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IN THE NEWS

The Guardian: The Rise of Tattoo Removal

“A lot of people don’t understand why removal should be a social service, Willett explains. They think a tattoo is a choice. But for people who have one from gangs or prison, or drug abuse or sexual abuse, the reasons are systemic. We’ve all got a responsibility to help each other change if we want to." >>Full Story

Portland Monthly Magazine: Extraordinary Volunteer Award

Portland Monthly honored one of our volunteers with a "Light a Fire Award" for her dedicated service to the community. Dr. Lesley Segal--internal medicine doctor by day--has spent 14 years at Outside In's Project Erase tattoo removal program. >>Full Story

Our Own Jasmine Pettet Honored by Willamette Week

With her neon pink hair, knuckle tattoos, sarcastic sense of humor and open-minded approach, Pettet, 32, stands out from a lot of care providers whose more formal methods can be alienating. "Jasmine’s heart is with this population of young people who quite literally have no other advocates," says Dr. Kathy Oliver.  >>Video

KATU: Erasing the Past...One Tattoo at a Time

Outside In provides health and other services to homeless youth in Portland, but it also helps teens and adults erase the past, or at least the visible signs left behind from drugs or gangs, by removing tattoos with Project Erase. >>Full Story

Outside In Counselor and Portland's Youth Services are Recognized by Vice President Joe Biden

For youth experiencing homelessness, life on the street often means facing stigma, surviving daily threats to personal safety, and struggling to overcome countless obstacles on the path to stable housing. Youth need a wide network of support to help them access the resources and treatment needed to exit homelessness. As a peer mentor in Portland, Oregon, I work to connect hundreds of homeless youth to essential services each year. >>Full Story

Student and Community Health Flourishes With School-based Clinics

The Milwaukie High School Health & Wellness Center operated by the nonprofit Outside In promises “real help right here” to let youth learn by improving their physical and emotional health. “We gave them a community and a place to flourish,” said Fawn McCool, behavioral health counselor. >>Full Story

Oregonian: White House Names Portland Police Lieutenant, Outside In Mentor 'Champions of Change'

A Portland police lieutenant and a peer mentor at Outside In, an agency that supports homeless youth, will be honored as White House "Champions of Change,'' for helping to build bridges between law enforcement and youth and promote public safety. >>Full Story

Needle Exchange 25 years Later

I remember thinking there is so much in the world that is so dire and about which I can do nothing. In the mid 1980s HIV was one of those dire things and back then nearly always meant death. It was happening here in my city, my community, but unlike many diseases, it was preventable, and we knew exactly how to prevent it. How could we not try to do so? >>Full Story

Second Chances: 25 Years of Outside In's Needle Exchange Program

Bridget, who requested only her first name be used, spent much of her early 20s couch surfing and living on the streets of Portland’s Chinatown and Northwest neighborhoods. She was often depressed, feeling invisible and worthless. She says she often thought that if she died, no one would care, let alone notice she was gone. >>Full Story

Rolling Stone Magazine Visits Outside In and Highlights the Plight of LGBTQ Homeless Youth

The courageous stories of several youth across the country who found themselves homeless when their families learned they were gay.  >>Full Story

Portland Business Journal: A Year Later, a Bright Spot in the Opiod Epidemic. Here's Why

This story reviews the tremendous impact of the first year of Outside In's naloxone program. >>Full Story

Oregonian: Homeless Youth Get Job Experience Making Bike-powered Smoothies for 'Social Juice-stice'

Mara Gaitan visited the Outside In health clinic in January with a simple goal: beat the lung infection she'd gotten wandering around Portland during nights she didn't have a couch to sleep on. "I didn't realize my whole life would get better," she said.  >>Full Story

The Farm-toTable Journey of a Tomato Grown at Oregon Food Bank and Served at Outside In

A sweet story by KGW highlights the impact of receiving a healthy meal when you are hungry:  "It does mean a lot to me. What it represents and the opportunity it presents that to have fresh food when I might not otherwise have access to that means so much," said Boone with a nod.  >>Full story

KATU: Everyday Heroes

We are so pleased Dr. Barbara Ferre has been recognized as an Everyday Hero! Dr. Ferre is a extraordinary volunteer who has been with Outside In for more than 10 years. She is a part of a team of volunteer doctors who generously offer their time to remove tattoos for low-income people who are desperate to shed emotionally painful reminders of their past. >>Play video

