Hillsboro Library Teen Reading Program to Benefit HomePlate

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This summer, teens are reading in support of HomePlate, and for every hour they read, the City of Hillsboro will donate a dollar. Teens who participate in this program voted for HomePlate to benefit from their reading activities.

As of July 31, 2019 they have raised about $1,290.

As part of the library’s engagement with our community, Aryn, one of the librarians active in the teen program, comes to our Hillsboro drop-in on Thursday nights one night a month. She plans to expand her volunteering to two nights. Aryn brings craft supplies and chats with HomePlate youth, letting them know about resources available in our community and building trust.

Sign up for the reading program between now and August 14.

Memorial Tree & Honoring Youth Who Have Passed

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This past year we have learned of the untimely passing of several youth. In response to this difficult news, we have created a process by which our staff, volunteers, and other youth can grieve together. One of our long-time volunteers created a Memorial Tree, which now graces our Day Space with the names of youth who have passed on leaves of the tree. We also host a vigil in the memory of the youth and the HomePlate community is invited. We strive to honor each youth who has shared their journey with us no matter the outcome.

Youth Learn New Leadership Skills in the HomeBase Program

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Alec is this year’s Assistant Manager for Sit-n-Stay in our HomeBase Leadership program. This is an opportunity for a youth who has aged out of our program to grow their employment skills through supervising our Sit-n-Stay program at the Beaverton Farmers Market. Alec is learning many new skills and growing in confidence as a leader with mentoring from our Youth Employment team.  

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Alec started coming to HomePlate about 6 years ago when his family situation was so challenging he needed to be “home less” even though he wasn’t technically homeless. With us he found a sense of belonging and positive role models. He is now 26 and currently works full time as a dishwasher at a local restaurant. He works for HomePlate’s Sit-n-Stay program 10 hours and sometimes works a 14-15 hour day between the two jobs. He has been stably housed for a couple of years and shares an apartment with his siblings.  

As an Assistant Manager for Sit-n-Stay in the HomeBase Leadership program, Alec is learning many new skills. He had never used a computer for work before this job, nor had he led a team of other workers. He uses his positive energy and affirming statements to keep the team motivated. Sit-n-Stay is very busy this summer, so there is a lot to juggle. He is also learning how to speak to customers and meet new people. With time and practice, he is developing the confidence to overcome his initial shyness. He loves this opportunity to learn, and he REALLY loves working with the dogs and puppies.

Stop by and say, “Hi” to Alec at the market this summer! He’s sure to make you chuckle with his jokes and warm smile.

Youth Advocate for Affordable Housing

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On March 14th, HomePlate joined advocates from all over the state to speak with legislators at the Oregon State Capitol for Housing Opportunity Day! This yearly event is planned by the Oregon Housing Alliance and brings people together who are passionate about seeking an end to the affordable housing crisis our communities are currently facing. 

HomePlate was represented by our Executive Director, Bridget Calfee, outreach workers, Joey Whiting and Hannah Kosel, as well as one of the youth we serve, EJ Radcliff. Our day began with a lobby training where we learned about the 2019 legislative housing agenda. Together, we were able to celebrate the recent victory of SB 608 (the first statewide rent control bill in the nation!) getting signed into law providing stability for many Oregonians who rent their homes. Going forward with positive momentum, we formed a small team with other advocates from Washington County and shared our passions for engaging in solutions for affordable housing not only through our work, but also how our experiences in our personal lives have shaped us to focus on finding justice for those who are unhoused or experience housing instability.  

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We all had the wonderful opportunity to spend time in conversation with our elected representatives being honest with our frustrations while also sharing our successes in the work that is being done to end homelessness and our hope in a future for affordable housing throughout the state of Oregon.  It was a powerful space for voices to be heard especially among our state leaders who hold so much power in their decisions they make for our communities. EJ and Joey were both able to share about their lived experiences and through his generosity, EJ made sure the stories of many of his peers were shared as well.  

It was a great day for our staff to continue our community outreach on a larger level as well as provide an opportunity for EJ to continue building his skills in advocacy for himself and those around him! To find out more about this year's housing agenda, visit www.oregonhousingalliance.org/2019agenda.


Be Inspired by Dennis' Story of Recovery & Hope!

We share in his own words a story of how one youth found HomePlate and his way home to stability and health. Written by Dennis R. who came to us about a year ago….

“I guess I’ll begin at the time before I really met Homeplate…(1 year prior)…

I began my 2nd year of homelessness and was really struggling in my addiction. I’ve had nights where I spent it out in the rain with only a t-shirt and sweatpants. I maybe ate just some chips in a week.

One day I was just using the library as shelter and then I saw two people walk in with light green hiking backpacks and a smile on their faces. They noticed me and came straight over and offered me water and some healthy filling snacks.

And that day I stocked up on jerky! They were also so kind into pointing me in the direction where I could get warm clothes and a warm meal and other resources to benefit my future.

I later got a small job with HomePlate doing and expressing art. That taught me a valuable lesson about life and the right way to live. HomePlate and their positive community saved my life.

I now am living in a house with roommates working as a web designer for a tech company. I am able to pay monthly bills and provide for myself!

I really wouldn't be where I am today without the support of HomePlate and their amazing community! I’m closer to my family again. I am 70+ days sober and still counting! And I’ve learned how to express myself in a community. I have awesome friends now and good relationships with those around me. I have also learned how to be giving and supportive just like HomePlate!

Thank you for everything guys! Love you all!!

Sincerely,
Dennis R.”

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HomePlate is Hiring an Opportunity Navigator

open position: opportunity navigator

HomePlate is launching a new scholarship program for our youth that will allow them the opportunity to enroll and participate in an educational program focused on career preparation without having to worry about peripheral expenses. The overall responsibility of the Opportunity Navigator is to work with a select group of young people to prepare for, enroll in, and follow through with an educational or occupational program of their choice. In addition to helping them navigate the educational system, this may include assisting with acquiring housing, planning for childcare, and other aspects of the young people’s lives that will help them to be successful in their chosen program. Time will be divided between providing ongoing support to participants, researching educational and occupational program opportunities, and building relationships with potential partner organizations.

POSITION: Opportunity Navigator
PROGRAM: Youth Employment Program
REPORTS TO: Employment Coordinator
FLSA STATUS: Hourly, 0.65 FTE 
START DATE: March 2019 

For more info... Download a PDF of the Opportunity Navigator

Thank you for your interest in HomePlate!