Arnie Green left legacy of advocacy

The passing of Arnie Green on Oct. 4 saddens scores of people at Community Works, across Oregon and beyond. He will long be remembered as a tireless leader for services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, to homeless and runaway youth and to children and families. Indeed, we celebrate his legacy as the founder of the comprehensive organization we know today as Community Works.

Arnie brought three agencies together to form Community Works in 1996 and remained the executive director until Sept. 30, 2007. Because of his vision and efforts, thousands of women, children, youth and families have received life-saving services in times of crisis.

Community Works continues to offer support to women and children who are survivors of domestic violence through Dunn House and extended services to shelter boys and girls in two separate group transitional houses, to operate a school for youth who are in placement, to support victims of sexual assault, to operate the 24-hour HelpLine and to provide mental health counseling and multiple other safety net services across the Rogue Valley.

Ginger Hahn, incoming president and CEO of Community Works, said, "I am inspired by the many stories of Arnie from community leaders and agency staff who were his colleagues, but sad I won't be able to know him. We honor him with the knowledge that his legacy lives on. He will not be forgotten; indeed his commitment and example will continue to inform our work."

Community Works Board Chairman Don Pinkham said of Arnie's passing, "I would like to express deep sorrow on behalf of the agency, the board and all those who worked with Arnie. His passion for service and his advocacy of women and children in need was a driving force in the formation of Community Works. We are dedicated to continuing his passion and advocacy. He will be missed."

He is remembered for conveying great respect for survivors and children and for the advocates who work on their behalf. Arnie devoted himself to ensuring that funds were allocated for domestic violence shelters and for children's services. He advocated strongly at the policy level. Among other accomplishments, he helped to pass the bill that created the Oregon Domestic and Sexual Violence Services fund, the first ever general-fund allocation for domestic violence and sexual assault services.

Arnie was one of the founding members of the Oregon Alliance to End Violence Against Women. He was a past president of Oregon Alliance of Children's Programs and board member for 20 years. He was the 2005 recipient of the alliance's Diamond Award in recognition of consistent and outstanding leadership to Oregon's children and families.

Arnie was a mentor and a leader. His voice, expressed through guest opinions published in the Mail Tribune, his advocacy and his daily interactions had a profound influence on many individuals and communities.

Those wishing to make a memorial gift may do so through United Way of Jackson County by going to www.unitedwayofjacksoncounty.org or by calling 541-773-5339.

Alice Geankoplis is development coordinator and media representative for Community Works.

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