Good Sam Gives Back to New Avenues For Youth

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According to the Oregon Department of Education, 21,080 students in Oregon were identified as houseless during the 2019-2020 school year. Of those, 15,868 were sharing housing, 1,584 were in shelters, 1,114 were staying in motels and 2,514 were completely unsheltered. 

We truly believe Pride Month is celebrated all year long and look forward to finding ways we can support community orgs in the most impactful way beyond June. This month, we reached out to SMYRC, sexual and gender minority youth resource center, a program under the umbrella of New Avenues For Youth serving houseless youth in the Portland Metro Area.

SMYRC provides a safe, supervised, harassment-free space for youth ages 13-23 who participate in positive activities like art, music, community organizing, open mic nights, and support groups and receive services including case management, counseling, education, and more.

With the goals of increasing academic success and access to jobs, reducing poverty and school drop-out, SMYRC honors, empowers, and supports LGBTQ youth to be their best selves and become leaders in their communities.

After learning about all the incredible work they have done and continue to do in the city, we asked for their biggest wishlist in hopes we can alleviate the stress in getting it fulfilled. Director of Equity, Inclusion, and LGBTQIA2S+, Elaina Medina, expressed the huge need of tents and camping gear that gets distributed throughout the programs and year. Being bigger ticketed items, the quantity of these kinds of donations are more difficult to come by.  
Tiffany & Caleb Standing Outside of the Good Sam Mobile with Supplies for SMYRC

With zero hesitation, the Good Sam Team jumped on the list and sent dozens of boxes filled with tents, flashlights, batteries, head lamps, backpacks, mats, tarp, sleeping bags, pillows, dry bags, and so much more.

On top of the camping gear, we wanted to stock their center’s shelves with non-perishable healthy snack items. Youth in need stop at the center to hang out, build community, and get connected to resources. Piling their shelves with hundreds of different snack items, we were told by the team that this will last them for months, at least through the summer!

“I can’t believe my eyes. This is such a generous and HUGE donation. I heard there was going to be a drop off, but I did not expect it to be this grand. The quality of these tents and camping gear is A+, this is marvelous. Thank you Good Sam!”
SMYRC Housing Director

With COVID restrictions still in place, we are still limited to the capacity in how we can serve, but our hopes is to return to the center and help create a space indoors that curates a feel of the outdoors where youth can continue to build community and find the help they need. #GoodSamGivesBack #BeGoodDoGood