Heather, a mother of five children, was initially referred to Yina, a Family Resource Coordinator for Northwest Family Services, a local church. Heather was in immediate need of several resources, she needed a lot of support. The mother was going through financial instability and was at a high risk of losing her home. She assistance to apply for health insurance for her oldest son, help connecting to a mental health provider for her seven-year-old daughter, transportation, food resources, GED classes, parenting and adult education. Yina was there to help there to help navigate complex systems with a highly traumatized family.
The family was successfully connected with resources. The Mom was able to successfully move into a more comfortable home, was connected to mental health services, was informed of GED classes and the registration process, local food pantries, parenting classes and got to apply on health insurance for her son. From chaos to stability, the family is now in a stable and supportive home.
NWFS honored for school partnership
Northwest Family Services CEO Rose Fuller accepted the Growing Great People award from the Gladstone School District for the organization's long-term partnership with the district.
"The nonprofit provides several services in Gladstone schools," said Lennie Bjornsen, director of student and family supports. "Their focus is stabilizing families, providing support and enrichment to at-risk middle school students, and reducing teen drug use."
NWFS provides two Family Resource Coordinators — one at the Gladstone Center for Children & Families and one at Kraxberger Middle School. They serve as social service navigators, helping families connect with resources for housing, jobs, education, transportation and health care.
NWFS's PreventNet program at Kraxberger provides group sessions for at-risk girls and boys as well as the KAOS after-school and summer-enrichment programs, including a soccer camp.
NWFS also funds an alcohol/drug counselor who works one-on-one with secondary students during the school day.
First on the list is to say that Samantha F. of Northwest Family Services is an invaluable resource to all who meet her. The way she interacts with people to ensure that the curriculum of P I O is taken seriously and positively for the families and communities involved is powerful. Much thanks goes out to Samantha for taking the time to be the best resource she can be. Your teachings were well put together and understandable. With your help we all have grown to be better served for our own lives. Having a person such as Samantha F. to guide us as learning individuals was pleasant and welcoming. My thanks and support go to Samantha.
Make sure Samantha is heard and well taken care of, for all the communities sake!
Thank you for the time taken to read this.
At the beginning of the school year, a high school counselor referred a student to Molly Martinez, Northwest Family Services' PreventNet School Site Coordinator. The student needed assistance with OHP re-enrollment for herself as well as for her younger sister, so they could continue to see their Trillium therapist. Not knowing much about her background, Molly met with the student to inquire more and found out that she is almost 19 years old, and has been the acting guardian of her 16-year-old sister for several months now. They have no family involved in their lives, and both are currently ‘couch surfing’ at different friends’ houses because they have nowhere else to live. The student had started attending a local alternative high school as a freshman back in 2014, but after some time of spotty attendance, and flying just under the radar, she stopped attending school. The school later found out that the small home that she and her sister were living in at the time with their biological mother and step-father was well-known in the neighborhood for having a large number of unaccompanied youth, as well as various other adults also staying there, and was eventually raided by the police for a number of reasons. The house was lost and they had to find a new location to live, but their biological mother left town and abandoned them, and they opened an investigation against their step-father in which they both were victims. Over this past summer, the sisters resurfaced at the high school, wanting to re-enroll. Since then, they’ve been coming to school daily, working diligently, despite having to care for themselves while also navigating numerous systems. Molly connected them with the school district Student and Family Advocate, who works with homeless and unaccompanied youth and families. She came in to meet with the older sister to help her apply for housing, SNAP benefits, as well as Oregon Health Plan for herself and her sister. Molly got the girls some new clothing through Bloomin’ Boutique in Oregon City, checked in with them weekly to review grades and set academic goals, and even helped them to create resumes and apply to various jobs. The following week, the younger sister came to Molly, ecstatic because she was called in for an interview for a retail position at the local shopping mall. After the interview, she was hired for a part-time position there. Despite being so dauntless and hard-working, there were many days when the older sister came to the counseling office in tears because of all of the stresses and hardships in her life. She’s working daily to secure housing for herself and her sister, filling out applications, managing paperwork, navigating healthcare to schedule appointments and obtain medications, trying to find a job to earn money, as well as trying to do well in school in order to graduate and advance in her life. It's amazing how much both of these girls are dealing with in their personal lives, yet they still manage to attend school and complete work. They often talk about their futures and are finally getting to a place where they feel safe and secure. Molly was able to secure an award of $1200 for each of them for living expenses through Building Blocks for Kids, who support youth who are aging out of foster care. These scholarships helped to ease their financial burden, at least temporarily, so they could focus on school and work towards the futures that they dream about. Looking back, it would have been easy for someone to simply assist them with health insurance and move on, allowing them to slip through the cracks like they had once before. But Molly Martinez of Northwest Family Services saw two bright young girls who were forced to navigate adulthood much too soon, and knew she could do more to help make a difference in their lives and to help them navigate their own lives...
This is an amazing non profit and I am honored to work for such an amazing company. The director of this place is beyond amazing and is able to take time aside and show each person how much she cares for each and every one of us. This company is open to suggestions and wants to continue to improve which I think many places seriously lack in that aspect. I have worked here for about two years now and I cannot believe the things that I have seen happen and how amazing it is to work for a nonprofit who not only cares about the community but also cares about their employees. We have the most amazing staff, most of who are over qualified for the jobs they do. They are all caring people who work hard and care about the people that they work with. I truly believe that if you are treated well in a company that it helps you to treat others around you even better. This place is amazing and I don't even have the words to explain how great it is.
