Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Meet YBR of Washington!



YBR of Washington was established in 2006 with the mission of identifying and meeting the unique needs of street dependent youth in the Southwest Washington region. Modeled closely after Janus Youth’s nationally acclaimed street outreach program based in downtown Portland, the Washington State division has expanded to include a drop-in center known as The Perch which is operated by knowledgeable outreach workers and serves young people 16-24 years old that are experiencing homelessness in Clark County. The program operates Monday through Friday from 9am-3:30pm. Recently Dennis Lundberg joined Director of Washington Services Dr. Tillie Make Peace to provide leadership for YBR of Washington and The Perch. Helen Boylan (pictured) and Scott Conger also assist youth to achieve sustainable independence through the housing assistance programs The NEST and The PATH. Now let’s meet our amazing team of YBR-W Outreach Specialists:

Heather Wilkins: Heather has been with YBR-W and The Perch for more than a year and recently accepted the challenge of assisting Dennis Lundberg with the daily maintenance of the pr0gram in her new role as the Program Coordinator. What does she like most about working with vulnerable street affected youth? “I just really love getting to know all the youth we have the opportunity to meet…they have some amazing strengths, tenacity and life knowledge.” If Heather had to pick a song that would describe her personality to a stranger, she would pick Tangerine by Led Zeppelin. Tangerine is also a favorite color. Why? “It’s a mellow, yet warm color.” Just like Heather’s personality. Thanks for all you do, Heather!

Sean Farrell: Sean moved to Portland a few years ago from California and very quickly applied his passion for volunteering and community organizing to the downtown Homeless Youth Continuum. He began his career as a Recovery Transition Advocate (RTA), working with Project Metamorphosis for a year and launching the successful Youth in the Community service learning project for homeless youth before recently joining the YBR-W/Perch team as a full-time Outreach Specialist. In his personal time Sean is a theatrical musician with roots in punk rock activism. If he had to pick one song that describes his personality to a stranger, he would pick Walk Together, Rock Together by 7 Seconds. Welcome to the team, Sean!

Joseph Bonnell: Joseph was raised in Norman, Oklahoma and joined the YBR-W/Perch team almost exactly one year ago to the day. He brings to the team a deep respect for young people and a gentle and grounded presence. Joseph is also our resident resource expert and he single handedly maintains a meticulously updated resource guide that will soon be shared amongst the entire Washington State Janus Division. His favorite color is green and his favorite thing about working with YBR-W is, “All I get to learn from tough, amazing young people.” Thanks for all you do, Joseph.

Robin Alley: Robin was born and raised in Vancouver, Washington. She loves her city and devotes her time away from her own family to improving the lives of vulnerable young people right in her own hometown. Robin was a generous volunteer with The Perch for the past year and rose to the challenge to help the team hold down the proverbial fort during recent transitions. This month she joined YBR-W as a fulltime Outreach Specialist and brings to the team her motherly compassion and enviable energy (not to mention her delicious cooking). If Robin had to choose an animal that would describe her personality to a stranger, she would choose a dog because she is, “Loyal & friendly & loves to run around.” Welcome to the team, Robin!

To learn more about YBR-W street outreach and The Perch drop-in center, contact us at:

(360) 213-5947