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Jul 12, 2017

In Memory of Insights Founder, Diane Cohen-Alpert

On July fourth, Multnomah County lost a visionary advocate and Janus’ Insights Teen Parent Program lost one of its founders, Diane Cohen-Alpert—who was an unparalleled leader in the local and national teen parent community for over thirty years. Through her work with other youth organizations in the 1970s, Diane recognized the unique needs and the incredible strength in teen parents. In response to the gap in services for teen parents, Diane created Insights Teen Parent Program, which has been in operation uninterrupted since its incorporation under her leadership.

Diane had a passion for families and community. According to Lori Schroeder, supervisor of the Insights SEEDS and Home Safe Programs, “Diane created an atmosphere at work that allowed us bringing our kids to the office. She created a very nourishing atmosphere.” She was instrumental in the creation of the Harry’s Mother program—still Multnomah County’s only 24-hour youth hotline and emergency shelter for runaway youth and one of the first of its kind in the country. Says Dennis Morrow, Janus’ Executive Director, “I worked with Diane in the 1980s as a partner in the Tri-County Youth Services Consortium and there is no doubt in my mind or in the mind of anyone who met her that she was literally born to do the work she did. Children on the streets, families of children on the streets, teen moms and the babies of teen moms—thousands have been impacted forever by the work she did and by the commitment she modeled for us all to never give up trying. Thank you Diane for being you and for sharing with us all.”

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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.

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