Miralces is a 501c(3) Membership Organization. Miracles operates on democratic principles where the members vote and provide direction for the activities and sustainability of the organization. Members can participate in membership meetings. Only paid members can participate in the member meetings and are allowed to vote. Members vote on a slate of Directors annually, and are eligible to participate on committees established by the board. Committees include, but are not limited to: the Membership Committee and Events Committee. Members pay an annual fee of $100 for membership to support the mission of the Miracles Club.
MIRACLES' BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- Leonard Clark, Sr., CADC II: Founder/Managing Director, RISK Reaching in Serving Kids & Families, LLC. Leonard is a Portland native serving at-risk communities providing multi-cultural substance use disorder treatment, counseling, referral to community resources and family service coordination. Leonard has been a MHACBO certified addiction counselor since 2006.
- Bill Curtin: I was born and raised in the Northeast Portland Community. I grew up in an outwardly devout but alcoholic infested Irish Catholic Family. My father was the main practitioner of the disease in my youth. IT was probably the most confusing period of my life. In 1953 because of many circumstances inside and outside the family, my father walked into an AA Meeting and never drank again. I was eleven years old. He remained active in the program for the rest of his life. This would become a blessing in my life that served me well in years to come. In 1969, I was ordained a Catholic Priest for the Archdiocese of Portland. The in 1971, I was assigned as Pastor to Immaculate Heart Church in the Albina Community of NE Portland. This was an additional blessing I was given in my life. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Immaculate Heart. It was a challenging time with addiction at epidemic proportions in the community. The Watson Family were members of our church. This is how I met Harry W. The Victory Group began with his leadership in 1972 at Immaculate Heart. It still meets there on Thursday nights. In 1981, for many personal reasons, I made the difficult decision to resign from the priesthood and seek out a more normal life. In the last few years as a priest the family disease of addiction had also caught up me in its snare. I went to a treatment program in Washington and returned to Portland to find a job and live a new life for me. I also decided at that time to engage 12 Step programs with enthusiasm and follow their guidance and instruction. I am still doing that nearly 40 years later. After I left the priesthood I worked as a Security Officer for five years at Emanuel Hospital, mostly in the Emergency Room. After my time there I worked twenty years as a Director of Public Safety at both Reed College and Lewis and Clark College. I retired in 2006. Later this year my wife, Liddy Curtin and I will celebrate 35 years of marriage. Yet another blessing! I have three grown stepsons and six step grandchildren. I am honored to serve as a Board Member for the Miracles Club.
- Debbie Elliott, PhD: Debbie has a PhD in Clinical Child Psychology from Ohio State University. Debbie is a research principle investigatorfocused on Community-based research in the areas of substance abuse treatment and recovery, criminal/juvenile justice, housing/homelessness, and crime victim rights.
- Sarah Friedel: My most defining trait is that I’m a recovering addict (11/27/83). I’ve been married to Roger, for 40 years. He lets me do anything I want. We have two kids, five grandkids and three great-grandkids. For 31 years I taught high school (English, journalism, counseling. I loved my job. In retirement, my passion is wildlife conservation. I spend as much time as possible in Zimbabwe, where my critically endangered species of choice is the African painted dog. I first learned about African painted dogs at the Oregon Zoo, where I volunteer. At home, Roger and I have dearly loved a total of 10 domestic dogs so far. This past year, my focus in recovery has been Step 11; I’m doing better at asking God for help. I also practice Vipassana meditation. Like N.A., Vipassana is all over the world, charges no money and is spiritual, not religious. For physical exercise and mental health, there’s my bike, which I love to ride, rain or shine. I’m currently hosting U+Me=We on Zoom, M-W-F from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., I.D. 957-4961-6222, password 311942. Grateful to be clean today!
- Pastor J.W. Matt Hennessee: On December 29, 2004 Vancouver Avenue voted to elect J.W. Matt Hennessee as their third full-time pastor. At the time he had served for sixteen years as the Associate Pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church under the leadership of Senior Pastor James C.E. Faulkner. Education, youth and young adult development & growth, community involvement, and social justice have been a great emphasis of Pastor Hennessee and Vancouver Avenue during his tenure. The Drum Major Ecumenical Service was implemented in 2007 celebrating the lives and legacies of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Mrs. Rosa L. Parks, and Ms. Yolanda D. King bringing together people from all off the Portland area community commemorating their lives. On a personal note Pastor Hennessee has been blessed to live a life full of many successes which he doesn’t always like to speak of. It is his nature to applaud and punctuate the great successes others do, but not what he has done. He has had a stellar career in public service in Ohio, Michigan, and Oregon. He has been involved in leadership of international private business and private pre-school education services. He served as a Trustee for nine years at a private Christian college in California. For the past several years Pastor Hennessee has worked intently with a group of men to reduce gang violence in Portland. Working with area law enforcement agencies their efforts have reduced crime from since 2011 by over 50%. Pastor Hennessee hopes to leave a legacy of increased Biblical literacy, community involvement, financial sustainability, a creative leader with a heart for people, a love for God, and a belief everyone matters.
