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Oct 01, 2014

Youth Voices – In Their Own Words

Last year our Oak Grove shelter in Vancouver, Washington served 342 youth between the ages of 12 and 17. That’s 342 times our shelter was the only safe place for these youth, providing them refuge from the streets. One anonymous youth wrote this essay for other youth coming to Oak Grove. They allowed us to share it here.

In need of help

For all who don’t know who I am well I am a foster kid just like you! I am 16 and my biological mother is a drug addict and I have been in and out of foster care but the 3 years I've been in 11 different homes this past year, it’s not fun at all to be moving every other day it really isn't.

So listen I know how you feel, you feel upset, angry, hurt, alone, scared, mad, even wanting to die. I know I feel all of those everyday but wanting to die isn't gonna solve your problems. I learned that the hard way and I know when people will tell you that ‘it’s going to be okay’ or ‘it’s gonna get better’ You think or say ‘No it's not you don’t know me or my life’ but hey it just might.

Let people help you and parent you, don’t fight it, it will only bring you more trouble and less people in your life.

I’m saying this because I've done this. I know how hard it is for some of you who have parents who have either abandoned you or have used drugs or even did both. I know how you feel ‘Why doesn't my parent or parents care about me?!’

You may love and or hate the State for taking you away from that situation but you are better off with the State then getting hurt every day and night.

I’m always telling the state people and my social worker I hate them and they don’t know me but what they've read in my file and that I can’t wait till they’re out of my life but they are just looking out for me.

You may not like it but take advantage of it. Life is what you make of it, you can choose to stay and make it the best or you can run and move from place to place.

But in the end it’s your life you can choose whether or not to get back up.

These things you should always remember in life are:

1.  You are Beautiful / Handsome

2.  You are smart and intelligent

3.  ‘Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game’

4.  You can be anything you wanna be if you put your mind to it

5.  Be better than your parents or where you came from!

6.  Love YOURSELF!

Lastly, Be a kid enjoy it while it lasts, don’t grow up so fast and be grown so enjoy it while it lasts cause I didn’t but good luck, hope this helped you.

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Aug 29, 2018
Rivera House Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

Over a year ago, the idea of creating a new and unique residential and re-entry program for LGBTQ youth began to take root. With the help of our partners from the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) and the countless hours staff dedicated to purchasing and updating a residence, the Rivera House was born. Today, the Rivera House is fully staffed and houses up to nine residents who are transitioning from the custody of OYA to independence. The goal of the program is to prepare youth leaving incarceration to become law-abiding, successful members of the community while addressing the special needs of LGBTQ youth. We spoke to the Rivera House Program Director, Deven Edgerton to share his thoughts about the program on this one-year anniversary.

Aug 02, 2018
Dinner in the Vines - SOLD OUT!

Tickets for Dinner in the Vines are sold out! The benefit event takes place on Saturday, August 18, 2018 from 4 - 8 pm at ArborBrook Vineyards in Newberg, Oregon. Thank you to all of our supporters who purchased tickets. Our guests will enjoy a delicious Pacific Northwest, four-course dinner, selected wine pourings from ArborBrook Vineyards and live jazz.

Jul 26, 2018
Enter Our Wine Drawing!

Stock up your wine collection while supporting Janus Youth Programs! Take this opportunity to win over 50 bottles of great wine from all over the world! This year’s wine drawing includes an incredible variety of wines from California, Washington, Oregon, Italy, France and Spain! Enjoy amazing Pinots from Stoller, Domain Drouhin and Angela Estates, Cabernets from L’Ecole and Mount Veeder, Bordeaux from the St. Emilion region and Chianti and Barolo from Italy! We’ve even thrown in four bottles of Champagne and a few special bottles each worth the price of the ticket on their own! (A 1997 Woodward Canyon Cabernet and a Quilceda Creek CVR.)

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