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Mar 26, 2014

Youth Voices – In Their Own Words

Alex has been part of our Imani family for just under three years. After a recent field trip to the KGW-TV studios, he took the time to write about his experience so we could share it here. Thanks Alex!

My name is Alex and I am an 18 year old client at the Imani Residential program. Since I am going to be graduating from the program soon and transitioning back into the community, Imani has been helping me to work hard to learn life and job skills. My case manager at Imani helped me get enrolled in Open Meadow Pathway program in North Portland. This program helps me learn job skills, write resumes and cover letters, write professional emails, and will even help me find a job eventually.

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a tour and presentation at KGW Studios in Portland. While I was there I learned a lot about how a news studio runs and how many people have to work together to make the programs run. I also learned a lot about what journalists do and all the technical parts of putting things on the air. One of the anchors, Russ Lewis gave me a lot of information about his career and about how he got to where he is today. I was also able to meet a graphic designer team who showed me some of the videos that they have made while working there.

What I liked the most about my day at KGW was seeing the graphic designers work and learning things I didn’t know before, like the weather person using a remote to change the screens on the air. I was also able to watch the newscast from behind the scenes as it happened in the studio. Who knows? Maybe someday you will see me on your local news station!


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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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