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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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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. 

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.”

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