Youth center now will be called CareOregon Boys & Girls Club at Rockwood in 10-year partnership

COURTESY PHOTO: CAREOREGON - The CareOregon Boys & Girls Club at Rockwood unveilled its new name Nov. 29 as part of a 10-year collaborative partnership with CareOregon that will see a $2 million influx of funds to the youth club.The Rockwood Boys & Girls Club has a new name and a major new influx of funds.

In an announcement Monday, Nov. 29, the Gresham-area youth center unveiled its new name: the CareOregon Boys & Girls Club at Rockwood, noting a new 10-year partnership between the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area and CareOregon.

The new partnership will see a $2 million investment in the Boys & Girls Club, allowing the club to better serve an area of the state with the highest number of residents on the Oregon Health Plan, and the largest concentration of youth under 18 in the region.

COURTESY PHOTO: CAREOREGON - Terry Johnson, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area, speaks about the benefits of a new 10-year partnership with CareOregon at the organization's Rockwood club."Many of the families we serve in Rockwood have been pushed out of Northeast Portland due to gentrification," said Terry Johnson, Boys & Girls Clubs CEO. "And historically, there has been a shortage of resources and services in East County for marginalized youth and families who have moved out to this area. Having a partner like CareOregon to help us elevate and amplify our work in the community is a tremendous asset."

The Rockwood club was built in 2017 at Southeast 165th Avenue and Stark Street. The club sits alongside other community-based organizations that serve area youth, including Open School, New Avenues for Youth, and Latino Network.

While the name is changing, the services and programs aren't. CareOregon hopes to build out current services and add volunteers at the site.

"In addition to direct financial support, we are working together to design collaborative programming and plans for employee volunteerism," said Becca Thomsen, communications manager for CareOregon.

CareOregon has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area for years, most recently partnering to provide youth vaccination clinics for COVID-19 vaccines aimed at expanding access to vaccines for BIPOC kids.

COURTESY PHOTO: CAREOREGON - Eric Hunter, CEO of CareOregon, says the partnership with the Boys & Girls Club fits with CareOregon's mission."At CareOregon, we strive to build stronger communities by making health care work for everyone," said Eric Hunter, CEO of CareOregon. "We know that good health is about more than just health care. That's why we invest in affordable housing, work to improve access to healthy foods, and support innovative community programming, like what our friends at Boys & Girls Clubs are leading. We are eager to partner with the team at Boys & Girls Clubs to further support programming and make sure that all of our neighbors in the Rockwood area have what they need to be healthy."

There are 11 Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the Portland metro area, including school-site programs in the North Clackamas and the Hillsboro school districts. The clubs serve kids and teens with activity centers, mentorship, and academic, health and leadership services, among other offerings.

CareOregon is a nonprofit organization that administers health and dental services to more than 500,000 residents through the Oregon Health Plan and also offers community benefit programs.

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