Hybrid Gives Back in a Meaningful Way
Hybrid Real Estate purchased Alder House, here in Eugene, for the purpose of reestablishing the lives of homeless youth ages 16-21.
By choosing to use your local Hybrid Real Estate Broker, you are supporting this community endeavor and are building something that will impact a young person's life in the most dramatic of ways.
We want to thank the Lane County communities for their continued support over the past 13 years. We began our journey in the Eugene/Springfield markets in 2008 just as the great recession was setting in. Seasoned agents joined the brokerage with the idea of building something meaningful. Through the years that meant technology, leadership in our industry and community, and a belief and focus on giving our clients that best possible experience in real estate. Hybrid Agents are very excited to begin a new part of our journey that involves offering a hand up to the homeless youth in our area.
After carefully researching and understanding the most need of impact in our community, Hybrid Real Estate focused their efforts on providing housing to unhoused youth ages 16-21. There are over 500 unaccompanied youth in the Eugene area alone. These kids are hidden in our community, trying to blend in, and suffering from fear and many times trauma. They don’t have money for a security deposit or first and last month’s rent. They don’t have anyone in their lives that can support them and give them a hand up into safety and stability.
Teens and young adults become homeless for a myriad of reasons. Their home life isn’t safe, they have been rejected or abandoned by their parents, abuse, neglect, drug use, etc. It is very difficult for them to find landlords who will rent to them based on age alone.
Our goal is to provide safety and stability for unaccompanied homeless youth. Looking Glass will manage the kiddos, meeting them where they are, giving them life skills and support to prepare them for what life brings. This project is based on offering the safety of housing first. That safety will bring them stability and then allow for rehabilitation and ultimately reestablishing their lives.
The kiddos we house are unaccompanied and unhoused, meaning not only were they unsheltered, they also do not have a guardian. A lot of these teens attend school, they have jobs, and they are young without adult support. They have gone through programs to get their life back on track, but there is simply nowhere stable for them to go. Most landlords would never rent to a 16-year-old kid, that does not have money for first & last month’s rent, plus deposit, without a co-signer or guardian. Well, that is where we step in!
Why are these kids in this position?
We all hear outsiders looking in saying things like “I can’t believe these kids would rather live on the street than follow their parents’ rules.” as if it were an easy choice. Being in this position as a child is incredibly scary and heartbreaking. These are kids that have been unable to be taken care of by their parents, due to drugs or mental illness. A large number of these kiddos have been rejected by their family unit because they are LBGTQ. Some have childhood trauma that has been insufficiently treated and the child has turned to self-medicating. These are kids that have worn out their welcome on their buddy’s couch or have fled unsafe homes.
Did you know that there are more than 500 of these kids enrolled in 4J? That’s not counting Bethel, Springfield, and our surrounding communities. This is an epidemic and most of these kids are hidden in plain sight. There is an organization called 15th night that works with our schools to identify these kids and connect them with supportive services. It is called 15th night because once someone reaches their 15th night living on the street they are statistically going to be reoccurring or chronically homeless.
Looking Glass Community Services:
Looking Glass Community Services is a wonderful nonprofit operating right here in Lane County. They provide holistic services to kids and families who are struggling with a variety of issues. They operate a 24/7 youth hotline (541) 689-3111, offer counseling, provide vocational & education services, have drug rehabilitation programs, and homeless youth services. Most importantly, they are safe, meeting kids as they are with no judgement.
They operate a drop-in site where homeless youth can wash clothes, keep their important documents safe, pick-up resources, use the computer and just hang out with their peers. Station 7 is also available to the kids that need emergency housing. They provide a safe space where kids can take a deep breath and let down their guard. Station 7 is a short-term solution, lasting only a few days, but has an incredible success rate. As of 2019, Lookingglass was able to reunite these kids with safe, accepting family members or guardians 78% of the time; While offering them important, supportive services to help them flourish and stay on track.
It is extremely difficult for the remaining unaccompanied kids to get stable without established housing. Living on the street is full of unknowns. They get stolen from, their camps get “cleaned up” and everything they own gets tossed in a dumpster, they are prime targets for predators and are at high risk of being exposed to the drug and sex trade.