Thursday, January 26, 2012


As many of you are aware, Janus Youth Programs opened Oregon's very first shelter for children victims of sexual exploitation in December 2011. Please take a moment to read this thoughtful feature about our newest shelter for youth published TODAY in one of our city's weekly tabloids, The Portland Mercury.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Yellow Brick Road of Washington and The Perch Drop-In Center are now accepting applications for volunteers! We have opportunities to assist our staff engaging with homeless youth in Vancouver, Washington between the hours of 9am-4pm. No experience is necessary but applicants must be over 18 and off the streets for at least one year. For more information and an application, please contact Dennis Lundberg at:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


At this time the City of Portland does NOT anticipate a continuation of severe weather conditions for the remainder of the week. Local weather is not forecast to meet the criteria warranting opening of the Red Cross Emergency Warming Center at Imago Dei Church so the Imago Dei Church space will NOT be open tonight.

YBR outreach workers will be on the streets this evening to assist in directing unsheltered people to shelters. We will be stationed outside Imago Dei Church tonight from 8pm-9pm to redirect people to appropriate facilities and provide some emergency cold weather gear such as hats, gloves and hand-warmers.

If you have any questions please call 2-1-1 for more information. Bundle up out there!

Monday, January 16, 2012


Severe Weather Notice is in effect in Portland, Oregon: The National Weather Service forecasts temperatures of 32 degrees and a high likelihood of snow starting at 4am on Tuesday (1/17) and these conditions are expected to persist through Wednesday (1/18) at 10am. Sleeping outdoors in this weather can be dangerous! Anyone seeking shelter information can dial 2-1-1 to receive direction. During this severe weather episode, 211info will be open for phone inquiries daily between 8:00am and midnight. Additionally, shelter information is available 24/7 at In addition to existing year-round and winter shelter facilities, the following warming center facilities are available:

Severe Weather Emergency Warming Center (only open when a Severe Weather Notice is issued):
Red Cross Severe Weather Emergency Warming Center at the Imago Dei Church
1302 Ankeny Street, (near 13th Avenue in Inner SE)
This is a walk-in facility. Pets allowed, some space for carts, accessible location
Dates: Monday, January 16th - Tuesday, January 17th
Hours: 9:00 PM - 7:00 AM
Serves: Families, single adults, and youths

Family Winter Shelter (formerly Family Warming Center):
12505 NE Halsey Street, Portland Oregon (on Halsey near 126th Avenue)
This is a walk-in facility.
Dates: Seven nights a week throughout winter season
Hours: 7:00 PM - 7:00 AM
Serves: Families with children under 18 and women in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy

Women’s Winter Shelter:
Check in at Transition Projects, 650 NW Irving,
Mon-Fri 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Sat/Sun 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM or call 503-280-4700 to check availability.
Dates: Seven nights a week throughout winter season
Hours: 7:30 PM - 7:00 AM
Serves: Single women

Men’s Winter Shelter:
Located at Salvation Army Harbor Light, SW 2nd and Ankeny,
This is a walk-in facility. Call 503-239-1259 for information.
Dates: Seven nights a week throughout winter season
Hours: 8:00 PM - 8:00 AM
Serves: Single men

Union Gospel Mission
15 NW 3rd Avenue, 503-228-0319
This is a walk-in facility.
Dates: Monday, January 16th - Tuesday, January 17th
Hours: 9:30 PM - 6:00 AM
Serves: Families, single adults, and youths

The following expanded day center services are available during the Severe Weather Notice:

Downtown Chapel Roman Catholic Parish
601 W Burnside Street, 503-228-0746
Provides hot beverages, some snacks and movies
Dates: As of 11am on 1/16/12 confirmation has NOT been made that this facility will be available during this weather event.
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Serves: Adults

Union Gospel Mission
15 NW 3rd Avenue, 503-228-0319
Provides hot beverages, some snacks and television
Dates: As of 11am on 1/16/12 the Mission Director indicates that they do not have the volunteer capacity to open the day center on 1/16/12. They are working to get volunteers to open up on 1/17/12 and will confirm one way or another later today.
Hours: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM. Depending on severity of weather may be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Serves: Adults

Please call 211info with questions regarding other shelter and transportation resources.

Friday, January 13, 2012


A Quarter Century of Positive Youth Development… Sort Of.

by JT (Jerry) Fest

Twenty-five years ago yesterday, January 12th, 1987, the first four of hundreds of future residents moved into Bridge House; at the time one of only seven demonstration projects for federal Transitional Living Programs for older homeless youth. The success of the program contributed to funding for future TLP’s around the nation, and today Bridge House is the only one of the original seven TLP’s still in operation, making it the oldest continuously funded federal TLP in the country.

Bridge House is considered one of the earliest programs to be based on the principles of Positive Youth Development (PYD), but here’s an interesting fact. In 1987, PYD as a codified best practice did not exist. As the principles and practices of PYD were articulated, it became clear that the design of Bridge House incorporated PYD principles and implemented PYD practices. But if PYD was not known at the time that Bridge House was established, then while it may be accurate to say that the program was designed along lines that were compatible with PYD, it cannot be said that Bridge House was based on PYD. That being the case, it may be interesting to some to learn what the program was based on. As I was director of the program at that time, I am able to answer that question for you.

