Empty lot in North Portland to be transformed into housing for youth aging out of Oregon’s foster care system
WHAT IS NEW MEADOWS?: Bridge Meadows, a successful Inter-generational Community in Portland, has partnered with New Avenues for Youth to create a supportive housing facility for 14 youth, ages 17-24, who are aging out of foster care. The New Meadows community will provide a safe and comforting place to live, provide friendship, mentorship, counseling, workforce development, educational support, and life skills training. New Meadows is a stepping stone for youth transitioning into adulthood, providing them with the tools and support they need to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency.
Youth residing in the New Meadows Program will be connected to a Master level counselor and an on-site Resident Assistant, both employed by New Avenues. This staff will work with the youth to address their emotional well-being, providing case management and planning for short and long term goal achievement. New Meadows youth will have access to New Avenues for Youth’s educational services where youth can work toward their GED or H.S. Diploma, college readiness as well as work force development. New Meadows youth will be integrated in the neighboring Bridge Meadows community. Bridge Meadows has demonstrated amazing success in nurturing the development of healthy families through the adoption of children out of the foster care system. The Bridge Meadows community will serve as an anchor to the New Meadows Program and provide the youth with natural, nurturing relationships
BACKGROUND AND NEED: When youth age out of foster care, they face an array of new challenges as they transition into adulthood. The majority of former foster youth have experienced severe trauma, which can greatly compromise their development, well-being, and ability to deal with such challenges – especially
when support and resources are lacking. Studies estimate that as many as 65% of youth aging out of foster care lack safe and affordable housing, and 20-50% of former foster youth experience homelessness.
Size: 10,700 SF
# Units: 10 Studio units
4 Family units
1 RA unit
Completion: Summer 2017
Once homeless, young people experience additional trauma and disconnection from their community making the transition into adulthood that much harder. These youth need a community that can help them develop the skills, provide support, mentorship, and foster long-term relationships. The Jim Casey Youth Initiative states that when these youth are provided with such support there is a savings of lifetime social service needs equating $300,000 per youth. These include the social costs of public assistance and incarceration along with the lost wages because poor academic and employment outcomes.
BUILDING & SITE: New Meadows will be a new two story,10,700 square foot building containing 15 group living units and common gathering spaces. The community kitchen, lounge, and dining area are key elements that will strengthen the programs goals. While each youth will have their own living space, the common spaces will be bustling with informal socializing, group activities, celebrations, mentoring, etc. A private meeting room is also provided for continued checkins with the counselor and it is meant to be a safe and accessible space for the youth. The 14,540 square foot site, located in the Portsmouth Neighborhood
in North Portland, provides ample outdoor gathering space filled with plants and trees, which is a benefit to both the youth and the neighborhood. The project is located a block away from Bridge Meadows, and this proximity is crucial to the integration of the two programs.
Bridge Meadows – Bridge Meadows will leverage their experience operating a successful intergenerational housing community serving Oregon’s most vulnerable populations. Youth living at New Meadows will be integrated into the Bridge Meadows community in North Portland, building relationships with former foster youth, families and elders poised to provide nurturance and support. Derenda Schubert, Executive Director
Home Builders Foundation – HBF has a history of developing transitional housing by harnessing home building resources to create opportunities for the home building community to serve those in greatest need. Ken Cowdery, Executive Director
New Avenues for Youth – Working in partnership with the Portland community to prevent youth homelessness and provide homeless and at-risk young people with the resources & skills needed to lead healthy, productive lives. Sean Suib, Executive Director
Renaissance Homes – Renaissance Homes will serve as the Building Captain and construct the facility. Tim Breedlove, Chief Operating Officer
Significant Legacy Donor – The New Meadows project fulfills the dream of a legacy donor who had the vision to provide housing and supportive services to homeless youth. This donor was so inspired by the concept of New Meadows, an investment of $1M for Capital and $1M for Operating Capital over a 5 year
period of time, has been pledged. The new facility will be named in honor of this visionary philanthropist.
If you would like to get involved in this project, please contact HBF Project Manager, Brenda Ketah.