Since 2002, p:ear has mentored over 5,000 youth and provided over 308,000 hours of healthy, engaging and nurturing programs. p:ear has identified a strong model for helping people end their homelessness: assist them to recognize themselves as capable people while providing truly supportive relationships and opportunities for growth while they navigate the personal and difficult journey out of street life. We love these kids.
p:ear’s Kitchen And Food Program offers two fresh, nutritious meals per day for youth and helps them let go of at least one worry, “What am I going to eat today?” p:ear strives to offer local, organic and wholesome options along with conversations on the importance of these practices. p:ear’s food program is the hub for community meals that provide homeless young people with the opportunity to create and share food with other students, staff and volunteers and instills a sense of belonging while providing an experience for them to know they are cared for, appreciated, and worthy of being nurtured. We also offer a Thursday Night Supper Club, where the youth learn specific cooking and recipe following skills, and then eat a family style meal together.
p:ear offers individualized mentoring Programs through Education Arts and Recreation (that's the acronym, folks!). These workshops and field trips foster community, help build a sense of self-worth and teach these youth how to trust again.
p:ear instills a curiosity that creates life-long learners. While p:ear’s Education Program supports youth pursuing their GED and High School Diplomas through individualized support, academic counseling and instruction, we also offer youth experiential learning of the core competencies through project learning. We explore a living literacy, decide our physical, biological and ecological place in the world, discern how we relate to other people or how we measure and quantify everything from a star to a recipe for apple pie. p:ear also helps seek financial aid and scholarships for those wishing to continue their educational journey. p:ear youth teach us everyday.
Art and music can leave words behind and communicate directly to, and with, the heart. Art builds bridges between people, ideas, and cultures. p:ear’s Arts Program brings music, culture, the performative and visual arts, theater, circus and movement into the lives of youth. Through these workshops, one-on-one instruction and cultural events, youth deepen their emotional, motor and cognitive skills. p:ear also works with youth who seek a career in the arts by offering Tech Tuesday, a graphic design class, as well as “p:ear prints,” an informal job training program where the youth can be hired to design and fabricate custom silkscreen t-shirts and posters. As part of Portland’s monthly Art Walk, we host monthly showings at our on-site gallery. Here, youth and guest artists show their work side-by-side. p:ear youth keep 90% of the proceeds from the sales of their work, a positive way to generate funds.
We believe that all of us deserve beauty and depth in our lives.
Homeless youth rarely have the opportunity to travel beyond their urban context. Their bodies are unhealthy, their minds are stressed and their hearts are searching for connection to trustworthy people, beauty and peace. p:ear’s wilderness recreation program has a direct impact on all three of these issues – providing a safe place for the opportunities that empower youth to learn, grow and heal in mind, body and spirit. Through the core activities of cycling, hiking, cross-country skiing and whitewater rafting trips, youth build the skill sets to connect with and care for the environment and build a community beyond their lives on the streets. Our trips have proven to be one of the most effective ways to promote trusting positive relationships, build self-confidence and a sense of responsibility and instill stronger critical thinking and decision making skills while encouraging a reverence for the environment and a desire for a healthier life.
p:ear works: job training program
p:ear provides 3 Job Training programs: p:ear barista school, p:ear gallery (which includes the p:ear prints program), and the bike mechanic school. These opportunities provide meaningful ways for youth to learn, explore and lead while earning stipends, certifications and income. p:ear provides a sense of tomorrow for these kids. Or, in other words, hope.
p:ear barista school
In partnership with Nossa Familia Coffee, p:ear barista school offers an in-depth, on-site, ten week training exploring all aspects of becoming a barista in today’s competitive market – from understanding bean sourcing, to milk textures, to customer service and basic money management. The program helps to build their confidence and their resumes, and provides consistent, on-going mentorship while youth engage in the activities associated with learning the beautiful art and science of preparing and serving exceptional coffee.
Once the students graduate from the training, they can apply to run the retail window, serving some of the best espresso drinks in town!
Youth work with local artists and professionals to learn the technical skills needed to create custom artwork. From acrylic paints and silk screens, to mastering Adobe digital design software, we help youth achieve their artistic goals. Youth can work on independent projects, on a collaborative team or with a mentor to create a specific piece. We offer monthly showings at our on-site gallery where youth and guest artists show alongside each other as part of Portland’s monthly Art Walk and p:ear youth keep 90% of the proceeds from the sales of their work, a positive way to generate funds.
p:ear bike mechanic school
In partnership with Sellwood Cycle Repair, this ten-week program provides an opportunity for youth to learn the basics of bike mechanics. They can perform complete bike builds, explore bike systems, true wheels, overhaul bottom brackets and install shifter and brake cables as well as housing. Youth participants build confidence, critical thinking and life skills. They graduate with skills prerequisite to entry-level positions in professional bicycle shops.