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Apr 25, 2017

Janus Awarded Grant for Human Trafficking Services and Outreach in Washington

Sex trafficking, while well known in Portland, is a growing concern in Southwest Washington’s Clark County. Thanks to a recently awarded grant of $206,101 from The Washington State Office of Crime Victims Advocacy, Department of Commerce—Janus will have more resources and services to provide to Clark County youth who are victims of sexual exploitation/sex trafficking. The grant will fund Outreach Specialists and a Case Manager focused on providing support and assistance to these youth to help them get out of the life. Janus Youth Programs was one of only three recipients to receive a grant award from the Crime Victims Advocacy.

The Outreach Specialists will conduct street outreach in locations that target victims of sex trafficking such as homeless camps, truck stops, malls, bus stops, schools, shelters, strip clubs and online sites. Pre-teen or adolescent youth are most susceptible to the tactics used by traffickers. Youth who have runaway, who are homeless, isolated, do not fit in, have low self-esteem or who have unstable home lives are most vulnerable.

The Outreach Specialists will also speak to community groups, schools, health professionals and others about identifying sex-trafficked youth and how to get them into services. Once a youth is in services, the Case Manager will develop relationships with the youth that will enable them to understand the unique needs of each individual and to coordinate service across multiple sectors of health.

Janus first began working with youth engaged in human trafficking and sexual victimization on the streets in 1985. Our residential program in Portland provides safe, emergency and long-term stabilization for up to 18 months for minor victims of sexual exploitation. 

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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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