BEND, Ore. - Two long-standing organizations that have supported youth in our region have now come together to even better service our community. On July 1, Grandma’s House will join J Bar J Youth Services.
Grandma’s House is a non-profit, non-denominational home that provides emergency and transitional shelter to homeless pregnant girls, young parenting mothers and young mothers choosing adoption for their child. For over 20 years, they have provided shelter, support and educational tools to help young parents make good life decisions for themselves and their babies.
“Grandma’s House is a welcome addition to the programs and services of J Bar J,” says Stephanie Alvstad, the executive director of J Bar J Youth Services. “It’s great to have these two long-standing organizations working together with established commitment to serving kids that need support to reach productive adulthood. We are happy to include this service along with our other program offerings.”
The merger is mutually beneficial to both organizations. J Bar J extends its community outreach and Grandma's House gets some much-needed help.
"Staff can move laterally across divisions," Alvstad said Wednesday. "So, it's just a resource for Grandma's House. So rather than struggling -- they only have had four staff -- whereas we've had over 100. So it's a little bit more capacity for them."
Until recently, there were six young mothers living in the house at the same time. Thanks to this merger, the house will add two full-time staff members to help take care of them.
It will also benefit from extra funds thanks to the large network its joining.
"Some of those costs that a small agency would have to pay for -- now you have a number of programs all splitting the costs."
The goal of Grandma’s House is to help each young woman become self-sufficient and able to make responsible decisions for herself and her child. When young mothers and babies transition from Grandma’s House into independent living, they become part of an outreach program called Angels Wing where they continue to receive support. Angels Wing is a part of community outreach to all pregnant and parenting teens in need.
“Becoming part of the J Bar J Youth Services family is a perfect match in completing the circle of services for supporting youth in our communities,” says Woody Medeiros, executive director of Grandma’s House. “We are so proud to be joining a strong and dynamic group of providers.”
Medeiros has not yet decided on the next leader for the shelter, but hopes to expand to be able to help more teen moms in Central Oregon. When she does step down, she plans on walking dogs at the Humane Society.
About Grandma’s House: Grandma’s House provides a safe and stable shelter, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days with case management, counseling and educational opportunities. Workshops include childbirth education and skills for living. Grandma’s House is the only home east of the Cascades serving the shelter needs of this vulnerable youth. For more information, visit grandmashouseofco.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 541.383.3515.
About J Bar J Youth Services: J Bar J Youth Services is a nonprofit organization offering options for at-risk youth who are working toward self-sufficiency. The seven programs offered by J Bar J include J Bar J Boys Ranch, The Academy at Sisters, The Learning Center, Cascade Youth & Family Center, Big Brother Big Sisters, Safe Families and now Grandma’s House. For more information on J Bar J Programs, visit jbarj.org or call 541.389.1409.
J Bar J is the parent organization for several agencies, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon, a 21 Cares for Kids partner.