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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Northwest Family Services

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Crime & Law, Domestic Violence, Family Services, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Mental Health, Protection Against Abuse, Substance Abuse Dependency, Prevention & Treatment

Mission: Northwest Family Services improves family stability and child well-being by focusing on the social determinants of health. Since 1983, NWFS has worked to reduce poverty through health, education, employment, and social justice services. Programs and services include health and social service navigation, youth prevention and intervention programs, outpatient alcohol and drug treatment, coalition support for drug free communities, support for youth and families affected by incarceration, youth education and employment success, restorative justice, mental health services, job readiness and placement, couple’s classes, parenting, healthy relationship education, and more. Services are offered in the greater Portland-Salem metro area in both English and Spanish.

Results: With more than 30 years of experience in education and social service, NWFS has a deep commitment to the success of youth and families. NWFS served more than 34,000 youth, teens and adults in 2016. Key Facts and Accomplishments: 1) NWFS has been in the 100 BEST Oregon Non-Profits to Work for over the past 8 years and the 100 BEST Oregon Green Businesses for the past 4 years. 2) What distinguishes NWFS is our focus on child well-being and family stability using evidence-based or best-practice activities. Since NWFS has a wide range of services, it allows us to provide for the multiple needs of the participants we serve in a single setting.

Target demographics: reduce poverty for children and families.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 34,000 youth and adults through all programs and services.

Geographic areas served: Oregon and Southwest Washington

Programs: Youth Programs: Academic Success Programs Mentoring Programs After-school Programs Peer to Peer Leadership Mentoring At-Risk Youth Human Trafficking Awareness Summer Activities for Youth Suicide Prevention Drug and Alcohol screening and treatment Adult Programs: Professional Counseling Anger Management Job Readiness and Placement Financial Literacy Basic Needs Parent Education, e.g., Love and Logic Parenting Inside Out (PIO)—for people in the system Healthy Relationship Classes for Singles and Couples

Community Stories

56 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

The NWFS SymptoPro Fertility Education course has caused us to grow as a couple in ways we didn't necessarily expect. Talking about this topic has prepared us for the future and caused us to joyfully anticipate the process once we're married. It has also caused a lot of discussion about our family planning intentions already. There are a lot of things to know and understanding your body (or your wife's body) is always a good thing.

Client Served

Rating: 5

To Ravin Brown- Parenting Inside Out Instructor
I just had to say THANK YOU! When I first showed to your class I was DREADING it. I didn't think I could possibly learn anything I hadn't already from just simply being a Mommy myself. Boy was I wrong. AND, not only does it help me feel like what I am calling a "Powerful Parent", but it works in every day life situations as an Adult. The roleplay we did for problem solving and effective communication and solutions helped me with dealing with CPS but it also helped me today in an unfortunate event; normally I would get mad and impulsively respond to the drama and instead I blocked the person off my social media and phone, I coached my own emotions and let myself cry and then get angry and then weighed out pros and cons or responding face to face or just letting it go. Then I sought emotional coaching from my Fiancé and my Mother.
So, in summary, I wanted to pay my respects by telling you this story, because what I'm learning is truly improving my life in a way I didn't think was possible. I am so glad God put you in my life as my "Instructor" (not sure what to call it lol), because you have taught me how to control my own emotions and not have a mad outburst.

Client Served

Rating: 5

A letter from a client who received Family Navigation Services from Olga Rodriguez, NWFS family Navigator:

Hello, my name is Romi and I would like to share my story. I was in a financial bind, leaving one job to start a new one and had a week lapse between jobs. I was late on my rent, and an angel, Ms. Olga, called to let me know a former advocate, Amy, asked her to give me a call to see if there was anything she could assist us with. I took a deep breath and knew this was a God sending me a blessing. Ms. Olga came to meet with me. I told her my family dilemma and right away took me to Programa Hispano where I could apply for rent assistance. Ms Olga also took me to food pantries so my family could eat and have clothes. She also helped us with bus tickets so I could get to work. We are so very grateful and blessed to know that there is help from good people who care. Thank you to all caregivers involved in assisting my family. You all saved my heart from breaking and letting my kids down. I am now lifted and in good spirits.

I can't thank you enough Olga and your team of help!!!

