New Aloha drop-in center for homeless youth holds open house
After expanding its services for homeless youth three months ago, HomePlate Youth Services is hosting an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony at a new drop-in resource center in Aloha.
The Washington County-based nonprofit's drop-in centers offer youths — ages 12 to 24 — who are experiencing housing insecurity an opportunity to eat a meal, do laundry, receive basics such as hygiene supplies, and talk to staff about the challenges they're facing.
The open house will take place from 4 to 5:30 p.m., before the Aloha center's regular drop-in hours from 6 to 8 p.m. at 18380 S.W. Kinnaman Road, in the Aloha Church of God. There will be light refreshments served. Religious activities are not part of drop-ins despite the center's location in the church.
The event is an opportunity for the public to learn about HomePlate's services and see the new center space, said Kirsten Carpentier, development director for HomePlate.
The nonprofit started offering drop-ins at its first Hillsboro center in 2005. In 2011, HomePlate opened a second drop-in location in Hillsboro, and in 2012, the nonprofit added a third drop-in center in Beaverton.
Since the Aloha drop-in center opened this fall, HomePlate has been working to improve the facility and stock it with supplies and other essential resources for youth, Carpentier said.
The facility is in an important location, across the street from Aloha High School, she said.
"Aloha High School has a pretty high level of homelessness and poverty, a lot of students are struggling there," Carpentier said.
The Beaverton School District had nearly quadruple the number of homeless students as the Hillsboro School District in 2018-19, according to data from the Oregon Department of Education.
With new signage around the facility, Carpentier said she hopes the community and students in need will take note of the drop-ins available every Wednesday night near the high school.
"It's taken time, but now it's a place where youth can go across the street and get a hot meal and a shower," she said.
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