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Jan 26, 2017

Human Trafficking Awareness Month in Multnomah County

Bella Gonzales was 17 years old when she was living on the street before she found her way to Athena House—a Janus residential program that provides safe, emergency housing up to 18 months for sex-trafficked youth. On January 26, she testified before the Multnomah County Board of County Commissioners about how the Athena House and the staff there helped Bella change her life. “Staff helped me with resources, got me back to school and provided me with clothing and shelter. This program really makes a difference,” says Bella. Today, as a Lead Residential Counselor at Athena House, she is a role model to the residents living there. In 2016, Athena House housed 23 youth who were victims of sex-trafficking.

The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners is actively involved in addressing sex-trafficking and on January 26, proclaimed January 2017 to be Human Trafficking Awareness Month in Multnomah County. The county’s engagement is critical to combating sex trafficking: last year, 183 purchasers were arrested. Through their efforts, as well as the efforts of partner organizations like the Sexual Assault Resource Center, Oregon Department of Human Services and Lifeworks NW, sex-trafficking of youth is receiving attention and resources. Their work extends not only to sex-trafficking survivors, but also in the community to increase awareness focused on prevention and breaking the cycle. To support this effort, Harry’s Mother expanded its services and opened up a new center in Gresham and has two outreach specialists who provide street-level outreach, education and mentoring for sex-trafficked youth. These specialists speak to community groups, schools and health professionals about how to identify sex-trafficked youth and get them into service and safety.

Sex trafficking is a complex and pervasive problem but with the coordinated engagement among local and regional partners, our goal is to continue to make progress this year in eradicating it from the lives of our youth and our communities.

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Nov 16, 2017
Visit The Sharing Tree at Washington Square Mall & Look for Janus Youth With the Red Dot on Gift Tag

The Sharing Tree at Washington Square Mall is a great way to make sure each of our youth has a gift to open on Christmas morning. Just pick an ornament from the tree located in the Nordstrom wing, near Williams-Sonoma and purchase the item listed on the tag. Return the unwrapped gifts to the Sharing Tree by December 20th so the gifts can be delivered by Christmas. These gifts are distributed to Janus and eight other charities throughout the Portland metro area. Each year, more than 4,500 gifts are given to those in need through the Washington Square Sharing Tree.

Oct 31, 2017
Share the Season of Giving

You can make the holidays bright for Janus children, youth and families. Every gift or donation makes a difference. Click here to complete your donation choice.

Oct 04, 2017
Employee Spotlight—Sina Youssefzadeh

Sina is a passionate advocate for marginalized youth and social justice. Five years ago when he moved to Portland and was involved in grassroots social justice work, he learned about Janus’ work in the community and applied for a Crisis Intake Specialist position at Harry’s Mother, our Runaway Youth Services program. Since then, Sina has continued to help develop a trauma informed approach to the work done within his cohort, build relationships with youth and families and offer referrals to other partnering agencies. We talked to Sina to find out more about what he does in his current position.

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