Sincerely yours,

Romi and Family

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Jenny was a student in our program last school year, and she came to me this year seeking help with transportation. I checked in with her occasionally last year, but she had great grades and attendance, was connected with ongoing counseling services and support, so I didn’t meet with her too often. This school year, her family has had some financial difficulties, and her boyfriend was displaced from his home so her family took him in an are currently supporting him. With two other siblings already, their family is now struggling to support everyone, and as the oldest sister, she has gotten a job to help support everyone. She’s only 16 years old, and has to work about 4 days a week after school, and since both parents work, she has to ride the bus to and from work every day. All she asked was for a month-long bus pass to get to her new job, and after that she would purchase her own bus passes going forward, so I applied for a scholarship through a local foundation to purchase a month pass through Trimet. Instead of just a month pass, they awarded her $100 loaded onto a Youth HOP pass, and I was able to give that to her. She was so surprised at the amount and extremely grateful, and let me know how much of a huge help that will be for her and her family!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The following is an email that was sent to us by a client who took our SymptoPro Fertility Education course.

"I really couldn't be more pleased with the education and support we have received by taking the SymptoPro course from Northwest Family Services. My husband and I were very nervous to take the course and attempting NFP for the first time but our fears diminished so quickly when we saw how much constant support and guidance we received throughout the learning process."

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Northwest Family Services was honored with a Clackamas County Community 2018 Impact Award for their efforts to address the causes and conditions of poverty. The award was presented by the Clackamas County Board of County Commissioners. Northwest Family Services board members, staff, and a community partner are shown in the photo. It is a well deserved honor for all the work this amazing organization does for the greater community.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Iliana, Ericka, and NW Family Serivces,
Thank you all for supporting my education through an IDA account. The education I've gained with your help will serve my family infinitely.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Vibrant Future Youth Coalition, also known as The Unity Club, is a group of youth interested in creating a healthy, encouraging, and all-embracing atmosphere at their High School and in the community. They represent the youth sector of Vibrant Future Coalition, which works to prevent underage drinking and drug use within the North Clackamas community.
Maven, a 17-year-old Latino girl, was missing school frequently because she was having to babysit her niece and nephew while her sister was out partying and then in rehab for meth addiction. Unity Youth Coalition members gave her advice and support and helped her babysit on the weekends and after school. Maven was able to find supportive and non-judgmental peers and adults who genuinely cared about her, while also getting involved in healthy activities so that she does not have to turn to substances and go down the same path as her sister.
Since the Youth Coalition came into existence, the students have done a lot to change their environments. They helped put on Safety Fairs that highlight the dangers of drunk, drugged, and distracted driving. They have submitted public testimony at numerous public forums in regards to prevention legislation, they’ve helped hold community listening sessions, and they have supported and helped each other navigate through some very difficult times. These are only a few examples of the many ways the group works to make each individual, school, and community better, and change lives along the way.

Promises

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Kelly is a 7th grader at a middle school in Oregon City where Northwest Family Services (NWFS) staff works with high risk students to provide them and their families with much-needed resources. Kelly and her five siblings live with her parents and grandparents in one house. There is little to no money for her to do any extra activities outside of school. The NWFS staff person reached out to the homeless liaison at the school to see if Kelly would be able to get her school softball fee waived so she could participate on the girls' softball team. NWFS heard back that if the mom would fill out the registration form, she would be able to get the fee taken care of. After the registration was taken care of, NWFS heard back from the mom in an e-mail that read, “All done with Kelly's registration! Thank you all so very, very much! You truly have no idea how happy you all have made my Daughter. With all the struggles our family has faced in the last few years, my daughter's beautiful smiles have become increasingly rare. I cannot thank you all enough for allowing us to see her beautiful smile again.”

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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...

Client Served

Rating: 5

I would like to thank NWFS again for their help in my employment search. I had my phone interview yesterday and it went great. I won't know the results until next week. However, I stood as suggested and took my "confident" stance I learned in class . What I learned in your workshop was invaluable. Even if this job does not come through, after your resume workshop and interview workshop I feel like I have tools to succeed.
Thanks !

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Sincerely,
Joseph B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They provide essential services to the local community that help the community thrive:)

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have now worked for NWFS for 6 months and I absolutely love it! My supervisors are AMAZING and always super supportive! My coworkers are always so amazing and have been so helpful with teaching me my new position. I love everything about this job and am so happy to be a part of it!

Client Served

Rating: 5

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."

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a local pastor I have used the Northwest Family services to come in and do a work shop for our marriages (couples) and I was impressed with the material, personnel, partnership and over all willingness to serve our community.
Thank you

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Excellent WorkSource Clackamas class topics, plus session leaders are very knowledgeable and committed to the course subject material.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!