close menu
Feb 15, 2017

​Next steps After Imani

This month, Christian Ford will graduate from Imani House, one of our residential treatment programs that help youth between the ages of 13 to 18 rebuild their lives. 18 year-old Christian, a soft-spoken youth, has plans for his life after Imani. Like so many of the youth we serve, his journey in getting to where he is today was filled with many challenges.

It all began when Christian’s life took an abrupt turn—at age 10, his mother died. She had been sick for many years and Christian did his best to care for her. “I felt like any time I helped her, she would get better,” says Christian. For the next five years, Christian’s home life was unstable and at age 15, Christian was taken away from his family. He spent a few months in a couple of facilities before he was placed in Imani where, for the first time in his life, he was encouraged to talk about his feelings. Says Christian, “in the beginning, I was closed off, but after about six months, I began to develop a good relationship with staff and started making friends. I felt a sense of community. Imani is like another family. When my father died, Imani staff was there and helped me learn to express myself.”

After Christian graduates from Imani, he will live with a foster family and finish up high school at David Douglas in June. He then plans to go to Portland State University in the fall to study nursing and psychology. His goal is to become a registered nurse and later, an alcohol and drug counselor. “When my mom died, I decided that I wanted to help people, even if they may not heal, at least I’m moving them forward,” says Christian. And that is exactly what Christian is doing—moving forward, in a positive direction.

As Christian begins the next chapter of his life, his advice to other Janus youth is “Trust what your heart says and go with it.”

Share:

Dec 07, 2017
Employee Spotlight—Shelly Harryman

Shelly Harryman has been a dedicated Youth Care Specialist at Oak Bridge Youth Shelter in Washington since 2002. Oak Bridge Youth Shelter provides 24-hour crisis intervention and emergency shelter with services accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week for youth ages 9-17. In November, Shelly received her 15-Year Service Award from Janus. When discussing what has motivated her for the past 15 years Shelly says, “I have a passion to advocate for youth. We are their only hope.”

Nov 29, 2017
Youth Spotlight—Roger

For most of his life, 18-year old Roger did not fit in. Although he did well academically at school, most of his peers avoided him. “I had a ‘stay away from me’ aura and people didn’t like me,” says Roger as he reflects back on his elementary and high school years. Roger grew up in Salem with two older brothers. His parents got divorced when he was six. By fifth grade, he was experiencing depression and would lock himself up in his room all day. “My mom forced me to cook so she could see me.”

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.

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