Letter from our Executive Director


December 2021


Dear friends and neighbors,

This morning I opened my email to find the playlist Vintage Christmas with David Ian. It offers perfect accompaniment for me to reflect on the past year. This year has been long for me, likely for most of us, and for the work we are doing at Thrive Central Oregon. We have received more calls for assistance than ever, and walked alongside families as they navigate illness, fear, uncertainty and loss. In the last few months we were able to open a number of walk-in sites for the first time in over a year and a half. We have truly appreciated being able to sit with people again as we navigate challenges together.


The year has also been amazing, with many silver linings. I’m sometimes met with disbelief when I speak to all things that are working in our community. This last month a number of new affordable (yes, affordable!) properties opened up and Thrive’s team was able to move in one household after another. We were able to assist seniors whose rent had become unaffordable, folks with disabilities on a fixed income that had been in challenging hotel stays, and hardworking families that had been unable to meet income requirements for other properties. We worked together to move folks out of their cars and out of their over-packed family's houses. All of these individuals were met with a beautiful new apartment; a new home. Some expressed the unexpected joy of having a dishwasher or a picture window, while others expressed relief at having a door to lock. This year also brought significant expansion to our rent and mortgage assistance, health outreach and vaccine support programs.


Our community has some amazing resources and partners: together we are committed to improving the systems and offerings that support all of those that call Central Oregon home. I am so grateful to be a part of this network. This month marks our one year anniversary of sending out this monthly newsletter. I hope it has helped you better understand the work we do. I hope you have enjoyed learning more about the people we work with, our neighbors and community members. Through this newsletter we have strived to highlight our successes, provide information about our programs, and increase attention to where gaps in services still exist. We hope it has also highlighted the diversity of our community and our country, and planted seeds as to how we all might step up and support one another.


We are committed to this effort and I thank you for the role you have had in our growth and impact. Please spread the word as we work to better inform our community of what Thrive Central Oregon is and the work that we pursue. Together, we can keep finding the silver linings.


Happy Holidays to you and yours,


Sarah Mahnke

Executive Director


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