Portland Business Journal Highlights Our New Approach to Saving Lives

Portland's Outside In has trained 390 people in the use of Naloxone since the rules were established July 9. The nonprofit estimates that 80 overdoses have been reversed.  >>Full Story

Willamette Week Highlights Our New Approach to Saving Lives

Deaths by overdose in Multnomah County have fallen by 44% since Outside In started training people to administer naloxone on July 9, the first day it was legal to do so.  >>Full Story

Oregonian:Charity Tribute Honors Elliott Smith (and Outside In)

Smith would have turned 44 this coming Tuesday, and this October will mark the 10th anniversary of his death. In recognition of these upcoming dates, Smith's friends and family are celebrating his life and music with four charity tribute shows. Called No Name #1,after a track off Smith's first solo release, the series starts Sunday at the Doug Fir Lounge. >>Full Story

Lady Gaga selects Outside In to receive $5,000

Lady Gaga supports homeless youth during her tour.  She generously gave 50 tickets to her concert along with a $5,000 donation!  >>Full Story

Oregon News Service: A Life-Changing Prescription for Homeless Oregon Teens

Oregon may be working to transform its health care delivery system, but one Community Health Center has been transforming young lives for more than 40 years. "Outside In" serves the Portland homeless population, with a special emphasis on teens.  >>Full Story

Oregonian: Homeless, but not Helpless

Alec Bates was one of those homeless kids you see panhandling on Portland's street corners. His sign, "Trying to get home," told a lie. If he didn't shoot heroin twice a day, panic smothered him.  >>Full Story

Oregonian: Day Care Serves Dogs, Trains People

Working a shift at Virginia Woof Dog Daycare, Delilah Stevenson gently scrubbed strawberry-scented shampoo into a French bulldog's fur while listening carefully to her supervisor's instructions: Wash gently under the dog's arms. Hold her chin up. Scour between the toes. But Stevenson, 22, is learning far more than how to bathe a bulldog.  >>Full Story

Oregonian: Students go from homelessness to graduation with help from Outside In, New Avenues for Youth

Moments after receiving her diploma, Adrianna Davis walks to her seat at the graduation ceremony for social service agencies Outside In and New Avenues for Youth. Davis found out she had passed her last exam hours before the ceremony. "My favorite thing is writing," she said. "I really like poetry. I'll probably write a poem about this graduation."  >>Full Story

Oregonian: Among Oregon Health & Science University's graduating doctors, a woman who overcame heroin addiction

Among the 104 students graduating from medical school in Portland today are the straight arrows who flew from loving homes across the top of their high school and college classes, past examinations and rotations, to Oregon Health & Science University's most hallowed stage. >>Full Story

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Oregonian: Portland Youths Show Films on Big Screen

Fourteen homeless or formerly homeless youth from Outside In's Guerilla Theatre spent three weeks creating original films based on their personal experiences. Their work debuted at the Gerding Theater at The Armory on January 30, 2012, with renowned director Todd Haynes serving as emcee.  >>Full Story

OPB: Homeless Portland Athletes Compete In Street Soccer Tourney

This weekend in Washington, DC, a soccer team representing Portland will play in a national tournament. It's an unusual kind of soccer, and it's played by unusual athletes. The Portland Torrents will join teams from 17 other cities playing in the Street Soccer USA Championship. The players are all young homeless adults. >> Full Story 

Oregonian: Milwaukie High students and administrators work together to increase health care access

Milwaukie High students and administrators work together to increase health care access. For Allison Anderson, the price of not having health insurance was about $1,000. That's how much she was charged after a broken glass in the kitchen sink sent her to the emergency room. >> Full Story

  • NINA

    hali "Rarely in life are we given the opportunity to return to the places and experiences in our lives that have helped shape who we have become. Not that long ago, I was young and homeless. It was a time defined by loneliness, scarcity, and fear. Outside In helped me by providing meals, housing, counseling, and medical care. But what I also desperately needed--and received--was the opportunity to form supportive and appropriate relationships with adults who I felt genuinely cared about me. I am happy to tell you that Outside In helped me transition out of homelessness for the last time.

    Today, I am a college graduate, a successful professional, and served as a member of Outside In's Board of Directors."

