Second Home is a community response to the difficult problem of providing housing for unaccompanied, homeless youth while they attend Beaverton high schools.
Second Home, a program of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, works together with the homeless liaisons of the Beaverton School District, the Beaverton Dispute Resolution Center of the Mayor's Office, and volunteer home-providers to find stable housing for young people who want to finish their high school education. We have recently expanded the program to serve students in Lincoln County and Gresham-Barlow School Districts, as well. Second Home is a ground-breaking example of how a community can respond to the issue of youth homelessness and support those who want to finish their high school education.
Second Home in the News
Watch July 8, 2015, interview, "EMO's Second Home: Connecting homeless youth & host families," MetroEast Community Hotline (video)
April 24, 2015, "Helping homeless teens earn their diplomas," Gresham Outlook
April 8, 2015, "Second Home finds second, third homes," Beaverton Valley Times
Nov. 6, 2014, "From homeless to taking care of business," Beaverton Valley Times
EVO 10.0 "Second Home" short film from the sm evo experience on Vimeo.
How does the program work?
Home-providers offer room and board to the student while they attend high school. All home-share arrangements are governed by rental agreements and house rules that the families and students negotiate together with the help of the Second Home staff and a volunteer mediator from the Dispute Resolution Center.
Students and home-providers are matched up to form a home-sharing relationship. Support for the participants comes from both the Second Home staff and from the community. This is truly a community undertaking to improve the lives of our young people.
Where will the students come from?
Full-time students can be referred to the program by their school counselor or by the Title X Homeless Liaisons of the School District.
What am I expected to do for a student?
You will give the student room and board for the school year (and possibly the summer depending on your agreement). You are not expected to become a foster parent, but should a mentoring relationship develop, that is absolutely fine.
How will I pay for food?
You may be expected to provide food for the student while they live with you. Some students have SNAP benefits to cover their food needs.
Does the student pay rent?
No. Rental agreements are written to establish participation in normal household chores as payment in lieu of rent.
How long will it take to be matched with a student?
The waiting time to find a match is highly variable and depends on the students who are entering the program, their needs and your needs. Since you both must agree that you want to live together, it is as much your decision to live with a student as it is their decision to live with you. When you are deciding to become a home-provider for a student, it is important that you understand that there may be a period of time between signing up and finding the right student to live in your home.
Who can join Second Home?
Any Beaverton, Gresham-Barlow or Lincoln County School District student who is attending high school or the equivalent with the intent to graduate and who is 16 years old or older.
Does the housing cost anything?
No. The home-providers sign up to give you housing and food although you may want to buy your own food if your tastes are different from theirs!
Why do they sign up to be home-providers?
For the most part, the people who sign up just really want to help kids graduate from high school. They feel like this is a way they can help make someone's life better and they want to help.
What if I don't like them after I move in?
Everyone in this program uses a mediation process to make an agreement before moving in, so you will have time to get to know the home provider before you make a decision about whether or not you want to live there. You also get to have a say in the house rules, so if you feel like something isn't going to work for you, you have an opportunity to negotiate a different rule. If there are problems once you are in the home, our staff is available to help you work through the issue or to find another place to live.
- Like us on Facebook.
- Make a financial donation to Second Home.
- Organize a fundraiser, with the proceeds to go to Second Home.
- Invite us to speak to your group or organization.
- Ask your employer if they have any grants for which Second Home can apply, or if they'll offer matching donations for employees.
- Provide one of our students with a cell phone to make it easier to stay in touch with us and their home-providers.
- Help locate suitable jobs or internships for our students.
- Host a gathering for students, home providers, staff, and volunteers to have an opportunity to meet and socialize.
- Let us know about students and home-providers that are already living together, but might benefit from the structure Second Home has to offer.
- Donate money toward "special" student expenses, such as birthdays and holidays, prom, graduation, college applications, etc.
- Ask your church or social group to have a special offering/collection to benefit Second Home.
Home Provider – Provide short-term or long-term housing for a Second Home student, background checks and application required, please contact staff member for more information.
Student Support Team – Support a Second Home student through holiday and birthday cards, attending their school events, tutoring and more. Background checks may be required.
Community Organizer – Join us in raising awareness around the issue of youth homelessness in our communities, speak to your organization or congregation, assist staff with fundraising events, coordinate volunteers working together to support our youth!
For more information about any of these opportunities, please contact a Second Home staff member listed below.
Students who are interested in participating in Second Home or want more information may contact Jenny Pratt at firstname.lastname@example.org or (503) 221-1054, ext. 277.
To sign up to be a home-provider or for more information, please contact Laura Swartz at email@example.com.
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