Common to all law enforcement agencies is the mission to protect and serve their communities. The “serve” part doesn’t typically evoke the idea of serving food, but hey — these are strange times.
Serving food, along with other basic essentials and needed medical supplies, is exactly what some deputies will be doing as part of the Community Care Initiative, a new program the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office launched to help seniors impacted the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know that law enforcement, typically, isn’t in this role,” CCSO Undersheriff Angela Brandenburg said. “But we do recognize that we’re going to be the first people that get called when folks are going hungry, when they don’t have their basic needs being met.”
The Community Care Initiative is a collaborative effort between the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Clackamas County Health, Housing & Human Services and the Oregon Food Bank.
As part of the initiative, which is based out of the Public Safety Training Center in Clackamas, a team of sheriff’s office and county employees and volunteers will contact seniors in Clackamas County and ask if they need food, medicine, or household supplies.
Volunteers will pack care boxes and make home deliveries with any needed items.
“I’m thankful for our partnerships and the ability to make a difference in our local community during this difficult time,” Brandenburg said. “I want every Clackamas County resident, especially our seniors, to know they are not alone. We care, and we are here for you.”
The Public Safety Training Center in Clackamas will serve as a center for assembling care boxes for seniors and other vulnerable populations, as identified by Clackamas County Social Services.
Team members working with the Community Care Initiative started assembling packages of food and supplies from the Oregon Food Bank on Monday to deliver throughout the community to those with active needs.
COVID-19 has been a challenge for everyone, but seniors in our community are especially vulnerable. Many are unable to go to the grocery store to buy food and medical supplies, and others are suffering from increased feelings of loneliness as they self-isolate to protect themselves from the virus.
If you’re in need, contact the Community Care Initiative at CCIrequests@clackamas.us, or call the resource-team phone line at 503-794-8008, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Community Care Initiative will begin with this senior-citizen outreach, with plans to expand to meet other emerging needs in the community — including individuals in need of assistance referred to Clackamas County by local faith and nonprofit organizations.
Donations to support the Community Care Initiative can be made through the non-profit Clackamas County Peace Officers’ Benevolent Foundation.
Photos courtesy the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office: