Lowenstein Trust

Recognizing those who are making a difference for the underserved

The Steve Lowenstein Trust Board of Directors
is proud to announce
as the recipient of the
for his decades long work assisting the disadvantaged to become whole and active participants in the community.

The award was presented Wednesday, December 11, 2019, at Portland City Council .
Video of the Council session (December 11th AM session) available
HERE in Portland City Council Archives


For over 30 years, in his employment and volunteer activism, Billy Anfield has been a creative advocate for helping the severely disadvantaged build a lasting sense of self worth, develop life skills, and create a supportive community. The Lowenstein Trust is proud to name Billy Anfield as the recipient of the 2019 Lowenstein Trust award.


Often working with community members in addiction recovery or recent release from incarceration, Billy provided leadership to men and women who needed to know their supervisor understood their past experiences, understood the struggle relapse, and the need to actively work through a program of recovery. Neither a formal sponsor nor counselor, Billy was instead a savvy trusted role model and mentor. Along the way Billy constantly strove to improve his own skills. Demonstrating to clients study and self improvement should be a life long goal, Billy earned certifications in several rehab/recovery protocols.


Among the initiatives and programs Billy worked in, created or inspired, was Access to Building Trades and Customer Service Occupations” (ABTCSO). Via Central City Concern and coordination with the City of Portland, ABTCSO participants with training and education leading to employment in jobs that require apprenticeships, certification, or both. Individuals were screened for motivation and commitment to work a strenuous program. CCC provided housing for those who did not have access to a stable living environment. 


With many, if not most, of the community he served at some stage of recovery, Billy was a creative and sensitive mentor and resource facilitator. He utilized a group process that was supportive and required individuals to confront how they were dealing with the challenges of acquiring new careers, skills, and jobs. Ninety percent of the individuals in the ABTCSO program successfully graduated the program, had stable employment, and were living in stable housing. Though “retired” and over a decade later Billy has maintained some level contact with over 75% of the participants.


In his most recent efforts to help build whole individuals who can fully participate in the greater community, 2 years ago, “retired” Billy Anfield took on coordinating Central City Concern’s (CCC) Flip the Script. The Flip the Script program, culturally specific service to African American men, was created by Freda Ceaser in partnership with Multnomah County. The program focuses on former inmates recently released from prison. The straightforward goal was increasing steady employment and reducing recidivism. Billy has created a supportive, collaborative, community that empowers the participants to change their narrative and understand how they can make the kind of adjustments in attitude, behavior, and thinking that encourage positive actions, including employment and engagement in their own recovery. In the year ending June 30, 2018 the percentage of African-American participants exiting the program with employment went from 25% the previous year to 62%; this represents a 150% improvement in outcomes.


Billy Anfield, represents the both the spirit and the commitment to direct action in service to the disadvantaged, Steve Lowenstein envisioned when creating the award. Again, the Lowenstein Trust is proud to name Billy our 2019 Lowenstein Trust Award recipient.


To quote one of his nominators, “ Hiring Billy Anfield to work at CCC was one of those decisions that helped change the course of the agency over the last 3 decades, and Billy had a life-changing influence on hundreds of poor, disenfranchised, homeless people in Portland.”


The Lowenstein Trust sincerely thanks everyone who submitted the wonderful array of nominations we received for the 2019 Award. It is inspiring to see all the great work being done in the community.


Your financial support helps make our annual award possible. We will soon be updating our online donation page (see link at the top of this page ) to make it easier to donate.

Photos: Art Alexander


Steve Lowenstein was an inspiring model of public service. His sense of purpose, his integrity, and his perseverance inspired many who have worked on issues of human rights and social justice. He joined the Peace Corps after law school in the early 1960s and wrote a textbook on Ethiopian law. He worked in Washington DC for the Office of Economic Opportunity and in Chile for the Ford Foundation. He was founding Director of Oregon Legal Services, developed the funding mechanism for legal aid, authored a groundbreaking history—The Jews of Oregon 1850-1950—and at the time of his death in 1990 had served for six years as Executive Assistant to former City Commissioner Mike Lindberg.

The Award -Steve liked most to have an impact from behind the scenes. His will established a board managed endowed trust fund for the Lowenstein Trust award with the following stipulation:

“The recipient of the Lowenstein Trust Award shall be that person who demonstrated (in the opinion of the Trustees) the greatest contribution to assisting the poor and underprivileged in the city of Portland, Oregon. Each year the recipient must be in need of these funds to help carry on his or her work and must use the award to further the type of work for which it was given.”

To date, the Lowenstein Trust has awarded over $150,000.00 to community non-profits on behalf of awardees.

Art Alexander, Jamaal Folsom, Monica Goracke, Michelle Harper, Margery Harris, Joe Hertzberg (Chair), Marc Jolin, Paul Kelly, Charles R. Williamson

Nick Fish, Sandra Haefker, Daniel Jacobs, Mike Lindberg, Chris Lowenstein, Lee Rosner, Kris Wilkinson.

Gretchen Kafoury, Ron Paul

Contact/ Mail Contributions:
The Lowenstein Trust
c/o Charlie Williamson
5304 SW 34th Place
Portland, OR 97239