Portland, OR. New Avenues for Youth celebrated its annual Brews for Youths festival, but for the first time in its history, this fundraiser was held virtually. The benefit on July 25th, is one of many that have moved to an online platform due to COVID-19 pandemic. New Avenues for Youth has seen a tremendous shift towards technology to provide goods and services for at-risk and impacted youth in Portland. With a decrease in physical presence and an increase in a virtual presence, New Avenues for Youth has had to shift its approach.
“[This shift] is beneficial in the long run because we will have new tools and systems online,” says Lauren Eads, Director of Development and Communications. With an increase in online tools, New Avenues for Youth can continue to provide counseling and services to help at-risk youth in Portland while remaining safe.
However, one aspect that technology cannot provide is the face to face physical interaction that people need. “Community is important for them, a network of safe adults, that’s a lot of what the employers are. Case managers and problem solvers that can help,” Eads explained.
Helping nearly 1,400 individuals a year, New Avenues for Youth has served as a safe space for youth in Portland struggling with homelessness. By focusing on both intervention and preventative care, the nonprofit offers educational and employment programs, as well as counseling. Drop-in services including showers and meals, housing/residential services, and works with foster care systems with Portland to help those who are experiencing trauma or emotional and mental challenges that do not work well with foster care.
Moving forward under the pandemic, New Avenues for Youth has decided to also hold its 19th annual Steve Allen Comedy show virtually. The comedy show has been a foundational pillar helping to fund the work of New Avenues for Youth. “With COVID-19 disrupting that [fundraising] pattern, we have an increased need for folks to make contributions so we are able to continue supporting young people experiencing or are at risk for homelessness,” Eads explained.
Tickets for the Annual Steve Allen Comedy Show can be found online.
New Avenues for Youth is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention and intervention of youth homelessness. Here’s a video about the nonprofit:
Since 1997, our programs and services have impacted more than 20,000 young people as they work to overcome barriers, pursue their goals, and realize their potential. From supporting basic needs like meals and counseling to providing opportunities for education, job training, employment, and housing, we meet youth where they are—and help them get where they want to go.