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Oct 26, 2016

​Poem by Adam Ramey

Once upon a time, in a land far away

There was a village of compassionate people who gave a troubled little seed a place to grow and stay.

At once, the seed who didn’t know what to say

Became angry and sad, so he pushed people away.

“Stay away” he cried.

“I am a monster, a monster. No one can help me, for many have tried.”

But the village of people never once swayed nor fret

For they wished to instill in him values in which they had set.

For a long time the seed never grew

For the seed had a dark secret, he thought no one knew.

The seed had hurt a lot of people in his short little life

So he hid from it, and hid from strife.

However, a life without strife was one in which the seed did not earn.

So deep inside his dark secret burned.

The seed was afraid of what people might say

If he told them that he was the reason why both of his brothers were taken away.

So he sat and he sat in denial and dismay.

Forever in a cell of his own creation, locked away.

All the while the people would say

We love you, we support you, and there’s nothing you could say to make us go away.

And then one day to no one’s surprise

The little seed sprouted as he apologized

And said he had created a web of lies.

Again and again he cried,

“I’m a monster, I’m a monster see how I’ve lied?”

But the seed, now a sprout could not take out

That being a monster was not what accountability was about.

Slowly, over time the sprout began to grasp

Just what was the sprout’s task.

Lose his selfish ways for the world not a kingdom nor he an heir.

Remove the pain from those he hurt for it is not their burden to bear.

A daunting task to ask of me

But one he knew he must complete to grow into an honorable tree.

Finally the true trials and tribulations began

But again and again he refused the call and ran

Again and again he ran

Because he refused to believe the two words I CAN.

Inch by inch the sprout grew

Blossoming into a small tree

That previously no one knew.

But while he was growing he forgot to say

Something to those who helped him on his way.

So he asked me to do this, something very important to him.

All at once and on a whim

Those who have stayed all along the way

Will be in his heart every single day.

For all those who guided

In all he does, of you he will be reminded.

For those who showered him in love

It will be respected just as much as if it came from some place above.

To you who said what he needed to hear

Don’t worry, all you said will be repeated back to someone else’s ear.

For those who helped him to see

You always be anything but just a memory.

Lastly, there was something I have not said yet.

He asked me to tell you not to ever fret

Because of all of you many of his goals are now met.

And even though he may seem far away

He made it clear how important it was for me to say

Thank you and I love you to all who nurtured him into the tree he is today.

Cordero, October, 2016

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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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