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Feb 06, 2017

​Yellow Brick Road of Washington Goes to Olympia

For many of our youth and families living on the streets, they are often faced with barriers when attempting to be housed. Some of these barriers include sources of income, criminal backgrounds, serious mental health and substance abuse disorders and lack of resources. On February 2nd, The Yellow Brick Road of Washington—our street outreach program designed to find homeless youth—took a trip to the state capitol of Olympia to participate in one of the largest lobby days: the Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day. This was a day to advocate on issues such as housing affordability and an end to homelessness.

The first half of the day consisted of several workshops that ranged from knowing how to effectively advocate for a House/Senate bill, to fully understanding the barriers that prospective renters’ face.

Following the workshops, all the participants walked to the Legislative Building to attend the “Rally for Homes” where we listened to live music from a First Nations Native American tribe, heard speakers and witnessed a presentation of the unity flags— colorful pictures tied together—that honor those 4,505 who slept outside according to counts in Washington last year.

The final part of the day was breaking into our respected districts and attending our legislator meetings. The team met with State Representatives Paul Harris (Republican) and Monica Stonier (Democrat) to advocate House Bill 1570, which improves resources, increasing access and removing barriers to housing for individuals and families in Washington. We also spoke with them about House Bill 1633, which prohibits a landlord from refusing to lease or rent property to an applicant or expelling a tenant from a property based on the source of income of an otherwise eligible applicant or tenant.

Homelessness is nationwide issue that is very complex but this event showed that with civic engagement, advocates, and a sense of community our goal to end homeless is attainable. 

Terrell Berry, Outreach Specialist, The Perch, Yellow Brick Road of WA


Mar 01, 2018
Board of Directors Member Spotlight – Todd Allais

We welcomed Todd Allais onto the Janus Board of Directors in January this year. Born in Portland and raised in Vancouver, WA., Todd has lived in the Portland metropolitan area his whole life and has deep roots in the community. Todd enjoys running, cooking and keeping up with his two teenage children. Todd is an Account Manager at CenturyLink.

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.

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