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Jan 18, 2018

Employee Spotlight—Washington Outreach Specialists

Every day our Outreach Specialists in Washington are busy serving homeless youth who have no one else to turn to. The team of three staff—Keeva Haverkost, Jessica Villasenor and Jean Withers—work like a well-oiled machine, supporting each other so they can provide high quality service to youth. All of them are passionate about their work. Bettina Boles, Program Supervisor of The Perch and Yellow Brick Road Washington, says of her team, “Each person brings their unique contribution and special reason to work as an Outreach Specialist.” According to Bettina, the team has multifaceted roles— hosting The Perch—our drop-in center for youth—conducting street outreach for Yellow Brick Road, Washington and leading educational presentations that help the community better understand human trafficking and its impact in Clark County.

All three Outreach Specialists have favorite aspects of their jobs. Jean enjoys connecting youth to resources—helping with jobs, getting IDs or finding housing. According to Bettina, “Jean is able to provide a unique way of assisting the youth, where they feel empowered to take on tasks and are capable of moving forward without us.”

Jessica enjoys interacting with youth. She says, “Every day is different and the youth teach me new things.” Jessica has been instrumental in building the new human trafficking program, coming up with creative ways to engage the community and youth while educating them about human trafficking, a potentially difficult subject.

Keeva loves the purpose of her work. She says, “The direct interaction I have with youth and the relationships I create to help better someone’s life motivates me.” According to Bettina, “You can tell right away that Keeva has a huge heart and she makes genuine connections with people easily.”

All three Outreach Specialists have one thing in common: their flexibility in responding to changing situations and their commitment to their jobs. Says Bettina, “I am so proud of them. They truly work as a team. I feel lucky as a Supervisor to get to work with them.”

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Apr 12, 2018
Board of Director Spotlight—Melissa Bauer

Melissa Bauer serves as the Janus Advancement Chair and has been a Board member since 2015. She is a general partner in a family-owned real estate business.

Apr 05, 2018
​Youth Spotlight—Rose Edwards

“Never give up,” is the motto Rose carried with her during her years as a homeless youth in Vancouver, WA. After over five years of homelessness, struggling with addiction and ending up in jail repeatedly, Rose turned a new leaf on life. At 24, she is a supervisor at Papa Murphy’s, has a one-bedroom apartment, spends time with her six-year old son and is completely clean.

Apr 02, 2018
​Employee Spotlight—Annie Colton

Finding affordable housing in the Portland/Vancouver area is difficult in the best of circumstances. For many homeless youth, the challenge may seem insurmountable—that is where Annie Colton steps in. Annie has been working as a Housing Case Manager in Vancouver, Washington for over a year. She provides the lifeboat that helps youth ages 18-25, navigate through the unchartered waters of housing. Working in collaboration with two other caseworkers in The Perch, our Vancouver drop-in center, her job is focused on getting youth off the streets and into stable housing.

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