close menu
Apr 12, 2018

Board of Director Spotlight—Melissa Bauer

Melissa Bauer serves as the Janus Advancement Chair and has been a Board member since 2015. She is a general partner in a family-owned real estate business.

What inspired you to join the Janus Board of Directors?
"I am from a big family and remember my mom saying that she enjoyed her children’s teenage years the most. I feel the same way; I love teenagers. For 11 years, I volunteered at my daughters’ schools as an Auction Committee Chair, room mom, and field trip-chaperone and thought, what am I going to do when they are done with school? After looking at several non-profits, their work and who they served, I decided to join my love for the teenage years by helping youth needing support. I spoke to my brother, who is on the Janus Board of Directors and he told me about the mission and work of the agency. He brought me to the Janus Dinner in the Vines and I knew then that serving on the Janus Board was a good fit with my personal interest in supporting youth. I am thrilled I made that decision. In doing this work, I find that I get back so much more than I could possibly give and am grateful that Janus provides the avenue to assist this vulnerable community of youth."

Why is it important to invest in your community?
"I was raised by parents that silently gave to many programs and people in need. I was taught to be grateful for what I had and to help others that are in need. My parents modeled this behavior in serving others through our schools, church and volunteering. I, too, believe it is everyone’s responsibility to give back to their community and take care of each other. I was lucky and had a fortunate upbringing, but I know that there are many who do not have these same opportunities. I want them to know that there are people who care for them and want to give them opportunities to improve their well-being."

What do you hope to accomplish as Advancement Chair?
"I am interested in finding creative ways to raise funds for our facilities to make them comfortable for our youth.

Similar to my parents, Janus quietly serves the youth in Portland and SW Washington. I want to increase awareness of Janus' work within the community, especially with the local businesses and high school students. I would like to find ways to get high school students involved in helping their peers who have not had the same opportunities as them. If we can raise awareness with these two groups, we can help additional youth feel important, cared for and empowered to reach their full potential as adults."

Share:

Dec 12, 2018
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. 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. 

Nov 28, 2018
Ending Youth Homelessness

Every night, our downtown Portland shelters are home to youth ages 16-24 who have no other place to go. Youth often line up outside the door at 8:30 pm, hoping to get a bed and a meal for the night. Not everyone gets in. With a limit of 60 beds, the shelter can only accommodate 60 youth each night. During the winter months, there are an additional 10 beds. This year alone, the shelters housed and fed over 500 youth. While our shelters are running at full capacity and our street outreach workers are out every night providing warm clothing and crisis-intervention services, there are some positive shifts affecting the numbers and demographics of homeless youth in Multnomah County.

Nov 26, 2018
​Employee Spotlight—Gina McConnell

Gina knows what it feels like to run away. She did it at age 12 to avoid abuse at home, but like so many youth on the street, she quickly became a target for sex trafficking. After many years “in the life,” she spent time in prison where she befriended a person who said to her when she was released, “I need you to go out there and be our voice.” This was a pivotal moment for Gina and from that point on, she was committed to helping youth who have experienced similar trauma as she did. Today she works in the Cowlitz County Youth Services Program as a case manager for sexually-exploited youth. We talked to Gina to find out how her experiences has prepared her for this role.

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