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CareOregon invests more than $210,000 in metro area non-profits to support health equity

Jun 1, 2022, 07:00 AM

(PORTLAND, Ore.) May 26, 2022—This week, CareOregon announced that it has awarded $210,000 in community giving grants to nine local nonprofit organizations that provide social support and improve access to medical care for seniors, communities of color and other underrepresented communities across the Portland metropolitan region.

These grants are part of CareOregon’s commitment to reduce health disparities in communities by supporting programs that work to remove barriers to health and improve healthy equity. 

“We know that health is not an equal playing field,” said Shawn DeCarlo, CareOregon director of community benefit. “There are systems in place that make it harder for some of us to get the resources and care we need to lead a healthy life—whether that be access to healthy foods or culturally responsive medical care. By partnering with local nonprofits, we’re trying to break down these barriers and meet folks where they are. It will take all of us working together to root out health inequities in our community.”

Among the grants awarded, CareOregon is investing $50,000 in Lines for Life’s Cultural Engagement Initiative, which prioritizes the mental health needs of communities of color.

Communities of color face higher than average rates of suicide, untreated mental health conditions, substance abuse issues, and community violence. Many services for healthcare and behavioral health treatment are not culturally responsive and do not meet the needs of these communities – creating barriers to accessing and engaging with effective programs to improve mental wellness.

“Mental health services over the years in Portland have often ignored communities of color in addressing mental health issues,” said Director of Equity and Cultural Engagement, Darryl Turpin. “Lines for Life in the past three years has made a concerted effort to address mental wellness with community engagement in order to make mental health relevant for members of these communities. This grant from CareOregon will enhance our continued efforts to do outreach and build upon the strengths of the community, to ensure that mental health is a part of community healing and community wellness.”

Grants Awarded: 

Lines for Life: $50,000

Cultural Engagement Initiative 

Funding will support Lines for Life’s effort to reach 1,500 community members who identify as Black, Indigenous, and from other communities of color with mental health support through direct outreach by community health workers and hosting community-wide events that aim to reduce stigma.


Neighborhood House: $30,000        

Senior outreach program

Funding will support Neighborhood House’s Senior Outreach Program which offers older adults in Southwest Portland activities that promote social connectivity, physical activity, and independent living. This grant will help fund an array of programs that address area seniors’ transportation, food security and culturally specific service needs.


Cultivate Initiatives: $30,000

Community health initiative support

Funding will support Cultivate Initiatives’ Community Health Initiative which provides wrap around health services and support for houseless neighbors in east Portland. Specifically, it will be used to help cover the costs of staff training, including new staff and houseless neighbors.


Friendly House: $25,000      

Friendly House senior and SAGE program support

Funding will support general program costs so Friendly House can maintain services to low- income and under-served older adults in Multnomah County facing health disparities.


Community for Positive Aging: $25,000    

Community health navigation & food for low-income seniors

Funding will expand direct services, support and information to low-income seniors—especially those who identify as Asian or Asian American. Programming includes an Asian Food Pantry with culturally specific items for this community.


Rahab's Sisters: $20,000

Sustaining expanded programming to serve marginalized community members

Funding will provide basic needs for food, supplies, and mental health support to communities marginalized by poverty, houselessness, sex work, violence, and substance use and support staff and counseling teams. 


Family Justice Center of Washington County: $10,000            

Critical operating support for survivors of domestic abuse

Funding will be used to increase access to family violence support services for survivors of domestic violence, including advocacy, counseling, support groups and more, and offer trauma-informed and culturally responsive services to survivors of all backgrounds. 


Clackamas Service Center: $10,000

Operating support for public health services at Clackamas Service Center

Funding will enable Clackamas Service Center to continue offering periodic COVID-19 vaccine clinics, including clinics that offer first and second doses, boosters, and third doses to reach more houseless and low-income people in our community who are still unvaccinated.


Maybelle Center for Community: $10,000

Improving health equity through education 

Funding will support health equity education for emerging health care workers to help inform on issues of income inequality and better serve low-income residents of Downtown/Old Town Portland.


About CareOregon’s Community Giving Program

Since 2020, CareOregon has invested over $10 million into non-profit organizations serving Oregonians in need. CareOregon is proud to be recognized as a Top Philanthropist in Oregon by the Portland Business Journal for five years in a row. More information about our giving program is available here:

About CareOregon 

For more than 25 years, CareOregon has offered health services and community benefit programs to Oregon Health Plan members. Today, we support the needs of more than 500,000 Oregonians through three coordinated care organizations, a Medicare Advantage plan, a Tribal Care Coordination program, a dental care organization, and in-home medical care with Housecall Providers. CareOregon members have access to integrated physical, dental and mental health care, and substance use treatment. We believe that good health requires more than clinics and hospitals, so we also connect members to housing, fresh food, education and transportation services. CareOregon is a mission-driven, community-based nonprofit with offices in Portland, Medford and Seaside, Oregon. 

For information, contact Becca Thomsen, 503-416-3756 

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