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Apr 05, 2018

​Youth Spotlight—Rose Edwards

“Never give up,” is the motto Rose carried with her during her years as a homeless youth in Vancouver, WA. After over five years of homelessness, struggling with addiction and ending up in jail repeatedly, Rose turned a new leaf on life. At 24, she is a supervisor at Papa Murphy’s, has a one-bedroom apartment, spends time with her six-year old son and is completely clean.

Her homelessness started at age 18 when she left home because of a falling out with a family member over her drug use and relapse. While Rose was able to get support, hoping to change the course her life was taking, she was not ready to quit. Eventually, Rose got into a program at Open House Ministries in Vancouver where she received rent-free housing for a year. When that ended, she was back on the street, trying to survive but relapsed again and sent to jail. In lieu of extended jail time, Rose enrolled in a Drug Court program that offered treatment and recovery support services. This was a turning point for her. “I realized I couldn’t help myself alone, it didn’t work.” While in the program, the Vancouver Housing Authority placed Rose with a caseworker at Janus who tirelessly worked with her to find housing. Says Rose, “It took a year to find stable housing and it was an emotional rollercoaster ride. I hit bottom, relapsed and was back in jail. Fortunately, my caseworker never gave up on me and was always kind and reassuring, which helped me get through that tough time.” Finally, Rose and her Janus caseworker found her an apartment where she has been happily living for a year. “A month before I moved into my home, I sobered up. Having my own space and a place to go home every night where I can shower and store my own things—I never had that,” says Rose.

Next month, Rose will graduate from the Drug Court program. She plans to become a mentor there to help others who are in similar situations as she once was. She also believes that staying involved in the program will be a good reminder never to go back to her former life.

One of the most important outcomes of having her own home, in addition to being clean and employed, is that Rose was able to have her son back within two months of moving into her home. Says Rose, “Last week I took him to school for the first time. Having housing stability gives me a chance to be a mom.”

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Jan 29, 2019
Employee Spotlight - Krista Wilson

Krista Wilson has been a dedicated Youth Care Specialist at Oak Bridge Youth Shelter in Washington for three and a half years. 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. When discussing what motivates her Krista says “making kids laugh. Even in times of heartache, you can always get a better perspective on life when you laugh.”

Jan 22, 2019
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

Robin Miller, a Case Manager in our Washington Program, was 21 years old when she was sexually exploited. “In 1993, I was trafficked from a club in Portland up and down the West Coast and in six states.” It took me six years to finally get the courage to leave my trafficker in 1999, but healing from the abuse took more than a decade more, in part, because there was no coordinated system of care available to support survivors,” she said. Robin gave this testimony before the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners last year. Once again, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners adopted a proclamation on January 17, 2019 recognizing January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month in Multnomah County.

Jan 15, 2019
An Easy Way to Give

You can donate to us every time you use shop at Fred Meyer or Amazon. If you link your Fred Meyer Rewards card or Amazon account on Amazon Smile to Janus Youth, we will get a percentage of the price of eligible purchases. It is that simple! Click these links to enroll in Fred Meyer and AmazonSmile community rewards programs and start giving to Janus Youth Programs!

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