Because New Avenues was both creative and committed. All Rights Reserved. She innovated to create Robinswood, where traumatized children find reprieve. We take risks and make and learn from our mistakes. Maybe there's a foothold here for the rest of us. jQuery('#id_email').attr("placeholder", "Sign up to receive our newsletter"); The new makerspace for this social purpose enterprise, located in Portland’s Pearl District at 1445 NW Lovejoy, features a […], Background According to the hospitality industry group Travel Portland, the current hotel boom will result in at least a 40 percent increase in hotel rooms in central Portland by 2020. © 2020 New Avenues for Youth. Not every child does.". Kids are a threat to run. “A Minor Miracle: Finally, Some Good News About Oregon’s Troubled Foster Care”. Their emphasis will be on finding biological and foster care family placement. Intercept services will continue for four to six months after youth leave to ensure they have a successful transition into a more permanent placement. It's just not the best for the kid. Supportive Housing. "I need to know what the problem is before I can help them," Watson says. }); To view New Avenues for Youth’s Statement of Solidarity Click Here. If the kid comes after you, run!" (From left) Tabitha Jensen, Robin Donart and Deonza Watson care for children at Robinswood, a haven in Lake Oswego that has aided more than 250 kids in Oregon’s foster care system. It teamed with Youth Villages, a residential treatment program, to open a haven at the south edge of Lake Oswego. He owns the problems. For the Warm Springs exile, the teenager who has been sexually trafficked, the queer kid, the child already marginalized in the system, Jensen says, that means they are "coming to a program where they can relax for a moment, and not feel completely 'othered.'". Cantu-Schomus said as of Wednesday, eight foster care youth were unplaced. "When [former director] Erinn Kelley-Siel ran the agency, I couldn't get her to return my phone calls. One of the many areas impacted are our social enterprises. Services include job training, mental health, transitional housing, off-site housing, foster care mentorship, basic safety services, and job opportunities. jQuery('document').ready(function(){ That's also true for many of the "kiddos" now on Watson's watch. "I can't tell you how many meetings we've had. They tell the middle schooler they see better for him than the road he's heading down. "I was terrible," she admits. The trauma is so severe, the workforce so bruised, the resources so limited, it's a wonder Oregon's child welfare system survives. California State University. The plaintiffs stated they filed the lawsuit to stop the practice of placing abused and neglected foster children in hotels. Both nonprofits will offer specific services to the youth in the facility. Robinswood is a residential program for difficult to place DHS foster youth ages 9-20. Yet Pakseresht, the new DHS director, has, by several accounts, brought a measure of calm to a world where there are few victories and only the rarest sense of job fulfillment. New Avenues for Youth, with more than 20 years’ experience providing transition age youth services, will operate the short-term temporary housing program called Robinswood, providing 24-hour intensive care, assessment and support to youth ages 9 to 20 years old. ", The youth lash out in cold-blooded despair. Please support the city we loveby joining Friends of Willamette Week. For questions, comments and news tips, email reporter Whitney Woodworth at, call 503-399-6884 or follow on Twitter @wmwoodworth, Video: New housing coming for 'unplaced' Oregon foster youth, Since mid-2016, more than 130 Oregon children have spent at least one night as "unplaced foster youth." jQuery('document').ready(function(){ "Throwing remotes. He refuses to make excuses. Lintner said the services won't disappear once youth leave the facility. That's all I can do," Watson says. I make sure if I can't follow through with what I'm telling them, I give a reason why. ", Why? Between Robinswood and partnerships with Boys and Girls Aid and Maplestar, more than 23 beds will be available to unplaced youth. "We’re excited about this new solution to a serious problem facing Oregon’s most vulnerable youth and proud to be coming together to make it happen," Lintner said. He doesn't know how to communicate those feelings. New Avenues went to work, and New Avenues is pretty damn creative. He is overseeing a recruitment drive to add 300 new caseworkers this year, most of whom will receive annual salaries of $48,000 or more. “We had to bolt all the furniture to the floor,” says Tabitha Jensen (center). New arrivals to Robinswood are met by a staff where 45 percent identify as people of color and 24 percent are LGBTQIA2+. One night haunts her: that lockdown with an 11-year-old foster child who brought so much music into the room. New Avenues for Youth imagines a community where all young people thrive and experience health, well-being, and a self-determined home. "And when you're locked in a hotel with a kid, there's only so far you can go.". We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. At New Avenues, advancing equity is an ongoing commitment without closure. "Our work is designed to not only provide for their immediate needs, but goes further to address the root causes of the troubles they face. jQuery('#id_email').attr("placeholder", "Sign up to receive our newsletter"); PDX-Connect Co-located on the campus of the Rockwood Boys & Girls Club, the center provides outreach to and wraparound supports for youth experiencing housing