The original grant that we received here in Portland was a demonstration grant and, as such, I wanted to try something new. After all, it’s not as though housing programs didn’t exist for homeless youth in the ‘80’s … but they weren’t demonstrating much success. While I have long since lost the studies from that time, I remember that the success rate for homeless youth going through housing programs was about 30% back then. Equally concerning was that the success rate for youth exiting street life without any program involvement at all was also about 30%, which was leading some to question whether or not programs were really helping. When the Bridge House demonstration showed a 70% successful rate of transition, people began to take notice, and our success contributed to a focus on PYD. But, again, the program preceded what is now known as PYD, so on what was it based?

In looking for a model to demonstrate I exhausted all existing approaches to housing and transitional living for homeless youth. Replicating the 30% success rate was not our goal; we wanted to find the most effective way to work with this population. When I couldn’t find anything new or promising within the existing approaches to homeless youth, I began to explore other fields. It was in the field of education that I found an approach to emulate when I came across a book called “Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing” by Alexander Sutherland (A.S.) Neill (originally published in 1960, an expanded and revised version is now available as “ Summerhill School: A New View of Childhood.”).

Summerhill was a radical new concept in education. Instead of teachers as authoritarians and students as passive recipients of knowledge, Summerhill envisioned adults and young people as co-participants in an educational environment, each with responsibilities to that environment. The basic principles were defined in the forward to the book by sociologist and psychoanalyst Erich Fromm: nourish the whole child’s potential to love life intellectually, as well as emotionally; have him educated commensurate with his capacity, sans dogmatic disciplining; allow him to be free, but without encroaching on anyone; have the teachers maintain a transparency; encourage security in the pupil without resorting to submission and domination tactics, or utilizing guilt in one’s methods; and advocate a theology of human freedom, not sinful suppression. Sounds a lot like Positive Youth Development, doesn’t it? But, pre-dating Positive Youth Development, these principles were referred to as “self-government,” which is why Bridge House was not defined as a PYD model based on development, but as a self-government model based on freedom.

Say the word “freedom” in reference to youth programs and watch the blood drain from many adult’s faces as they envision young people running wild in the streets and terrorizing program staff. Freedom, however, is not license; as Neill himself points out in a later work titled, appropriately enough, Freedom -- Not License, which you can read HERE in its entirety (be aware that this was written in the mid 1960's; some of his commentary on social issues makes for an interesting time capsule). Neill describes it this way:

“It is this distinction between freedom and license that many parents cannot grasp. In the disciplined home, the children have no rights. In the spoiled home, they have all the rights. The proper home is one in which children and adults have equal rights.”

What many fail to understand is that there are no rights without responsibilities. A right without a responsibility is not a right at all; it is an entitlement … and people do not grow, learn, and develop from entitlements. In application to a program for homeless youth, I would paraphrase Neill’s statement and say that it is the distinction between freedom and license that many youth programs cannot grasp. In a structured program, young people have responsibilities with few rights. In an enabling program, young people have rights with few responsibilities. The proper program is one in which young people and adults each have rights and responsibilities, and are held accountable to their actions.

At Bridge House the accountability piece is accomplished through an evaluation system, but that is way beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say that Bridge House is a living example that freedom, when properly understood and applied, works … and on this occasion I would like to publically thank each and every staff and resident who has helped to prove that over this past quarter century.

So, with appreciation to A.S. Neill for his inspiration, The Youth Networker wishes Bridge House a happy birthday. While it is my hope that someday programs like you are no longer needed, may you remain open until that day.

This article expresses the opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the position or view of the InterNetwork for Youth. For more information about the InterNetwork for Youth, contact author and consultant JT Fest HERE.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Here's a photo of Yellow Brick Road Outreach Specialists Neal Sand and Heather Penzel conducting outreach at a camp under a bridge in SE Portland this week. Heather is our most recent addition to the Janus outreach team, joining us about 5 months ago and quickly building solid relationships with young people surviving outdoors. If you are interested in volunteering at either our Portland, Oregon or Vancouver, Washington YBR programs just drop a line to Dennis Lundberg at for more information. We're ALWAYS looking for dedicated folks over the age of 18 to join our mission to improve the lives of vulnerable young people.

Sunday, January 08, 2012


Pastor Tom Burgess and Janus Youth Associate Director of Homeless Programs Dennis Lundberg

Portland's Crossroads Church has partnered with Janus Youth Programs to support our ongoing mission to improve the lives of young people! Over the past several weeks the congregation has collected a huge inventory of safety and hygiene essentials for kids surviving outdoors such as shampoo, razors, deodorant, journals, tooth brushes and nutrition bars. The photo above only provides a mere glimpse. In total we collected no less than 140 boxes full of supplies and literally hundreds of pre-packed hygiene kits that are already being distributed to young people in need at our homeless youth shelters, newly opened CSEC shelter (for young survivors of commercial sexual exploitation) and on the streets via Yellow Brick Road Street Outreach teams. This is an amazing statement of the Church's passionate commitment to kids in our community who don’t have a safe home tonight. THANK YOU, Crossroads Church!