- Who We Are
- Who We Serve
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Bridget has been the director of HomePlate since its founding in 2005. She is responsible for all agency development as well as determining needs, and providing support and opportunities to youth, volunteers, staff, and interns. She holds a Masters of Social Work from Portland State University and has worked since 2001 in youth programs and specifically with youth experiencing homelessness in Washington County since 2003. She hails from Wisconsin and when not working she can be found outside doing any variety of outdoor activities with her husband Jeff, baby Asa, and Tug the dog.
Kirsten is HomePlate’s full-time Development Director and has been a supporter for years. She brings a diverse background to this position having worked with families experiencing homelessness and domestic violence, started and managed several businesses, and fund/friend-raised for a number of grass-roots local and international organizations. She has three grown children and lived in Washington County for many years. She is also an artist who enjoys trips to the beach and woods with her dogs and her husband. She earned her Masters in Social Work from Portland State University.
Volunteer & Operations Coordinator
Amy Smetana is HomePlate's Volunteer and Operations Coordinator. She wants all volunteers to have an amazing experience supporting HomePlate's youth. Contact her to get involved! Prior to this, she was an AmeriCorps member at Pacific University where she created and coordinated PUMP It Up!, a mentor program connecting university students with local school children. Amy is an alum from the University of Mary Washington where she got a bachelor's in political science and sociology. She is passionate about building community, exploring the outdoors, and having fun with languages.
Lead Outreach Worker
Amber started her journey with HomePlate in 2013 as a Jesuit Volunteer, and after a short time away for an additional year of volunteering, she returned as the team's Lead Outreach Worker. Most of her time is spent out in the community engaging with and meeting youth where they are in order to provide resources and support. She is proudly from the Philadelphia area and holds a B.A. in Psychology from Saint Joseph's University. When not hitting the streets with HomePlate, she enjoys being outside hiking, eating chocolate, and exploring new areas of the PNW.
Christi is Homeplate’s full-time Employment Coordinator. She has a Bachelor of Social Work from Portland State University, where she worked for two years as a mentor to students, often helping with career and educational planning. She is dedicated to compassionate, trauma-informed practice and comes to us from child welfare, where she worked with youth and families experiencing crisis, performed community outreach and created a guide for youth aging out of foster care. She is thrilled to be working at Homeplate and serving youth in her local community. Christi enjoys hiking, painting and advocating for socio-economic justice.
Outreach Worker (Bi-Lingual)
Bianetth Valdez is HomePlate’s Bilingual Outreach Worker. As of June 2016, Bianetth graduated from Portland State University with a Masters in Social Work. She also holds a Bachelor’s in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin (Go Longhorns!) She has almost 8 years of social work experience under her belt, working predominantly with low-income, minority youth in school settings. She is passionate about social and racial justice, anti-oppressive work, and housing/homelessness and is eager to do good work with under-served youth in Washington County. In her free time, Bianetth loves biking, hanging out with friends, reading, binge-watching on Netflix and advocating for affordable housing!
Kelsey is HomePlate’s new Outreach Specialist. As of May 2016, Kelsey graduated from Georgetown University with a B.S. after majoring in Human Science. She has worked as an outreach volunteer in Washington, D.C. during cold weather advisories for the past year and is very excited to be meeting youth in Washington County where they are and building relationships as a member of HomePlate! Originally from New Hampshire, Kelsey enjoys running, biking, hiking, reading, and spending time with family and friends in her free time.
As HomePlate's Programming Coordinator, Laura actively is reaching out into the community to find new partners to engage with our youth. Laura is originally from Rochester, NY and went to Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY to get her bachelor's degree in Psychology and Childhood/special education. She has a lot of experience with planning and organizing trips as she was the president of her college's outdoor club for two years. Laura just finished up her first year with JVC National in Raleigh, NC working with those transitioning out of homelessness, disaster, and crisis and is entering into her additional year with JVC NW at HomePlate. Laura enjoys riding her bike, exploring her new home of Oregon, and trying out all kinds of sweets!
Volunteer Program Specialist
Megan is HomePlate's new Volunteer Program Specialist. Megan graduated in May 2016 from Marquette University's College of Nursing. She has greatly enjoyed accompanying folks experiencing homelessness in Milwaukee while in college and is looking forward to building relationships with HomePlate youth and volunteers as a Jesuit Volunteer. Megan is originally from Omaha, Nebraska and loves to read, write, and discover the nooks and crannies of Portland when she is not at HomePlate!