The following is an email written to NWFS by a client that took our Parenting Inside Out class
"This is a letter to the boss of Samantha Furlow.
First on the list is to say that Samantha is an invaluable resource to all who meet her. The way she interacts with people to ensure that the curriculum of P I O is taken seriously and positively for the families and communities involved is powerful. Much thanks goes out to Samantha for taking the time to be the best resource she can be. Your teachings were well put together and understandable. With your help we all have grown to be better served for our own lives. Having a person such as Samantha Furlow to guide us as learning individuals was pleasant and welcoming. My thanks and support go to Samantha.
Make sure Samantha is heard and well taken care of, for all the communities sake!
Thank you for the time taken to read this."
NWFS is filled with devoted public servants grateful to serve the community. NWFS fills the gaps for children, families, and individuals in need of support. NWFS is present in schools, faith based communities, social services, community corrections and much more.
Everyday I watch the 70+ employees that make up NWFS go out of their way to provide compassion, support, education, empathy, and respect to the communities that make up the Portland metro area.
The work they do at NWFS, day in and day out, helps the community in a very tangible way. I'm so thankful for their efforts and outreach! They are providing an incredible service to the area and I hope they can continue to do so for many years to come.
I’ve worked for NWFS for five years, during that time I’ve been honored to work with a dedicated, committed staff who work extremely hard, often beyond their scheduled work hours! They believe in the agency mission and are committed to being agents of change. I’ve also had the opportunity, and been encouraged to grow as a professional. The agency culture is dynamic with a variety of grant programs, meeting so many different types of needs, all of which are focused on supporting the needs & growth of individuals and families, often in crisis. I feel gratified to work in a place that reflects my interests and values. I like learning about other cultures, and in a natural way sharing meals & learning about staff from other cultures.
At the end of the day, I go home feeling and knowing that I have made a difference.
Excellent WorkSource Clackamas class topics, plus session leaders are very knowledgeable and committed to the course subject material.
After being laid off earlier this year, I was fortunate to find the career workshops provided by Northwest Family Services. While my previous employer did provide employment assistance with a national outplacement firm, it was primarily through web-based seminars, which I found to have limited impact.
Having attended many of the career workshops offered by Northwest Family Services, I found them to be an ideal resource for my job search. I am particularly impressed with our facilitator, Rob Seemann, who brings a passion to his work, and really goes above and beyond with every class in order to address issues common to the group, as well as individual coaching and insights. Great job Rob, and to Northwest Family Services!
After meeting Rob Seemann and Lily Yurchenko of Northwest Family Services and attending their WorkSource workshops, I highly recommend them to other Clackamas County and Oregon residents. Rob is an excellent instructor who provides straightforward advice based on years of experience. He thoroughly listens to each individual who attends his classes and personalizes the suggestions he offers to match their current situation, which is exactly what people need to be successful with their career goals. Lily is an efficient administrator who is personable, professional and obviously well-organized. I have told several of my friends to attend these classes to learn more about valuable tips they could use to help strengthen their job search efforts.
This organization puts on great programs for regional schools, community, and even the world at large through its website programs such as natural family planning instruction.
One of its programs really changed the way that we interacted with our children in setting appropriate limits for dating. The lasting impact of this organization in improving the lives of program participants is incalculable!
Of all the non-profit organizations that I have supported over the years, none have touched my life more deeply than Northwest Family Services (NWFS). My first involvement was more than 25 years ago when my wife and I attended a FACTS class with our oldest (then 13 yo) daughter. We learned so much over the course of those 4 weekly sessions. Our communication was not only enhanced with that daughter but those sessions helped us set appropriate boundaries and enhanced the character development of all of our seven children. While our family has clearly benefited, the many programs offered by NWFS over more than 3 decades have improved the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of individuals throughout Oregon. Further, its online educational resources, such as its Natural Family Planning curriculum, are being accessed by and benefiting individuals and couples all over the world. NWFS is clearly an Oregon non-profit jewel!
Great place to receive services!
Everyone is always very helpful.
I did a Mental Health Peer Support Specialist training with NWFS and it was the best experience I could have asked for. The staff is amazing at what they do and they show they are passionate about improving the quality of life of every person and promoting empowerment. I hope to be able to attend other trainings offered by Northwest Family Services in the near future. I miss it already!
I love the trainings offered at Northwest Family! I have had the opportunity to take three trainings through this agency. I have left each training with news skills and tools that I can apply in my work with community members. Not only are the teachers professional, and knowledgeable about mental health, they also understand the work. I have bragged about your trainings, and I hope you continue doing the level of work for our communities. A big thank you!
I attended a training recently and Northwest Family Services and was highly impressed with the staff professionalism, knowledge and personable skills to work with the public and to meet the community's need.
Plain and simple, Northwest Family Services rocks! When offering a workshop to our clients, they were extremely flexible. They changed the normal time and day of the workshop to conform to the needs of our clients, and upon meeting them, they even personalized the content to match the skill set of the group so that they would get more out of the workshop. The participants loved everything about the workshop - the information, the discussions, the activities and the presenters! We so appreciate what Northwest Family Services does everyday to help the community - thank you!!
I have been attending the job search workshops of Northwest Family Services for several time now. Rob Seemann is a great career workshop facilitator, he is very lively, and he imparts wonderful learning skills for job searching. Since the week I attended his workshops, I have been getting a lot of phone calls for in person interviews from HR recruiters from companies I applied for, sometimes once to twice a week, which is a great batting average for me, considering my situation of being laid off from work! I encourage those job seekers to attend Northwest Family Services job search workshops! They will equip you with tools to land your dream job!