Volunteer Spotlight: Bonnie Welcomes Youth to Our Day Space

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Volunteers like Bonnie Martin are a ray of sunshine. When weary youth come off the streets on Tuesday afternoons to HomePlate's Beaverton Day Space, they are greeted by a warm smile from Bonnie. She welcomes them into the space and wholly accepts them for who they are. It is her mission to not only accept youth, but to create an environment where they have the opportunity to be who they are.

Bonnie is the mother of two children aged 21 and 24. She has seen her own children struggle through the challenges of growing up and discovering their identities. Her eldest child is gender non-binary, so Bonnie has personal experience of working with youth who are figuring out who they are. She also has a lot of community youth work experience and has lead Girl Scout Troop #799, Destination Imagination, and co-lead Boy Scout Troop #728. When Bonnie heard about HomePlate through an ad for a donation drive that the Leedy Grange was running, she investigated HomePlate more and recognized it as a new opportunity to serve local youth.

With her past experiences and generous heart, Bonnie has been able to contribute deeply to HomePlate. For almost a year, she has been a regular volunteer at HomePlate and actively uses compassionate listening to let youth know that they are heard, loved, and matter. This can be an empowering interaction for youth who often feel marginalized and overlooked. She assists youth in finding what they are looking for, whether it’s shampoo, socks, or a coat. When HomePlate has been low on much needed items, like bottles of water, she has stepped up to help meet that need through personal donations.  We are very grateful for the consistant and caring support Bonnie offers to our youth at HomePlate!

KPTV Channel 12 story on youth homelessness in Beaverton and HomePlate Youth Services

Thank you KPTV Channel 12 for such a thoughtful and thorough story, which features a youth we know well...

  Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Beaverton School District sees the highest number of homeless teens

BEAVERTON, OR (KPTV) - The Beaverton School District has the highest number of homeless students in the state. That's according to a Department of Education reports.

Information that's shining a light on the issue of teen homelessness in the suburbs.

The ODE said 1,522 students within the Beaverton School District are homeless. To put that into perspective, that's the equivalent of nearly the entire student body at Southridge High school.

Youth Learn Catering Skills & More at HomePerk

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Jane is 4 weeks into the 6-week HomePerk/HomePlate Youth Employment job training program, which is hosted on Sunday mornings at the Bethel Congregational United Church of Chirst’s Coffee Hour. HomePerk provides training in skills related to kitchen prep, event management, catering, customer service, and many other soft skills. During the time between setting up and the Coffee Hour, Jane works with Christian, a HomePlate Employment Volunteer, towards her employment goals. Those include finding a job in the short-term and enrolling in training programs to get a certificate in automotive repair. We are grateful for the ongoing support from the congregation that makes this program possible!

HomePlate’s BottleDrop Fundraiser

Your bottles & cans can help homeless youth. It’s Easy! 

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Just pick up one of our specially labeled blue bags and fill it with redeemable bottle and cans. Then drop off the bag at one of the convenient BottleDrop locations. 

Bags can be dropped off between 7 AM - 10 PM at a “drop door”. No need to wait for a sorting machine! Pick up bags at our Day Space/Office 12520 SW 3rd in Beaverton.

Questions? Call Kirsten 971-322-9381 or kirsten@homeplateyouth.org

Local BottleDrop Locations

  • Beaverton: 9307 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy
  • Tigard: 14411 SW Pacific Hwy
  • Forest Grove: 2933 Pacific Ave

Learn more about Bottle Drop at www.bottledropcenters.com

 

Dancing for HomePlate

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For the second year, the Leedy Grange and Impressions Dance Club  provided a wonderful night of dancing and fundraising in support of HomePlate! Volunteer Coordinator, Amy Smetana, gave a short presentation about HomePlate and introduced some of our volunteers. Guests were encouraged to bring gift cards and other in-kind donations which totaled over $2,500, plus over $500 in cash and checks. What a great evening of community support to ring in the holidays! 

Youth Share Their Stories at Brave Space

HomePlate was invited by Bag & Baggage Productions to participate in “Brave Space”, a unique opportunity for youth to share with an intimate audience their experiences with being housing unstable or homeless. The three youth who participated have each been with HomePlate several years and gave us insights into their inspiring journeys to stability. Bianetth and Kirsten interviewed the youth with pre-screened questions in a conversational format.

Brave Space is offered as part of a grant that Bag & Baggage received to bring diverse voices and perspectives to the community. Each youth was paid for their participation. The audience is invited to listen and reflect on what they hear without judgment. At the end the audience had time to ask the youth and staff questions.

Laura, one of the youth interviewed, described how important coming to HomePlate's drop-in has been to her over the years. She said, "The meals are the reason I come to HomePlate. It's nice to get a hot, homemade meal and be around smiling faces who help and support me." She also said, "Everything I do, I do for [my son] Caden and HomePlate has been consistent and supportive for me to be successful for myself and Caden."

Alec, another youth who was interviewed, described how he came to HomePlate to be away from a challenging home environment. He said, "I may have not been homeless at the time, but I wanted to be home less."  HomePlate was a place where he could feel safe and supported, and also get help he needed when he did leave his family's home to find place to live.

We are incredibly proud of the courage of the youth to share their stories of perseverance and resilience.