The Second Home Program is helping homeless high school students in Beaverton have a better chance of graduating. The program, which began five years ago, is a partnership between Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and the Beaverton School District.
Through Second Home, volunteers assist homeless students in finding stable housing, and some homeowners volunteer to provide housing for the students.
Lisa Mentesana, one of the people who helped develop the program, works with homeless students in the Beaverton School District. Mentesana explained to KATU the obstacles for providing stability to young people in need. “There’s just not enough resources in any community to be able to provide stability for the number of kids that need it,” she said.
The school district’s latest survey found that there are 1600 homeless students in Beaverton. Out of that 1600, 330 are unaccompanied by an adult.
Unaccompanied students lack support, explained Jenny Pratt, the Second Home Program Manager. “[Unaccompanied students] are basically on their own, trying to make ends meet, trying to get to school, and they need some help at this point in their lives,” she said.
Once the district identifies unaccompanied students, counselors and volunteers help students find stable housing. In addition, volunteers can also support a student by becoming a part of the Student Support Team, providing tutoring, attending the student’s school events, and much more.