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Mar 01, 2018

Board of Directors Member Spotlight – Todd Allais

We welcomed Todd Allais onto the Janus Board of Directors in January this year. Born in Portland and raised in Vancouver, WA., Todd has lived in the Portland metropolitan area his whole life and has deep roots in the community. Todd enjoys running, cooking and keeping up with his two teenage children. Todd is an Account Manager at CenturyLink.

What inspired you to join the Janus Board of Directors?

I learned about Janus and its work in the community from my friend and former Janus Board Member and President, Kevin Huish. Kevin inspired me with his enthusiasm and energy from his work on the Board and invited me to a number of the Janus events, including Dinner in the Vines and a Village Gardens fundraiser where I learned more about breadth of Janus’ work. What really sold me was the Annual Dinner Service Awards Ceremony that I attended last November. As I listened to Executive Director, Dennis Morrow, present awards to employees for their service to Janus, I was moved by his accompanying stories, giving tribute to the unique roles each employee plays in serving our youth. I realized then that I wanted to be a part of Janus. Because Kevin was rotating off the Board, he encouraged me to join and I jumped at the opportunity.

Why is it important to invest in your community?

My children, who are now teenagers, are now getting older and, as a result, I have more time to give back to my community. I was fortunate to grow up in a stable home with many advantages. My kids enjoy that privilege as well. I know that many youth do not have the same good fortunate and I want to help make a difference in their lives for the better. I’m interested in helping youth in particular because positive impacts made early in life have the potential for a lifelong change.

What do you hope to accomplish?

I believe that education is very important in changing the course of a youth’s life. I am hoping to be involved in the Scholarship Program and its ability to provide additional resources to youth struggling financially to get an education. 

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Nov 28, 2018
Ending Youth Homelessness

Every night, our downtown Portland shelters are home to youth ages 16-24 who have no other place to go. Youth often line up outside the door at 8:30 pm, hoping to get a bed and a meal for the night. Not everyone gets in. With a limit of 60 beds, the shelter can only accommodate 60 youth each night. During the winter months, there are an additional 10 beds. This year alone, the shelters housed and fed over 500 youth. While our shelters are running at full capacity and our street outreach workers are out every night providing warm clothing and crisis-intervention services, there are some positive shifts affecting the numbers and demographics of homeless youth in Multnomah County.

Nov 26, 2018
​Employee Spotlight—Gina McConnell

Gina knows what it feels like to run away. She did it at age 12 to avoid abuse at home, but like so many youth on the street, she quickly became a target for sex trafficking. After many years “in the life,” she spent time in prison where she befriended a person who said to her when she was released, “I need you to go out there and be our voice.” This was a pivotal moment for Gina and from that point on, she was committed to helping youth who have experienced similar trauma as she did. Today she works in the Cowlitz County Youth Services Program as a case manager for sexually-exploited youth. We talked to Gina to find out how her experiences has prepared her for this role.

Nov 12, 2018
Share The Season Of Giving

It's not too early to start thinking about giving for the holidays. Over 600 children and youth call Janus Youth Programs home every day. You can make their season brighter. Here are a few ideas:

  • Adopt a shelter or residential program: Provide gifts ($40 or less) for 12 youth in Portland or Vancouver/Cowlitz. We will provide a holiday wish list with names and ages.
  • Make a tax-deductible donation and leave the shopping to us!
  • Organize a donation drive: Purchase new blankets, jackets, socks or winter weather gear for homeless youth in need.

Contact us by completing this form and email to januscommunications@janusyouth.org.

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