    MORGAN

    Morgan It was 1969 when Morgan knocked on our door with a 10-month-old baby in her arms. After four years of homelessness, she received shelter the first day she came to Outside In. Once she was stabilized in housing and the new mother and her baby boy were safe, she set out to get a job. A new idea at the time, Morgan recalls, "I had never seen a resource board before! There, in black and white, were jobs!" Through that board, Morgan found a job at a food co-op, and was able to utilize Outside In's medical clinic when her infant son got sick.

    After 41 years, Morgan's time at Outside In has stuck with her: "I have always listened to a person, I mean really listened, as the people at Outside In listened to me. Your staff taught me to empower myself. I like teaching that to others too."

    GREGOR

    gregor Gregor was born in Colombia and adopted by an American family. But when he came out of the closet at age 17, his family disowned him, forcing him out, because they considered his gayness a form of mental illness. He had nowhere to turn until he discovered Outside In. With positive support from staff members and volunteers and a place to live, he studied every week for his GED. Gregor pursued his dreams and was accepted to every college he applied to - New York University, Julliard, and the City University of New York. He got a job at Nordstrom once he finished his GED and then moved to New York City to attend college.

    TINEKE

    tineke In 1988, Tineke was living under the Burnside Bridge. She needed to see a doctor, but was scared to go, afraid that she would be treated badly. When she arrived at the clinic, she recalls, "We were surprised to find people who simply wanted to help us stay healthier." Though the interaction was brief (a doctor cleaned her cut, she then she received antibiotics and a bandage), she says the impact was great. "I think a seed was planted that if I did want to change the way I was living, there were kind people in the world that could help make that happen. This was a revolutionary concept to consider. I will never forget the lesson."

    Today, Tineke is in medical school at the National College of Natural Medicine and she volunteers several times a week at Outside In, providing medical care to patients.

    SAMUEL

    Not so long ago I was homeless, alone, and suffering from depression. I couldn’t find a job and I didn’t know what to do. As you can imagine, it is difficult to work through mental health challenges when you can only focus on where you are going to sleep that night. I didn’t have any options or resources -- but Outside In helped me learn that I did. They provided me with housing and a safe place to live. They helped me get insurance and the best medical care I could ask for. It was transformational for me to learn how to write a resume, complete a job application, interview, and land a job. With those skills, I completed job training at Outside In’s Virginia Woof Dog Daycare.

    Today I am a certified dog trainer at Virginia Woof, teaching staff and youth how to work with dogs. I love coming to work every day and teaching. You can modify one small thing and change happens. It is amazing to see someone on their first day, when they are nervous, and on their last day, when they have gained confidence and learned how to accept and integrate feedback. I love helping people who were in my situation.

    EMILY

    emily When most teenagers are going on first dates and doing homework, Emily was battling clinical depression. She even attempted suicide. Then, she was kicked out of her house. Bouncing between friends and other family members didn't last long and Emily ended up on the streets. Luckily, Emily found Outside In. While living in transitional housing, she got a job and became a college student, working toward a degree in political science.

    Today, Emily is an advocate for kids in her former situation. She used to call herself a "street kid," but she says at Outside In, they didn't think of her as a street kid, but rather as a "youth who lacked positive support and role models, in desperate need of being pointed in the right direction and given opportunities."

    HALI

    hali Hali became homeless at 16. On the streets from 1991-1994, she was struggling with drug addiction and turned to survival sex. This negative pathway ended when she came in contact with Outside In. She was given an apartment, psychological and drug counseling, and was helped to get a job at Street Roots. For the first time in several years, Hali could see a doctor. She writes, "Outside In showed me the care that I wasn't able to get from my mom or my family. If it weren't for Outside In, I would probably be doing the same thing I had always done-selling myself for money, being used by men... Because of them, I got my self-esteem back."

    Today, Hali is clean and sober, happily married, and the proud mother of two boys. She's in the process of becoming a substance abuse counselor, owns two homes in Oklahoma where she lives now, and with her husband and sons, she restores classic American cars for fun.

    ELIZABETH

    elizabeth"I went through a tough period in my life. During that time I did not make very wise decisions and I was not thinking about how any of those choices and decisions would affect me in the future. My tattoos were a reminder of that time in my life. It is hard to look at yourself in the mirror and have a constant reminder every day.

    I was fortunate enough to be accepted into the Tattoo Removal Program at Outside In. To see the tattoos fade after each treatment is fabulous! Now when I look at myself I do not see that person from so long ago, I see me!"