Homelessness is a complex issue at any age, but for homeless and at-risk teens, the challenges can become exponentially more difficult. Looking for housing, a job, a warm meal or even a way to get to school can present daunting obstacles.

With the goal of improving the odds for these youth, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon is expanding its support and partnership with New Avenues for Youth (New Avenues), a Portland-based nonprofit working to achieve better outcomes for homeless and at-risk young people. 

“Our community’s homelessness issue is very complex and subsequently very challenging to overcome, particularly for youth and young adults,” said Angela Hult, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility for Regence. “Our goal is to partner with New Avenues for Youth in a way that enables the organization to continue innovating the solutions they develop and provide in response to youth homelessness, ultimately creating greater equity in our community.”

Regence works with a few select nonprofits each year as Community Partner Organizations (CPO). In addition to providing funding, Regence collaborates with each CPO to create thoughtful, mutual, ongoing partnerships that help forge sustainable, positive change to improve the health of our communities.

Regence’s 2016 CPO program is supporting two New Avenues’ initiatives that complement each other by focusing on reaching and effectively serving diverse, high-need communities and individuals.  The CPO program is providing funding to support the organization’s planned service expansion into East Multnomah County, one of Portland’s highest-need areas; and helping to fund equity training for the organization’s staff and board.

“Regence’s generous financial and volunteer support has a community-wide impact, and helps not only provide greater access to services and improved outcomes for youth experiencing homelessness in East County, but furthers our efforts toward achieving greater equity, social justice and sustainability,” says Sean Suib, Executive Director of New Avenues. “We are grateful to be chosen as a Regence Community Partner Organization, and for their commitment to improving the health and welfare of vulnerable young people in our community.”

About New Avenues for Youth

Since 1997, New Avenues for Youth has impacted the lives of more than 20,000 foster, at-risk, and homeless youth through a range of services that address basic needs and safety, provide opportunities for education and career, and help youth achieve self-sufficiency. For more information about New Avenues for Youth, visit www.newavenues.org

About Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon

Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, headquartered in Portland, has been serving Oregonians since 1941 and now provides approximately 750,000 members with comprehensive health insurance solutions. As a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Regence is part of a family of companies dedicated to transforming health care by delivering innovative products and services that change the way consumers nationwide experience health care. For more information, please visit regence.com, facebook.com/regencebluecrossblueshield, or twitter.com/regenceoregon.