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HPOG Success Story: Vincent at Worksystems, Inc.

Published: November 18, 2019
Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG)
Technical Assistance

Vincent standing in front of the Central City Concern officePortland, OR

The best directions come from those who have traveled the road before you.

Vincent’s life has been full of ups and downs. His childhood years were marked by severe abuse and trauma. As a result, he lived with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for most of his adult life.

He experienced mental health breakdowns caused by PTSD, leading him to self-medicate with alcohol. Vincent found himself in this downward spiral many times; the last almost cost him his life.

As a paramedic, Vincent helped save lives, but struggled to keep his own on track. After losing his job of 11 years, he decided to take advantage of resources that hadn’t been available when he was younger. He entered the Central City Concern’s Mentor Program, which matches participants to a sober mentor who has personally broken through addiction. Vincent was volunteering at Central City’s Employment Access Center when he noticed an orientation on their schedule board for Health Careers NW, a program made possible by HPOG.

Health Careers NW paved the way for Vincent to help others who were going through the struggles he knew so well. He chose the Peer Support Specialist track offered to assist individuals with chemical dependency and mental health issues. He completed his training where his journey started at a work experience program called Employee Access Center at Central City Concern.

Vincent is now employed by the Multnomah Crisis and Treatment Center, earning $15.22 an hour. He provides peer support for those experiencing mental health crises. He still works with Central City Concern giving back what was once given to him – another chance at life. Vincent speaks to other HPOG participants at their Career Link classes to build interest in the mental healthcare field.

Vincent says he never could have imagined being so fully engaged in a profession purely based on love and compassion.

This success story was self-identified by the grantee and information contained in this document was provided by the grantee.


Last Reviewed: November 18, 2019