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Media contact: Paul Neville, 541-743-7121

 

Matching-funds Grant Nails Down Youth House

Categories: Email Newsletter, Homeless Aid, Recycling, Volunteers
Author: Paul Neville, Director of Communications
Date: Monday, December 4 2017
Paul Neville, SVDP Communications Director

   

 

former sanctuary with tall, clear windows
Trio of windows illuminates new carpet in the commons area.
former sanctuary with living units toward the back
A 180 from above shows partitions for the office and main kitchen.
full-service kitchen
The full-service kitchen has plenty of room for teamwork and cooking lessons.
personal space for a formerly homeless girl
Studios include a small bathroom and kitchenette.

 

Greetings to the many friends of the St. Vincent de Paul Youth House project:

 As we head into this most festive season, I am pleased to offer this update on the St. Vincent de Paul Youth House project. Hopefully many of you have driven by the former Cascade Presbyterian Church and have seen the beautiful work that Meili Construction has done. (Much credit also goes to our architect Mike Magee of Bergsund Delaney and to the many people who offered their advice, encouragement and financial support for this project.) I often remember the night a year ago that Mike and I, along with folks from Hosea Youth Services and the 15th Night coalition, met with recently homeless teens to get their advice on designing this project. I am confident that those amazing, resilient young people will be very happy with the finished project.

 I dropped by the facility on Friday, and you wouldn’t believe how far it’s come – there’s new carpeting in the former sanctuary, which is now the youth house “commons” and is brilliantly lit by a trio of large new windows fronting Willamette Street, a beautiful kitchen, a computer lab and laundry room and more. The walls are freshly and brightly painted both inside and outside the building, and soon we’ll be moving furniture into the rooms and then, hopefully in late January, we will welcome the first homeless young women to the place they will call home for the next two years of their lives 

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we received some great news. The Tykeson Family Foundation gave us a $100,000 challenge grant (they will match your gifts dollar for dollar), and when that gift is fully matched we will have completely paid off the first youth house and hope to start work on a youth house for homeless teen boys. (That project will be funded by a remarkable $2 million gift from our friends at CBT Nuggets.) 

While the builders were hard at work on the youth house, a coalition of agencies has been hard at work planning youth house operations and laying the groundwork for this “first-of-its-kind” project. In addition to St. Vincent de Paul, they include Hosea, which will manage day-to-day operations at the youth house; Directions Service, which will help our residents to get an education, health care and other services they need to improve their physical and emotional health and prepare for the next stages of adult life; the McKinney-Vento liaisons (advocates for the homeless children in our local school districts) who know and already do wonderful work with some of our future residents; the 15th Night coalition, which does groundbreaking work combatting youth homelessness in our community; NEDCO, which will teach our youth how to manage their finances, and, of course,  FOOD for Lane County, which will provide food and snacks for youth house residents and teach them how to cook, shop for food and more. Then there are the many organizations – from faith institutions to service clubs to businesses to retirement facilities and far too many to mention – that have given time, resources and much more to make this project happen.  

Thanks again for your kindness and generosity – and for your continued friendship and support for St. Vincent de Paul. We will be in touch and let you know when youth house grand opening is scheduled – right now we are hoping for the third or fourth week in January. 

Best regards – and happy holidays to all of the youth house project’s many friends. Thanks to your steady and unswerving support and encouragement, we’ve come a long way in a very short amount of time.

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Paul Neville
SVDP Director of Communications
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