In addition to foster care, Boys & Girls Aid also works with homeless and runaway youth up to the age 19 at our Safe Place for Youth Shelter in Hillsboro. We have the only homeless shelter for youth in Washington County and serve up to 150 youth per year. Young people are asked to leave their homes for a variety of reasons, sexual orientation, family poverty, or inconvenience to the parents as was the case for Misty. When we are unable to serve kids at Safe Place or they need more assistance, we are able to move them into our Transitional Living Program (TLP). In her words, Misty’s story follows.
“One day my mom told me that her boyfriend from Texas was moving in with her. She met him online and I felt uncomfortable because I had only seen the guy once and for me it was suspicious how this guy would leave everything behind and come to Oregon to start a new life with a woman he had only seen once. My Mom told me once he arrived there may not be room for me and my daughter any longer, we’d have to wait and see. And as it turns out, one month in, I had to leave.
I immediately started searching for an apartment for my daughter and me but I did not have the financial means to afford it on my own. Before I knew it, we were sleeping in my car and this just couldn’t last. I reached out to my counselor at school and she sent me to Safe Place. And while Safe Place didn’t have space for me and my daughter, they let us be there and helped me get into the Boys & Girls Aid transitional living program.
I can’t express enough how fortunate I am to have been granted to opportunity to be part of the TLP program. Not only did it gave me and my daughter a stable, safe place to call home but it has given me the tools that have helped me to continue pursuing my educational and employment goals.
From being in the TLP program I have learned so much from group and case management, I have found case management the most helpful in helping me to stay on track by setting weekly goals, or even just making a list to remind me of important appointments or deadlines. Counseling is helpful too as I realize there is a lot in my life I can improve. I’ve been with Boys & Girls Aid for 7 months, and while I’m nervous about my future, I know if I keep working with the staff, I’m going to be successful and finish my GED and then go to PCC. It’s hard work, but I finally believe in myself and I have to do it for my daughter too.”
This week we will be collecting items that will be useful for the kids that arrive at Safe Place.
Blankets (not too thick)
Backpack or Duffle Bags
Learn more about Boys & Girls Aid and read more stories here.