instability and homelessness; programming for LGBTQ […], Pierre Tilquin didn’t set out to be a brewer. The annual turnover among child care providers, who typically earn between $12 and $17 an hour, is even more dramatic. All Rights Reserved. We believe, to redress youth homelessness and housing instability we must challenge and dismantle racism and other forms of oppression and build relationships within our communities that advance equity. Once the program opens, any youth age 9 to 20 who would otherwise be placed in a hotel will instead come to Robinswood, Youth Villages spokeswoman Crissy Lintner said. Youth Villages’ emphasis is to seek familial placement resources (biological or foster care) whenever possible. The residence is staffed 24 hours a day with the Youth Advocates being responsible for meeting youth’s basic needs, overseeing residential care, facilitating individual and group activities, overseeing medication compliance, supporting mental health and treatment plans, transporting youth to necessary appointments, and supporting the health and safety of the residents. She was on the verge of expulsion for fighting at George Middle School when its longtime principal, Dave Masunaga, got in her face. Specialists will visit three times a week and provide 24-hour crisis response for another four to six months. New Avenues for Youth imagines a community where all young people thrive and experience health, well-being, and a self-determined home. But, she added, the facility won't simply be a place to spend the night. In 2016, an average of 7,600 children were in foster care on a daily basis. For more information about Youth Villages, please visit "The kids languishing in hotel rooms weren't being serviced, so in our mind they were homeless.". Over the past two years, Robinswood has been a stabilizing force and placement for more than 250 youth, ages 9 to 20, helping to move many of them toward trauma-informed foster homes or family reunification. Related: Should DHS put foster children in hotels? Celebrating the Youth Opportunity Center! New Avenues for Youth imagines a community where all young people thrive and experience health, well-being, and a self-determined home. Given what we know about the prevalence of trauma in both our clients and staffs’ lives we seek to create community in all of our programs by being welcoming, inclusive and responsive to the stated goals and […], dfrntpigeon – a creative studio and dynamic apparel label launched by Portland non-profit New Avenues for Youth – now has their own retail space thanks in part to a $20,000 Community Possible grant from U.S. Bank. signupFormObj.drawForm(); Now, how do we fix it? We are so grateful to Susie from Cup of Tea for organizing a donation drive with 11 local businesses to collect socks, gloves, hats, coats, sweatshirts, and basic […], Avenues to College Goes Virtual Amidst our community’s struggles during the COVID-19 crisis, we are happy to share that New Avenues continues to show up for young people who need support. Legal battle reignited over the practice, "New Avenues will welcome the child, help them settle in, and assess the circumstances that caused them to be there," Lintner said. When her older sister, Jameia, was diagnosed with sickle-cell disease, Watson took charge of her medical care whenever she was released from Emanuel Hospital. For 22 years, the Portland nonprofit has been a sanctuary for homeless teenagers. Her nephews had no chalk in the events that wrought such upheaval in their lives. (Will Corwin), Deonza Watson (above) tries to deal with the trauma of children at Robinswood, not just their behavior. This, Cantu-Schomus said, will probably permanently abate the need to use hotels. This is our World Trade Center.". "When I first took them in, their dad was incarcerated. It's another case where a foster child is told they're a criminal because they're in the foster care system.". In the same facility, Youth Villages will begin providing critically needed support with its nationally recognized Intercept program. MEDIA CONTACTS: Instead, the caseworker sent secure transport: a retired police car, with a hard plastic seat and a barrier between front and back seats. Housing unplaced youth has been a contentious and litigious issue over the years. Legal battle reignited over the practice, Oregon Department of Human Services faces $595 million in budget cuts, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. "When it began, I don't think anyone thought it would become common practice. New Avenues is familiar with emergency phone calls. "The kid was so amazing. He's been a strong advocate for the providers, the people who put the kids to bed at night and wake them up in the morning. Youth will be accepted seven days a week with the capacity to serve 12 at a time. DHS needed breathing room, respite and reinforcements. On Wednesday, January 24th, New Avenues for Youth celebrated the opening of the Youth Opportunity Center, the Portland non-profit’s new service hub in East Multnomah County. "We stepped up when no one else would," Jensen says, "but we haven't solved the problem. New Avenues argued it only wanted to release teenagers to secure transport if the youth voluntarily agreed. "We are constantly negotiating," Suib says. • Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology or Social Work preferred for Lead Youth Advocate position Meanwhile, young people experiencing homelessness and housing instability need […], On Wednesday, January 24th, New Avenues for Youth celebrated the opening of the Youth Opportunity Center, the Portland non-profit’s new service hub in East Multnomah County.