The Outreach Team is the lifeblood of the Runaway & Homeless Youth program at Looking Glass Community Services. This team of dedicated and caring individuals is on the front lines in our fight to end youth homelessness. November is National Runaway Prevention Month and Looking Glass is joining that effort to shine a light on the challenges that homeless youth face in our area.
Looking Glass got its start back in 1970 in a house off River Road helping runaway and homeless youth (RHY) with a safe place to stay and services to help them with basic needs. Almost 50 years later, RHY is still at the core of what Looking Glass Community Services provides in efforts to help Lane County youth stabilize their lives and create a solid foundation from which to build a more successful and healthy life. See our video and hear about a recent Outreach Team experience from our Marketing & Development Director.
Looking Glass currently has five residential programs: Pathways Boys, Pathways Girls, Parole Revocation Diversion, Stepping Stone, and Kyanite. All of these programs provide intensive 24/7 care and treatment to our clients. Watch our video overview and learn about one client’s first and last days in our girls program.
Looking Glass' Riverfront School and Career Center, an accredited alternative high school located on West 12th in Eugene, offers opportunity for academic success for students in Lane County and also helps youth find a career path. Daniel, a recent Riverfront graduate, is thankful for the school offering him a 2nd chance after he dropped out (see video).
For more than 20 years, Looking Glass has embedded therapists inside schools in Lane County, providing students from elementary, middle and high schools with a safe space to discuss anything that is on their minds. School Based Therapists, as they're called, are now embedded in 30 schools in Eugene, Springfield, Bethel and Junction City school districts. The number of schools Looking Glass works with has almost doubled in the past year.
Since 1990, Looking Glass' Lane Metro Youth Corps has coordinated a summer work crew, giving paid summer work experience to hundreds of Lane County youth over the years and helping to make improvements to a variety of local natural resources and habitats. "Beyond getting paid, these youth are getting valuable work experience," said crew supervisor and Riverfront teacher Craig Annsa.
Two Looking Glass therapists, Aaron Porter and Carlyn Wierda are excited to launch a new process group for people of color at our Counseling Center. A process group is a form of group therapy where 5 to 10 individuals meet face-to-face to share their struggles and concerns with trained group therapists.
At Looking Glass Center Point School, utilizing the latest tech tools helps keep the students engaged and sparks their creativity. The recent acquisition of new Lego Mindstorms education tools was a bit intimidating to the staff at first, but with in-person training provided by a member of the Lego Academy (yes, that's a thing), the staff is feeling confident in its Lego building skills.
The Job Training Program, which operates out of the Looking Glass Riverfront School and Career Center, is a uniquely-designed program that prepares youth, ages 14-24, for success in the workforce in multiple ways. The Job Training Program has been in operation since the late 80's and is funded through the Lane Workforce Partnership.