Funds will go to help former foster youth through YVLifeSet

PORTLAND, Ore. (March 15, 2017) –Youth Villages Oregon will use a $207,000 grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust grant to expand its staff capacity to help youth who have aged out of foster care, juvenile justice or the mental health system in the Portland metro area.

The three-year grant will allow the nonprofit to add staff to its YVLifeSet program so that more young people can receive help as they transition from state services to independent adulthood.

The Youth Villages program provides specialists who help young people secure housing; pursue educational and employment goals; access health and mental health services; learn such independent living skills as budgeting, cooking, cleaning and shopping; and create and maintain healthy relationships with family and others.

“We are very grateful to the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust for their support of some of Oregon’s most vulnerable young people,” said Andrew Grover, executive director of Youth Villages Oregon.

The grant will allow eight more young people to receive help on any given day, bringing a total to 30 currently receiving assistance. It will also allow the program to add a vocational /educational coordinator to focus on helping the young people find and maintain employment and higher education.

“We know that many more young people need our services and are thankful for the philanthropic support we’ve received,” Grover said. The program is supported entirely through donations, including financial contributions from Youth Villages Oregon staff members.

YVLifeSet was part of the largest rigorous random assignment controlled studies of a program to help former foster youth ever conducted in the United States. Social researcher MDRC found that it is one of the only programs that improves multiple outcomes for youth aging out of foster care systems. The five-year study, involving more than 1,300 young people, found that participants in the program experienced less homelessness, had increased earnings and economic wellbeing, showed decreases in domestic and partner violence and increases in other areas of mental wellbeing.

The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust was created in 1975 to enrich the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest, focusing on Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. It was begun through the will of Melvin J. “Jack” Murdock, co-founder of Tektronix, Inc. in Beaverton, Oregon. The trust provides grants to a wide variety of organizations that seek to strengthen the region’s educational, spiritual, and cultural base.

Youth Villages Oregon is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children with emotional and behavioral health issues and their families. It is committed to providing the most effective and cost-effective programs and offers intensive in-home services to children and families, emergency department diversion for youth experiencing behavioral health emergencies, a residential treatment home for young adults in transition and YVLifeSet™ services for youth aging out of the state system to help them make a successful transition to independent adulthood. For more information, visit www.youthvillages.org/oregon.

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