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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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Jan 18, 2018
Employee Spotlight—Washington Outreach Specialists

Every day our Outreach Specialists in Washington are busy serving homeless youth who have no one else to turn to. The team of three staff—Keeva Haverkost, Jessica Villasenor, and Jean Withers—work like a well-oiled machine, supporting each other so they can provide high quality service to youth. All of them are passionate about their work. Bettina Boles, Program Supervisor of The Perch and Yellow Brick Road Washington, says of her team, “Each person brings their unique contribution and special reason to work as an Outreach Specialist.” According to Bettina, the team has multifaceted roles— hosting The Perch—our drop-in center for youth—conducting street outreach for Yellow Brick Road, Washington and leading educational presentations that help the community better understand human trafficking and its impact in Clark County.

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. 

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