IN THE NEWS
Thank You, Kathy Oliver!
When Kathy Oliver came to Outside In, she wasn’t expecting to become the Executive Director and stay for 38 years. Hired as a grant writer in 1980, she became one of just five part-time staff members who were bound together by their passion for social justice. The organization’s entire annual budget was just $100,000. In the following years, Kathy worked with skill, tenacity, and creativity to lead and grow Outside In, including many ups and downs.
With Kathy’s leadership in the 1980s, Outside In launched an Acupuncture Clinic, housing and employment programs for homeless youth, and one of the nation’s first syringe exchange programs (which was hugely controversial). As Kathy recalled, “In the 1980s, if you contracted AIDS, you died… AIDS, unlike many diseases, was preventable and we knew exactly how to prevent it. It seemed logical to provide our clients with condoms and syringes. Not everyone agreed.”
In the 1990s, Outside In was at the forefront of efforts to oppose a series of anti-gay ballot measures. Outside In’s youth services have evolved since then to include Queerzone, a safe space for LGBTQ youth, and services for trans individuals ranging from medical care to assistance with legal name changes on passports and IDs to ensure congruence with their gender identity.
In 1998, Kathy led Outside In’s first capital campaign, resulting in raising over $5 million for the permanent facility that has housed the organization since 2002. Kathy’s love of art has always found expression within Outside In’s facilities: She recruited artist Joe Cotter to design the 93-foot mural on Outside In’s original cinder block facility (which was torn down in 2001), organized a “Billboard Project” featuring political protest art, and ensured the inclusion of striking public art at the current facility.
During Kathy’s tenure, and with the leadership of former Clinic Director John Duke, Outside In successfully applied for and became a federally qualified health center (FQHC). This led to Outside In’s ability to significantly expand medical and mental health services.
In the 2000s, Kathy’s entrepreneurial abilities led to the development of a social enterprise, Virginia Woof Dog Daycare, which now provides paid job training for 25 youth annually. Her beloved border collie of that era (Zaida) provided the inspiration for the logo.
Outside In has grown to have 190 staff and an annual budget of over $12 million, providing medical services to more than 6,000 individuals (of all ages) and a wide range of youth services to more than 800 homeless youth annually.
“Kathy has made a huge impact on the lives of homeless youth and others at the margins,” said Gail Snow, former Outside In Board Chair. She added, “One of Kathy’s biggest contributions is that she has consistently promoted, modeled, and insisted upon inclusiveness. Today Outside In has a well-established come-as-you-are philosophy and is known as a place where everyone is respected. That is a big part of Kathy’s legacy.”
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
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