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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Turnaround artist

A friend of mine, Richard Harris, has had this day named in his honor by Portland Mayor Tom Potter. Harris has been doing great work for many years as the head of Central City Concern, a nonprofit outfit that not only detoxifies the inebriates found on the city's sidewalks, but also helps thousands of people get out of addiction and into decent jobs, homes, health care, and lives.

Harris is retiring from the directorship of CCC this year. He's currently serving as the interim director of the state's Addictions and Mental Health Division while the search goes on for a leader to fill that position permanently. A good man.

Comments (2)

I've gotten to know Richard and his wife Susan over the last several years as we've both been season ticket holders for the Winterhawks and sit next to each other when the Hawks play in the Rose Garden. I have yet to see them at a game this season (a lot of folks dropped their tickets because of the crummy ownership that just left town). I'm hoping that they'll come back soon.

Though our politics couldn't be more diametrically opposed, they are wonderful people. I wish there were more people like Richard who can find better ways to deliver the social services we need in today's society without the involvement of the government. CCC does a lot of good work in this town and doesn't get nearly enough credit.

My best wishes in his retirement.

Dear Lexus:

Central City Concern has/had contracts with the City of Portland, Multnomah County, State of Oregon and the Feds.

The reason that CCC continues to thrive is because they have strategically sought partnerships with government agencies. In fact, CCC was a beneficiary of the old MultCo Tax.

So we do need government (us) to do good works.

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