Email from Ed Blackburn, Central City Concern, Oct. 6, 2014
Remembering the Whirlwind: Incarceration to Self-Sufficiency
Last Friday, October 3rd, in Downtown Portland, the Clean & Safe District, managed by Portland Business Alliance, honored Kenny Cloughley as the 2014 Clean & Safe Cleaner of the Year. Jim Bare was announced as the Clean & Safe Security Officer of the Year. Michael Boyer was awarded the Crime Prevention award, while Howard Weiner was recognized as the this year’s Downtown Champion.
When Kenny Cloughley, Portland Business Alliance 2014 Clean & Safe’s 2014 Cleaner of the Year starts talking, you can’t help but notice his impeccable memory. He peppers his stories with exact dates effortlessly, but with a sense of urgency, almost as if he has to.
- September 10, 2012.
- May 7, 2013.
- February 2, 2014.
But not too long ago, the past he alludes to – multiple felonies, several stints in prison, substance abuse and addiction, and periods of success punctuated by disappointments – left Kenny doubting that his future held any hope.
December 18, 2012 is the day Kenny entered treatment at Volunteers of America. He also counts this as his clean date. “It’s a four-month substance abuse treatment program, but it’s also a ‘life treatment’ program,” Kenny says. “I learned how to make good decisions.”