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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

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May 22, 2017
Scholarships Awarded To Our Youth

On May 17th, the Janus Board of Directors, staff and community members honored 15 youth in our programs who were recipients of our scholarship awards. Now in its sixteenth year, the scholarships open the door to education for our youth by helping to pay for school expenses such as tuition, books and rent.

This year’s scholarship recipients are from an array of Janus programs including Insights Teen Parent Program, Imani House, Changes, Annex I, Harry’s Mother and Hope Partnership. Special thanks to Robert Gootee and Moda Health for their support in launching the Scholarship Fund in 2001 and to Joanne Senders—a generous donor who established the Joanne Senders Scholarship Fund.  

Photo: Left to right: Jeremy Ericksen, Thomas Spisla, Christian Ford, Griffin Thomas, Robert Gootee, Gustavo Portillo-Soto, Fariborz Pakseresht, Dennis Morrow and Dalon Murray. Not pictured: Alejandra Hernandez, Nicholas Schafer, Elishah Eduardo Asbaugh, Johnathan Baker, Cayce French, Robert Miller, Agustin Estrada-Vargas, Ezequiel Vasquez, and Bailey Allman.

May 08, 2017
Youth Voices—In Their Own Words

My experience at Cordero House was one of the most significant events to have happened to me. Let me start with a background of who I am. I came from a small village in the countryside of El Salvador. At a young age, I learned to be independent, going to school and helping with the daily chores. I moved to the city for a very brief moment before flying to the U.S. At first, I felt strange and overwhelmed with everyone and everything around me. As time went by, I found myself in a state of confusion. Alone, I had no one to turn to ask for help. Instead, I did things that to this day I regret. Such events led to me spending time in a youth corrections facility.

May 01, 2017
Employee Spotlight—Angie Corll

Angie knows what it feels like to run away. She did it for years, running away from abusive and neglectful homes, opting for freedom and danger of the streets over security. This life on the run led her down many dark paths for years until she became the kid that no one wanted to take in. Finally, in 1993, with the help of her probation officer, she entered a Janus residential program. That was a turning point. Says Angie, “I was blessed to have been given a second chance.” Now she works as a Youth Care Specialist at our Oak Grove shelter in SW Washington, helping youth who are facing similar life crisis as she did. We talked to Angie to find out how her experiences has prepared her to serve our youth.

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