CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. (KOIN) — The “stay home” order keeping Oregonians — and most Americans — inside during the pandemic has certainly hit some groups more than others.

One of those especially vulnerable groups is seniors, many of whom can’t go to the grocery store for food or medical supplies. Caught off from others, many feel more lonely as the pandemic continues.

That’s why Clackamas County officials worked with other agencies and groups to launch the Community Care Initiative to reach seniors and help them with their daily and emotional needs.

CCI team members began their outreach this past Monday. That day, packages of food and supplies from the Oregon Food Bank were prepped for delivery throughout the county to people who actively need it.

The care boxes are being put together at the Public Safety Training Center in Clackamas by a team from the sheriff’s office, county employees and volunteers. The Community Care Initiative includes the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, county officials, Oregon Health Housing & Human Services, the Clackamas County Peace Officers Benevolent Foundation and the Oregon Food Bank.

“We know that law enforcement typically isn’t in this role but we do recognize that we’re going to be the first people who get called when folks are going hungry, when they don’t have their basic needs being met,” Undersheriff Angela Brandenburg said. “And we want to be proactive. We want to be able to meet those needs and having something in place before the crisis really hits.”

She’s grateful for the partnerships forged in this effort.

“We know that we can’t do this alone and so for us it really was reaching out to the county, to Health, Housing, Human Services, Social Services and making those partnerships and working together,” she said.

“These seniors who can’t get out or may not have loved ones or even friends that can come because they’re even sick or they don’t have any at all,” CCSO Chaplain Mike Vermace said. “So this is a unique way for us to be able to be hands and feet for them, to be able to care and provide food and other resources for them during this time.”

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Need help? Call or email

Residents who need help should contact the CCI team by email — — or by phone, 503.794.8088. The phone line is staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Donate to the Community Care Initiative though the
Peace Officers’ Benevolent Foundation

One important point about donations: At no point will anyone calling from the Community Care Initiative ask for your credit card information or ask you to make any payments over the phone.