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Homeless Youth

Douglas County Homeless Youth Coalition:
MISSION:  Our mission is to work in a collaborative and integrated manner to ensure that every child and youth has a safe, nurturing environment in which to thrive.  This environment will be free of undue risk, mistreatment or lack of care and focused on the needs of the individual child or youth in a manner that makes them part of the solution.

HISTORY:  In 2004, The Umpqua Valley League of Women Voters, the Douglas County Commission on Children and Families, and the consulting firm Organizational Excellence, came together to seek a way to address homeless youth issues in Douglas County.  Youth ages twelve to eighteen years were the targeted group.  It was determined  that a countywide homeless youth summit conference would be held in October of 2005.  The Douglas County Homeless Youth Summit was held on October 7, 2005, and was attended by almost 300 people.  The decision to formalize the Douglas County Homeless Youth Coalition became one of the action items arising from the summit.  We now have members from government, non-profit and faith based organizations as well as individuals from several communities. 

In 2006, the Commission on Children & Families contracted with Oregon State University to evaluate current services for homeless youth in Douglas County.   Click here for a copy of their evaluation. 

Suggestions from the study were:

  • Strengthen communication between service providers Ė and -- Common list of providers (few people knew about UCANís Warmline)
  • Assure efficient, coordinated help to youth upon first contact -- First contact is the most critical; however, youth said they have no contact specifically for them.  They are continually being sent from place-to-place.
  • Include homeless youth in evaluation and planning of services

 Additionally, the League Of Women Voters Of Oregon published a report on homeless youth in Oregon.  Click here for a copy of this report.  And, recently, the League submitted a report to the Governor and Legislature of Oregon's runaway and homeless youth initiative.  Click here for a copy of this report.

We currently are working on three of our goals for the homeless youth project:

  • A service referral pamphlet for distribution countywide, an online version and a printed booklet; we have brought a draft version with us today

  • The development of a homeless youth drop-in center facility.  Casa de Belen has donated approximately 1,200 square feet of space.  We are now working to raise the $79,000 needed to renovate the space and bring it into compliance with building codes.

  • The creation of an operational plan for staffing the drop-in center, relying on donated services from numerous agencies and volunteers.

Our long-term goal is to have the homeless youth project providing outreach services to homeless youth in all of Douglas County.

The reality of homeless youth in Douglas County is a community challenge that requires a community based response by all sectors and members of the community.











Douglas County Homeless Youth Coalition

Council Chair:

Harry Mullins, Organizational Excellence


Gillian Wesenberg, Director Douglas County Commission on Children & Families

Address:               1036 SE Douglas, Rm 7 Roseburg, OR  97470

Phone: 541-957-4622 Fax: 541-957-4648