Clackamas Service Center (CSC) is an inclusive, "one-stop" community center for individuals and families seeking food relief and resources for improved health, dignity, and stability.
Who We Are
CSC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in Portland, Oregon, and within the borders of Clackamas County. Founded in 1973, CSC has served as a vital community hub for low- and no-income east Portlanders for more than two generations.
Trauma-informed care is at the core of our values. We acknowledge the tremendous cognitive burden of poverty and homelessness, and seek to break down barriers to services while centering the inherent dignity and worth of every human being.
We further recognize the impact of systemic racism on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and are actively committed to making CSC, our community, and our world at large a safe and uplifting space for members of BIPOC communities. See our Commitment to Anti-Racism for more information.
Who We Serve
In 2019, our food market, otherwise known as our Community Nutrition program, served 2,120 unique households, including over 1,000 people under the age of 19 and 945 seniors. About half of our members (a term we choose to use as an alternative to “clients”) are houseless, while the other half of our members are housed. Geographically, we serve people from all over the Portland metro area, though the vast majority of our members live nearby in either Clackamas or Multnomah counties. Our location in the Overland Park neighborhood puts us in the heart of North Clackamas County’s and South East Portland’s social service desert.
We are a low-barrier service provider, meaning that the vast majority of our services are available at no charge to anyone who needs them, without proof of income or identity verification. The only service for which we require identification is member mail pickup, and the only service with a geographical constraint is our grocery delivery program, which is available to people who live in the twelve closest zip codes to CSC.
A Hub for Services
We believe that CSC's focus on food enables us to be a trusted place to access a variety of services. Food is one of the single largest budget items in many low-income Americans’ budgets. According to the USDA, in 2018, households in the lowest income quintile spent 35.1% of their income on food. CSC’s flagship Community Nutrition program is designed to ease the awful choice many low-income households face every month: Pay rent and go hungry, or buy groceries and jeopardize their housing.
Yet community nutrition is just one part of what CSC does. At CSC, food acts as a central draw. Once onsite, members are offered the opportunity to connect with a wide range of other resources, including those that meet immediate needs like our clothing closet, showers, mail receiving, and medical and dental vans. Our bilingual resource navigator works with members to address longer term goals such as housing, mental health services, and accessing public benefit programs.
Focus on Partnerships and Volunteerism
With a small staff, we know we can't do everything. We rely on our dedicated volunteers to sort, pack, and deliver grocery orders, cook meals, sort clothing donations, organize our mail, and much more. In total, our volunteers contribute the equivalent of at least 6 additional full time staff members every month.
We also work closely with other organizations to expand the list of services available on-site. Dozens of partners come to the CSC campus for pop-ups, resource fairs, and outreach events. This unique integration of and connection to providers of housing, food relief, health, and social services at a single site maximizes the impact of every visit to CSC by easing the logistics and transportation burden on our members. CSC's many partners include Outside In, Oregon Food Bank, Operation Nightwatch, Medical Teams International, Clackamas County, and the Department of Human Services, and our list is ever-expanding.