- Jackie E. Johnson, MSW: Mr. Jackie E. Johnson is an retired/unemployed professional addictions and mental health social worker, who received a BS from Concordia University and a Master in the field of Social Work from Portland State University, along with several other certifications throughout the years. Mr. Johnson started working in the field of addiction and mental treatment in 1978 due to his personal interest in helping others gain a desire for recovery from addiction and mental health issues. His work experience expanded for more than 39 years, 24 years of that was spent working in various treatment Centers in the Portland area, for 15 years he devoted his time and energy as an addiction consultant working for Portland Public Schools (PPS). Mr. Johnson has done quite a bit of community services: Multnomah County Social Services, Miracles Club Inc, and Self-Help groups; amassing more than 39 years of community service! Mr. Johnson found joy and excitement as a Board of the Miracles Club with about 15 other Black men in 1994, they all seemed have the same vision for the future of the Social Club. With a heavy heart, 2003 Mr. Johnson resigned the Miracles Club Board; However, now it's extremely awesome to be back and a part of this amazing new beginning.
- Yondella Hall, QMHA I: Yondella is a native of Portland, Oregon she grew up in NE Portland where her grandmother’s home still stands not too far from The Miracles Club. She did not set her sights out to grow up to become a member of the club however, the fact remains she is forever grateful to The Miracles Club. Yondella has been a part of The Miracles Club for over 20 years. She has experienced a full spectrum of feelings and events as a result of being a member and/or at the club. It has been the place to relieve stress, positive clean fun, gain personal support and also over come multiple challenges. She was able to change the narrative of her family and expectation for her own children by becoming a first time home owner. The Miracles Club was a safe haven for Yondella and her children early in her recovery, when she surrendered and wanted help. There were role models that paved the way and showed her, she too could find freedom and live drug free on a daily basis. Yondella is elated to be able to be of service to the community. “My heart smiles just being of service to an organization that provided space and opportunity for the seed of recovery to be planted into me.” Yondella holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Portland State University in Criminology, and Certifications as a Community Health Worker, Qualified Mental Health Associate, and a Domestic Violence Advocate. The services she provides benefit the family dynamic as a whole. For the past 14 years she has steadfastly worked with families through the lens of prevention services at Lifeworks NW. In addition to being employed full time Yondella spent 10 years as a Therapeutic Foster Parent providing services in her home to teens and some sibling pairs. She still maintains a room in her home for the opportunity for emergency placement or respite to mothers in the community if needed. Yondella proudly states “If I was to give a person anything it would be the gift of laughter, the ability to literally laugh out loud thru sound, play and work. She cannot describe in mere words just how important The Miracles Club has been in setting a strong foundation for her continuous long-time recovery.
- Eric Martin, MAC, CADC III, PRC, CPS: "I was born in Miami, Florida. I began using drugs and alcohol in my teens and was completely addicted to crack cocaine by the age of 18, with all of the associated crime, fighting and homelessness that typically accompanies that disorder. By the time I reached the age of 19 I weighed 113 pounds, near death. Well, here I am now 34 years clean and sober (7/7/85). I work for the Mental Health Addiction & Certification Board of Oregon, and the MetroPlus Association of Addiction Peer Professionals. I serve on the Board of Directors or the Miracles Club and the Instituto Latino de Addicionnes." Eric served as an adjunct facutly at Portland Community College and University of Oregon for over 20 years, and has been a contract instructor with Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Human Services Child Welfare. Eric has been honored with numerous awards in light of his 30 years of service in Addiction Treatment & Prevention. Most notably, he is the recipient of the Governor's Council Award of Excellence, presented by Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, and he is the recipient of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors National, William F.Callahan Award for Sustained and Meritorious Service at the national level to the profession of addiction counseling, presented in Washington D.C. in 2010.
- Mick McPartland: Mick was a certified addictions counselor for over a decade and is now retired. Mick has a long history as a member of Portland's recovery community and member of the Miracles Club.
- Carol Thatch: Carol is grateful for the opportunity to help the most vulnerable populations in Oregon for over 13 years. With 29 years of philanthropy, development, and fundraising experience, Carol is excited to get the work done! As a native of the Atlantic Southeast, Carol has found the Pacific Northwest to be the perfect place to hone her skills and talents in the non-profit social justice and social services areas. An avid listener, her favorite words to say are, “Tell me your story.” Carol has certifications in Nonprofit Management, Meeting and Event Planning, Executive Leadership and Development, and has completed WVDO’s Executive Leadership Academy. As a non-stop learner, she embraces the opportunities to grow that continually arise from professional and social education and training.
- Leslie Thomas, BSW: Leslie Thomas is a productive member of society. Made possible by being an active member of recovery. Leslie works full time as a Case Manager. She has over twenty years of experience working for our most vulnerable populations to include; adults experiencing disabilities, aging, incarcerated adults, adjudicated youth, and others seeking recovery. Leslie has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice and General Studies, and a Certification in Juvenile Corrections. She completed her studies earning Highest Honors and graduated Cum Laude. Leslie prides herself on being a lifelong learner and remaining teachable as her favorite sentence in our Basic Text says “You can’t graft new ideas on a closed mind” (p.93) In her spare time Leslie enjoys her new garden, fishing, and traveling. Her passions include advocating for those who have barriers.