people off the street and back on their feet. ​​

“Not many places put everything in one place,” Reike said. “This allows people to connect their team of care providers to collaborate to make sure we can provide the best possible care.” ​​

But it’s not easy getting the word out. ​

Portland-based ad agencies, R2C Group and Billups, worked together to build a brand and put up billboards and ads around town for free. ​​

Advertisement agencies spread the word about Blackburn Center (KOIN)

“I love it. This is the favorite thing that I do,” R2C Group founder and CEO Michelle Cardinal said. “I get to work on a lot of different brands and companies, but this is the thing really, where my heart is.”​​

Cardinal has been involved in helping ease the homelessness crisis in recent years. ​

“Often we spend our time with large companies and doing things to make money for people,” Cardinal said. “But this is just a wonderful thing to do for the community in Portland.” ​​

Cardinal knew she could help get the message of “care without judgment” to the right people.​

“Then R2C took that idea and created this beautiful package at allows us to communicate that to people and really get this message to the people we want to work with,” Reike said. ​

Central City Concern’s newest facility — the Blackburn Center — opened its doors in July..​​ (KOIN)

Central City Concern wants the Blackburn Center to be an asset to its neighborhood.​​

“We want people to see this as a place to come to get healthy and to build a family of people around them so that they can continue to reach their goals,” Reike said.

About Blackburn Center

This facility was 8 years in the making. The previous executive director of CCC, Ed Blackburn, worked for years to do the fundraising to support the building and the larger project known as Housing is Health. ​

Over the last 2 years, CCC has worked on designing the building and services the center will provide. ​

The center welcomes Oregon residents who are 18 years or older. ​

They accept everyone regardless of their ability to pay. People who are uninsured are welcome. They also accept OHP, Medicare and some private insurances. ​

The majority of services at Blackburn Center will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. Quick care and intensive substance use disorder treatment programs will also be available Saturday mornings. ​

What’s inside?

  • A health care facility​
  • A pharmacy​
  • Commercial space​
  • Respite care transitional housing (51 units)​
  • Palliative care housing (10 units)​
  • affordable single room occupancy (80 units)​
  • Permanent housing studio apartments (34 units)​

About health care and housing

Housing at Blackburn is specifically for people who are already engaged in one of their existing programs or people who are already working with one of their community partners. ​

The health care section will eventually serve 3,000 people each year with recovery and mental health services, as well as primary care. The clinic will include a pharmacy and 51 unites of respite care for people leaving a hospital with nowhere to go.​

Additional housing will include 80 units of alcohol and drug-free transitional housing and 34 permanent homes. ​

“Most of our housing is recovery housing — so housing for people who are removing from substance abuse conditions to support them in continuing their recovery,” Reike said.​

Integrated resident and health support services will help residents stay housed and in recovery.

About Central City Concern​​

​CCC is Portland non-profit serving people impacted by homelessness, poverty and addictions since 1979.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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