5 Organizations Helping Youth And Families In Oregon

In an ideal world, all children would have families who are able to support them, emotionally and financially, and give them everything they need to have a safe and happy childhood. Unfortunately, there are many young people who are neglected, abused, or living in poverty. That's why organizations like the ones listed here provide youth and families with support and advocate for their rights to education, healthcare, housing, and safety. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Oregon Groups That Support Young People And Families

Organization Mission
CASA of Central Oregon Recruit, train, and support volunteers who advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the court system
Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area Empower all young people, especially those most in need, to discover their full potential as caring, engaged, responsible community members
National Crittenton Catalyze social and systems change for girls and young women impacted by chronic adversity, violence, and injustice
Children's Institute Move research to action by promoting cost-effective public and private investments in our youngest children prenatal through third grade
Human Solutions Counter the forces that keep people and communities in poverty by building relationships and assets that create opportunity today and for future generations

How Many American Children Live In Poverty?

Percentage of children ages 0–17 by family income relative to the poverty threshold, according to the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics

Poverty Level 1980 1990 2000 2010 2011 2012 2014 2015 2016
Below 50% of poverty threshold 6.9% 8.8% 6.7% 9.9% 9.8% 9.7% 9.3% 8.9% 8.2%
50% - 99% of poverty threshold 11.4% 11.8% 9.5% 12.1% 12.0% 12.1% 11.9% 10.8% 9.8%

Oregon Facts and Statistics

Transforming The Lives Of Children

In Depth

It's often difficult enough being a kid or a parent, but it's especially tough for those suffering from the effects of neglect, abuse, or poverty. Thankfully, there are many organizations dedicated to uplifting, empowering, and providing safety and security to those in need. With inclusive altruism, they offer a wide breadth of support services and resources that alleviate the systemic conditions getting in the way of people's success. In no particular order, here are five important groups helping make life better for underserved youth and family populations in Oregon and beyond.

At #1 is CASA of Central Oregon, which was founded in 1992 to advocate for children in the court system who have been abused or neglected. The organization operates by recruiting and training volunteers, known as Court Appointed Special Advocates, who collaborate with legal counsels, agencies, and community groups to make sure that every foster child in the region can find a safe home. CASA reports that kids who are supported by its volunteers do better in school, spend less time in foster care, and are more likely to be adopted.

Committed to advocating for children's best interests, CASA volunteers spend time establishing loyal relationships with the kids and families they're representing, and support them for as long as it takes for their cases to close. Also designed to improve child welfare is the Family Find project, which helps connect youth in foster homes with extended family members who might be able to positively impact their lives. Make a donation through the organization's website to ensure kids in need are getting the continued, trusting, and productive assistance they deserve.

Also designed to improve child welfare is the Family Find project, which helps connect youth in foster homes with extended family members who might be able to positively impact their lives.

For #2 we have Boys and Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area. With the goal of empowering youth to realize their full potential, this organization provides enriching programs that create fun, safe, and constructive opportunities for kids between six and eighteen to learn and grow. Its ten locations across the Portland metro area offer a plethora of activities in subjects such as sports and recreation, education, health, community service, and visual and performing arts. Backed by high-quality facilities and staff, they guide young people toward becoming responsible and active members of their communities.

Reflecting its emphasis on civic engagement and career preparation, the organization's Keystone Club program offers leadership development experience for high school teens. Combining coaching and mentoring with hands-on workshops and training, YouthForce provides underserved adolescents with experience through paid internships. TalentPath, meanwhile, is an apprenticeship project that helps women and underrepresented individuals find pathways toward tech jobs. Youth and family services such as counseling and social assistance are also available beyond the regular club activities. Support the organization's efforts by giving a gift online, or by donating goods.

Coming in at #3 is National Crittenton, which works to support girls and young women affected by injustice, violence, and neglect. Addressing the systemic factors that cause this adversity, such as poverty, racism, and sexism, the organization strives to instigate social and institutional change that will allow marginalized girls to take control of their lives and thrive. In collaboration with over twenty other nonprofits, collectively known as the Crittenton family of agencies, it utilizes wide-ranging strategies including state and national advocacy, education, and innovative community programs and services.

In collaboration with over twenty other nonprofits, collectively known as the Crittenton family of agencies, it utilizes wide-ranging strategies including state and national advocacy, education, and innovative community programs and services.

Crittenton's numerous civic strategies are united by their focus on leadership, research, and strategic alliances. Many of them involve advocacy efforts in Washington DC that work to inform policy-making, such as We Are Not Invisible, a program that gives young women opportunities to meet with Congressional representatives. Another impactful program is the National Girls Initiative, which allies with agencies and service providers to improve the juvenile justice system. The BOLD Initiative, meanwhile, focuses on creating empowering social relationships between young women. Help out by making a one-time or recurring contribution through the group's site.

For #4 we get Children's Institute. Dedicated to promoting early childhood education and development, this nonprofit uses public policy, practice, research, and advocacy to make sure that young kids have the provisions they need to attain long-term health and success. Acknowledging the importance of investing in children's lives as early as possible, it advocates for state support of services and programs that serve youth from the prenatal stage to age eight. The organization focuses particularly on those faced with social, economic, and educational disadvantages, creating initiatives designed to help them overcome barriers and become more engaged learners.

Among the institute's initiatives are Early Works, which brings high-quality education and social services to a pair of underserved Oregon schools, and the Health and Learning Initiative, which focuses on improving the state's childhood learning and healthcare systems. A nationwide collaborative project, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading helps kids from low-income families become proficient readers by the end of the third grade. The institute also produces downloadable, research-driven publications, podcasts, and videos that address early childhood topics. To show your support, add your story to the organization's interactive virtual map online.

Among the institute's initiatives are Early Works, which brings high-quality education and social services to a pair of underserved Oregon schools, and the Health and Learning Initiative, which focuses on improving the state's childhood learning and healthcare systems.

Finally, arriving at #5 is Human Solutions, a multicultural organization that helps low-income and homeless families rise above poverty. Aiming to combat the structural inequities that stand in the way of individual and community welfare, it establishes productive civic relationships, invests in affordable housing and social services, and advocates for policies that increase economic opportunity. Its service area comprises 245 miles in outer East Portland and East Multnomah County, and includes some of the most impoverished neighborhoods in the region.

Human Solutions offers services in four areas, which cover affordable housing, employment and economic development, and prevention and homeless services. Devoted to the idea that housing is a human right, it owns and operates seventeen inexpensive residential complexes, as well as emergency and transitional shelters and permanent affordable homes. Its myriad employment programs, meanwhile, supply people with a variety of resources to find and maintain quality, living-wage jobs. For especially low-income families at risk of eviction, the group also provides utility and rent assistance. You can help those in need by contributing food, toiletries, and other provisions.