A recent article the Beaverton Valley Times profiled Second Home, a program of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon. Second Home is a community response to the difficult problem of providing housing for unaccompanied, homeless youth while they attend Beaverton high schools. With an estimated 1,300 homeless students in the school district, 450 of them without a parent of guardian, Second Home certianly provides a much needed service of love and care to homeless students.
Second Home connects homeless students with home providers willing to open their houses to motivated Beaverton high scholars. Providing a safe environment for school work and social life is essential, and allows these students to work towards graduation successfully. These relationships between home providers and students are fulfilling and mutually beneficial. Giving a high schooler a chance will mean the world to them, and Second Home works with mediators to ensure the mutual benefits. The students, in addition to receiving the stability created by this community partnership, have the opportunity to establish a rental history and receive constructive mentoring from their home provider.
“The home providers are really the heroes of the program,” program coordinator Jennifer Pratt says, “It’s about building connections in real-life situations, working to help students to slip back into normalized living situations. Students get to integrate themselves (in the home). It really gives students lots of opportunities to grow.” Currently Second Home is working with the highest number of students they have had the opportunity to help at the beginning of a school year, yet as Pratt puts it, the students are, "so worth our investment of time, resources, and love!"
Additionally, watch a short video about Second Home below, and visit Second Home's website.