Counseling center celebrates 20 years of providing hope and healing

Learn why this unique organization provides mental health care services to people who need it most – regardless of their ability to pay …

Multnomah County Commissioner Lonnie Roberts hears some of the success stories of the organization from NW Catholic Counseling Center’s director, Sr. Barbara Kennedy, and development director Trish Trout–as they celebrate 20 years of helping people.

Story and photographs by David F. Ashton

It is easy to understand why an individual who’s lost a job, faced major health challenges, or has had problems dealing with teenagers, seeks counseling. The problem is, when people are at their limit, they usually can’t afford the help of a high-priced mental health professional.

As we’ve reported in the past, even folks who are down-and-out can get professional psychological therapy at NW Catholic Counseling Center.

“We’re here to thank our sponsors for 20 years of support,” is how the Center’s director, Sr. Barbara Kennedy, described the April 29 festivities which we looked in on at Riverside Golf & Country Club. “We also look forward to provide twenty more years of hope and healing to everyone in the community.”

“This is a fantastic organization,” commented Multnomah County Commissioner Lonnie Roberts, who was present for the celebration. “When people find themselves stuck in difficult situations and need to redirect their life, they can come here. People at the Catholic Counseling Center really care, and provide service for the love of helping others.”

The Center’s development director, Trish Tout, told us the organization was founded in 1986 as a grass roots organization. Referring to the evening’s activities, she told us, “We’re having a silent auction, wine tasting with seven different wineries, and the preview of a new video that tells the story of the Center.”

Roberts added, “The best part is, they provide mental health services to the community without tax dollars. Because of this, they control their operations. There aren’t politicians telling them how to operate this great center ‚Äì a group of professionals who have helped thousands of people, especially here in outer East Portland.”

Trout agreed. Looking over the crowd of nearly 200, she said, “We’ve come a long way. And, we’re so happy our supporters, friends and former clients.”

At Catholic Counseling’s event, Gateway community leader Fred Sanchez shares a moment with “Father Jack” Mosbrucker, grand marshal of the 2006 GABA Parade.

The group did raise funds to help the Center operate ‚Äì nearly $20,000 came into the Center’s treasury. “This is really a ‘friend-raiser’ as well as a fund-raiser,” Trout commented.

Kennedy summed up the organization’s mission: “We help make people’s lives better. We help them have better marriages, relations with their children and, overall, a better future. We look forward to serving our community for a long time to come.”

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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