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Mar 14, 2016

Letter to Oak Bridge

The time I spent at Oak Bridge was an experience, because it was my first time in a group home. Before I came to the group home, I thought it was going to be like a jail, but it turns out that it was like home away from home. I met the most wonderful people there. The case manager there is so sweet, thoughtful, fun and always happy. Even if she has a bad day, even if her best buddy is teasing her, she is the funniest person I ever met, and every time I needed to smile or laugh, I’d just go hang out with her. The staff is really awesome.

I spent over a month there, and I’m glad I did ‘cause I wouldn’t have changed. I wouldn’t be the person I am now, because the person I was wasn’t a good person. I was lying, hiding stuff from people because I was so afraid to tell anyone how I really felt inside me, but now since I’ve been there and actually talked about how I felt to the staff there, I could do it now without having people come to me to talk instead.

Anyways, Oak Bridge was home too, because I wouldn’t have guys touching me or worrying about which hotel am I gonna be staying at. I’m not gonna forget them, no matter where I go I’m still going to stay in contact with them.

I love you guys too, dearly, and I miss you guys a lot, but I know I have to move on. 

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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.

Jan 09, 2018
Youth Spotlight—Noah Schultz and his” Inspiring Action Tour”

Noah Schultz is a 25-year old graduate of the Hope Partnership program who served 7.5 years in the custody of the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA). While at the MacLaren Correctional Facility, Noah received two Bachelor of Arts degrees. Since his release in October 2016, he has become an outspoken youth advocate, with a passion to drive reform in our justice system, inspiring hope, action and humanizing the stories of the incarcerated. In November 2017, Noah completed a two-month “Inspiring Action Tour” at ten correctional facilities throughout the U.S. where he showed the award-winning documentary film about him, “Perception from Prison to Purpose.” He is co-owner of Forgotten Culture Clothing and co-founder of Verbal Escape. Noah spoke to us about his tour.

Dec 18, 2017
Sixth Grader Organizes Sock Drive For Janus Youth

Eleven-year old Quentin Brown organized a winter sock drive at his school, Cascade Heights Public Charter School, collecting 582 pairs of socks for our youth. This is his second year organizing the sock drive.

 Last year, Janus awarded Quentin the “Stars for Kids Award” for his contributions to our youth. Each year on his birthday, Quentin asks family members to give him gifts that he can donate to Portland’s homeless youth. Rather than getting toys and games, Quentin gets socks, water bottles, hats and scarfs that he packs up in a bin and brings down to the Janus administrative office. Last year, he even brought a little piggy bank with all of his savings and gave it to Janus. He has been doing this for seven years now. By thinking of the needs of others, he sets an example for his peers, family and community, showing the impact kids have on helping other kids. Quentin demonstrates that acts of kindness can be cultivated at a young age. 

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