close menu
Mar 30, 2017

Cowlitz County Street Outreach

Living in cars. Moving from motel to motel with their families while struggling to stay in school. That is what 1 in 20 Cowlitz County youth face daily. According to a report published by the Washington State superintendent’s office in 2016, youth homelessness in Cowlitz County is growing faster than any other county in Washington. Seeking a solution to address this issue, Cowlitz County partners contacted Janus for help in creating a street outreach program. Janus responded quickly and launched a program in October 2016 that addresses the needs of the county while gaining insights into the barriers experienced by unstably housed youth.

The program has really taken off. Walking an average of 4 miles a day, outreach workers have made over 500 contacts with homeless youth on the streets, in the woods and in rural camps. According to Tynna Purtteman, Program Supervisor for Cowlitz Street Youth Services, “many of these youth are couch-surfers, live in cars, motels or camp in tents.” Tynna, a Cowlitz County native, has worked with the juvenile justice and mental health services for 15 years, so she knows how to bridge the gap for youth to help them get services they need. Says Tynna, “in Cowlitz County, we are the only provider working with homeless youth. That has helped us get a lot of community support.”

Along with street outreach, Tynna and her team set up stationary outreach in three high schools. “Over time, we are establishing relationships with homeless youth, connecting them to appropriate services available in the county. We help them with employment, ID cards, clothing, alternative education and keeping on track in school. One of the biggest issues youth under the age of 18 face is that many services are not available to them without a guardian. They can’t get a food box or health insurance,” says Tynna.

Janus plans to expand the scope of the program’s services by opening a new outreach center in Longview, WA this summer. The center will be similar to the Perch—located in downtown Vancouver, WA—offering a safe space for youth while providing them with basic needs such as meals, showers, laundry facilities, internet and phone access. The center’s services help normalize the feeling of being safe indoors with staff who can provide direct linkages to services to meet their unique needs in supporting them from exiting the streets. Janus also hopes to open a resource center where community services will be conveniently available to homeless youth.

Share:

Apr 25, 2017
Janus Awarded Grant for Human Trafficking Services and Outreach in Washington

Sex trafficking, while well known in Portland, is a growing concern in Southwest Washington’s Clark County. Thanks to a recently awarded grant of $206,101 from The Washington State Office of Crime Victims Advocacy, Department of Commerce—Janus will have more resources and services to provide to Clark County youth who are victims of sexual exploitation/sex trafficking. The grant will fund Outreach Specialists and a Case Manager focused on providing support and assistance to these youth to help them get out of the life. Janus Youth Programs was one of only three recipients to receive a grant award from the Crime Victims Advocacy.

Apr 10, 2017
​Fostering Healthy Families for Young Parents

Starting a family at any age is a life-changing event, but becoming a parent at a young age presents its own unique challenges. To help young parents with this major life-changing transition, Insights Teen Parent Services offers child development and parent education programs through home visiting services.

Apr 04, 2017
Employee Spotlight—Terrell Berry

Every day, homeless youth struggle to survive on the streets. Terrell Berry, Outreach Specialist for our Washington State Program knows what it feels like—he was once one of them. Growing up in Long Beach, California, he and his family faced bouts of homelessness. This experience led him to study sociology in college and later, provided him with the insights needed to work with at-risk youth. According to Bettina Boles, Program Supervisor for The Perch and Yellow Brick Road, WA, “Terrell is a caring listener and attuned to the empathetic needs of the youth that he works with. His unique style creates an ease for youth to engage with him, which is just a small part of what makes him such an awesome Outreach Specialist.” We talked to Terrell to find out more about how he is serving our youth in SW Washington.

Stay Connected

Sign up for our quarterly e-newsletter

View current e-newsletter

Follow Us

Search Our Site

©2013-2015 Janus Youth Programs  |  707 NE Couch St. Portland, OR 97232  |  Phone: (503) 233-6090
Staff Area  |  Federal Tax ID: 23-7345990  |  Privacy Policy   |  Site by Wooster Web Design