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City, Central City Concern, Neighborhood Coalition, and Businesses Pilot Program to Remove Trash

Press release

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Michelle Plambeck, 503-823-8041

City, Central City Concern, Neighborhood Coalition, and Businesses Pilot Program to Remove Trash

Central City Concern’s Clean Start PDX program helps keep neighborhoods clean

PORTLAND, OR – Mayor Ted Wheeler, along with the Central Eastside Industrial Council (CEIC) and Central City Concern (CCC), today announced a pilot to increase capacity to remove trash and debris in Portland neighborhoods. CCC has added a fourth crew to its successful CCC Clean Start PDX program.

“Portland residents can access these services through the City of Portland’s One Point of Contact webpage, or PDX Reporter,” said Mayor Wheeler. “This is a great opportunity to provide employment and improve livability in our community.”

CCC Clean Start PDX represents a collaboration between the Central Eastside Industrial Council (CEIC), and Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN), and the City of Portland. “This is a very constructive and positive way to address litter in our neighborhoods,” says Adam Lyons, NECN executive director. “We appreciate the partnerships in this innovative project.”

"The CEIC is excited to be a part of this pilot project,” said Juliana Lukasik, CEIC executive director. “We are currently looking for funding options to implement a similar program in the rest of the Central Eastside District. We are currently in a cycle of unprecedented growth and with the growth comes growing pains. Finding sustainable solutions to issues around safety, graffiti abatement and district cleaning are extremely important for the future. But addressing those issues right now is critical. Central City Concern’s nationally recognized programming is a perfect fit now and in the future.”

Each crew consists of a truck and two workers, most of whom have been homeless at some point in their past. The crew responds to requests to clean up litter, remove graffiti and work with homeless people living outdoors to help them keep their area clean. They develop relationships with homeless people in camps and offer to provide trash bags and regular clean-up schedules.

The program provides a six-month training program for formerly homeless people re-entering the workforce. During their six-month work experience, CCC Clean Start and Clean & Safe trainees receive one-on-one assistance in finding a permanent, full-time job through CCC’s Employment Access Center.

“This is a way for people who have previously experienced homelessness to gain job skills and employment,” said Jay McIntyre, CCC’s Clean Start program manager.

The Downtown Clean & Safe District contracts with Central City Concern to clean the 213-block business improvement district in central downtown and along the bus mall. CCC Clean Start also operates a temporary storage locker near the west end of the Steel Bridge where people who have no place to call home can put their belongings for a few hours while they work or seek employment.


Note to reporters: A formerly homeless CCC Clean Start PDX permanent employee is available for interview.