Dozens of nonprofit and government agencies traveled on August 10th to the gymnasium in the Donald E. Long Detention Home to create a resource fair for the youth in detention. The idea was to demonstrate all of the community resources that are available to youth in the community and create a time where youth could ask questions of the agency representatives. Staff took turns escorting each unit of about 10 youth at a time into the gymnasium. The youth were then given 30 minutes to explore what each booth had to offer and ask questions. The youth were able to collect brochures and business cards that would be stored with their personal belongings and be made available to them upon discharge.
The agencies were diverse and included: Educational resources such as local community colleges, cosmetology schools, culinary schools, and Portland Public School alternative resources; Potential employers such as the Marines, the Army, and local businesses with entry-level positions; Emergency housing and health resources such as the Multnomah County Health Department, Planned Parenthood, SARC, and New Avenues for Youth.
Sean Fitzpatrick is an outreach worker for HomePlate Youth Services and staffed a booth. His agency provides a free drop-in center for youth up to 24 years of age. Sean expects that many of the youth that stopped to ask questions would benefit from the housing, education and employment services being offered, “I’m expecting to see a lot of them drop-in for services in the near future.”
This was the first resource fair of its kind and was organized by the Juvenile Detention Cultural Diversity Committee. “We wanted to wrap resources around each youth so that they are set up to make a positive change in the community,” shared Tami Cox, Juvenile Custody Services Specialist and longstanding committee member. The current committee members are:
- Roy Washington
- Arnoldo Jaramillo
- Manon Vellioux
- Vickie Gantz
- Mary Sullivan
- Robert Herriot
- Esteban Mendez
- Tami Cox