Homeless Youth Services
Willamette Bridge Programs
For over 20 years, Willamette Bridge Programs have been providing support and resources to homeless youth to help them free themselves from life on the streets. Started as a federal demonstration project to develop a transitional living program specializing in street-dependent youth, Willamette Bridge is now the oldest continuously funded transitional living program. Today, Willamette Bridge has expanded to integrate a continuum of services ranging from street outreach and needs assessment to emergency housing and case management, which serve the estimated 3,000 homeless youth in the Portland Metropolitan area.
We believe young people are partners in seeking solutions to issues they face. Our community is a resource that can both contribute to and benefit from empowering youth. Incorporating a “self governance” approach to residential care creates a unique partnership between truly independent youth and competent staff and enables a 80% success rate for youth exiting street life.
Yellow Brick Road
Operated by community volunteers since 1984, this nightly street outreach program focuses on providing information, referral and crisis intervention services directly to street-dependent youth. Each month, volunteers make over 2,000 contacts with youth, building trust, helping meet immediate needs, and linking youth with services that will help them leave street life behind.
Portland Outreach and Engagement
An intensive mobile outreach model focusing on providing case management to homeless youth under 25 years old, PDX-O&E provides information, referral, and crisis intervention to youth outside downtown Portland. Over 300 youth living in camps and squats are reached each year through supportive, trusting relationships that engage youth in accessing crucial services for educational, employment, mental health, medical, housing and gender identity needs.
Short-term housing for 30 homeless youth, ages 13 to 20, who are attempting to make changes in their lives. Working with a service coordinator/case manager, youth are guided through the process of exiting street life.
Emergency housing for 30 youth, ages 13 to 20, who are new to the streets or in immediate need of shelter and aid. Beds are distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis nightly through the Access Center, and youth are expected to work on securing permanent housing. Nurturing staff serve over 500 youth every year by providing a safe place to sleep, nourishing meals, and hygiene facilities.
The original “Willamette Bridge” transitional living house for previously homeless, pregnant or parenting youth ages 16 to 20. Empowering youth to support themselves and work on fulfilling educational and employment needs, Bridge House maintains a 75% success rate for helping youth permanently exit street life. The program integrates a ‘self governance' model that incorporates resident participation in all program decision-making processes.
An independent living program designed to provide basic financial and case management support to youth who have are ready to live independently, but cannot afford the initial move-in costs of an apartment. The program serves previously homeless youth ages 16 to 20.
A peer advocacy collaboration supporting youth in gaining the resources and treatment necessary to exit street life and break the cycle of lifelong addiction. Recovery Mentors and Recovery Transition Advocates assist by sharing information as both consumers of and staff of the project offering a unique perspective from a youth point of view.