Fall 2020 Letter

Jackson.Street.Youth.Services

Dear Friends,

Can you imagine being a youth with no safe

or welcoming place to be? At least you have

school where you can hang out with your

friends, and if you are lucky there is a friend’s

parent or teacher you trust enough to confide

in. Otherwise, you have nowhere to turn; you

feel hopeless.

As of this writing, it’s been 230 days since Oregon declared a state of

emergency because of COVID-19. Four days later schools closed

and left many students and families in a state of confusion and isolation.

The situations for youth who were already struggling with abuse,

neglect, homelessness, or acceptance became more desperate.

Here is one amazing story of a young person who stayed safe and

stable throughout the current pandemic, with Jackson Street’s help:

Hi there! My name is

Sav. I'm a trans guy

and I live in Corvallis.

When I was 11 years old, I moved to Albany with my

mom, and lived there for a few years. I am originally

from southern Maryland and before I moved to

Oregon, I lived in an upper middle class family and

had all of my needs met. My childhood years up until

I was 11 years old were pretty stable. My mom and I

eventually moved to Oregon because my parents

got a divorce right as I was entering the 6th grade.

While living in Oregon, conflicts in my home between

my mom and I caused heightened instability in our

relationship.


In January, I was recommended to

Jackson Street by my therapist

because I was having financial

difficulties. I also reached out due to

insecure circumstances regarding

my mental health. I've had a lot of

trauma in my life as well as dealing

with things such as hate because I

am LGBT and autistic. I wasn't

expecting much coming into

Jackson Street, mainly because I

wasn't entirely sure what they were

going to do for me specifically.

Due to COVID, a lot of things

changed drastically in my life.

I lost my job and the place I was living at. Also, I was planning on

going to college to pursue a degree in concept art and design

at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. Unfortunately,

the chance to go to school didn't work out and I was left

in an emergency situation where I could possibly be homeless.

Because of the sudden decision to not move to Georgia, I was at

risk of having to sleep and live out of my car for a short period of

time. However, Jackson Street helped me avoid this by getting

me into emergency shelter at a local hotel for several weeks until

I was able to move into my new apartment.

I also had a surgery but at the time I did not have a plan for the

transportation to and from the hospital. This is another thing my

case manager was able to help me with. I also had help with

getting things I didn't know how to get, such as food stamps.

Sav is describing support he found in Outreach Case Management.

Curtis has been working specifically with young adults as an

Outreach Case Manager at Jackson Street for over a year.


Due to these life circumstances, uncertainty, and isolation,

Jackson Street assisted me by helping me re-identify my

short term and long term goals for my future.

My Case Manager

Curtis helped me by

achieving housing

and employment.

Curtis and I worked together until we

found a great deal at an apartment

where I wanted to live, and now I am

living there. At the time when I submitted

this apartment application I had heard

of a raffle that

could allow

me to win free

rent. I decided

to submit my

name into the

raffle and I

actually won

a year's worth

of free rent.

Just my luck!

What's different now from when I started is I now have a stable place

to live. When I got to my apartment, I felt relieved. I've had a lot of

struggle with my finances for the last few years, so having this kind of

stable housing is something I really needed. I currently don't have a job

but I am using this time with Curtis to enroll in an employment program

through the Community Service Consortium in order to help me find a

job that I can sustain and is more centered on my interests.

Jackson Street has given me many opportunities to do

things I didn't know I could do.

I have been given many job opportunities and housing assistance

during my time here. I appreciate all the help given to me by the staff!


Thank you for sharing your story, Sav — we are so proud of you!

Adolescence and young adulthood represent a critical window for successful

development. Every day that young people experience the stress of housing and

educational instability represents a missed opportunity to support healthy

development and promote successful transitions to adulthood. Together, we can

make sure we don’t miss this opportunity – not even in 2020.

We can increase outreach so that youth and families can access resources

and gain knowledge about staying safe and healthy.

We can change our daily routines significantly so we can supervise distance

learning for all of the youth we serve in our two shelters.

We can add housing options and employment support for many young adults.

We’ve begun this work with the generosity of our community, and we need to keep it

going. Please make a donation in 2020 to change the lives of youth and young adults

for the better. Your gift today will help individual youth in our community to:

Get off the street and into shelter

Simply have a safe place to be

Work through past trauma

Connect with caring adults

Build confidence and trust

Advance or complete their education

Learn a new skill

Get their first job

Can you imagine a time when youth homelessness is rare, and when it happens it

is brief and doesn’t recur? At Jackson Street, we can imagine that, and we work

toward it every day. We are proud of Jackson Street and the work we do.

(We made the list of 100 Best Nonprofits to work for in Oregon again for 2020!)

But we know we can’t do it without you. Please partner with us to help youth. Give today!

Stay safe and healthy,

Ann P. Craig

Executive Director

P.S. We miss you and want to stay in touch!

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