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Contents of the McGinnis Mansion Refurbishes Portland, Oregon Sexual Minority Youth Center
Date:10/4/2007

Signature Hospice Oct. 9 gift to resource center is just part of what is

needed at local nonprofit for teens.

WILSONVILLE, Ore., Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- On Tuesday, October 9th, volunteer crews will give a new home to an estimated $75,000 in furniture, arcade games and supplies. These and other items, unused for at least five years in the former McGinnis Mansion in Beaverton, will be donated to the Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC).

Volunteer crews will move an air hockey game, exercise equipment, a music system, sofas, supplies and enough furniture to entirely refurbish the 2,000 sq. ft. facility located at 2100 SE Belmont Street. Signature Hospice, part of Avamere Health Systems, has donated all the furniture. The Signature Hospice program, which is now home-based in Washington, Multnomah, Marion and other counties breaks ground a freestanding, state-of-the-art, in-patient medical facility for terminally ill patients the next day, October 10. The gently used furnishings will replace the torn, wobbly and stained furniture now at the center, which, when open, serves up to 60 at-risk adolescents three days a week (open Wednesdays from 4:00 -- 9:00 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 4:00 -- 11:00 pm). SMYRC serves youth in Multnomah and Washington County, with a wide variety of programs, resources, counseling, and life skills. The program, part of the nonprofit social service Cascadia organization, also provides food, clothing and assists in locating housing for homeless teens.

The center is a safe alcohol and smoke-free supervised environment, offering everything from counseling to art classes to entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. It is funded by county grants and donations. Program manager Jonathan Weedman, a handful of part-time counselors and about 40 volunteers staff SMYRC.

"In addition to decent furniture and equipment for these youth, the SMYRC program needs much so more from the community," says Trey Malicoat, MS, president of Signature Hospice and major donor and volunteer at SMYRC. "Suicide is the leading cause of death among these teens, the CDC and other studies have called this population the center of the epidemic of homelessness."

Malicoat says that SMYRC operates on a shoe-string "and is the only safe haven in a perfect storm." Malicoat, is a former clinician and educator who has focused on the effects of change on life functioning since the early 1990's. His comprehensive understanding of change has allowed him to work with victims of the Columbine High School shooting, the World Trade Center tragedy and at numerous other regional crises.

"Studies document a dramatic increase in risks for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQQ) youth including the risk of suicide or suicide attempts," states Weedman. "These kids have a very real risk of experiencing violence (either at school or in the community), homelessness, increased substance abuse, including injection drug use, and risky sexual behaviors that could lead to diseases, infections, pregnancy or violence." Weedman not only manages the entire SMYRC program, he is a mental health counselor, volunteer director and tries to raise funds and awareness for the program.

What & where: SMYRC volunteers move furniture, equipment and supplies

from the former McGinnis Mansion, 7100 SW Scholls Ferry

Road, Beaverton, to the SMYRC location, 2100 SE Belmont

Street in Portland.

When: Tuesday, October 9, 2007

12:00 - 2:00 pm and 5:30 - 7:30 pm (photo opportunities

available at both locations)

About SMYRC:

The only center of its kind in Oregon, the Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center provides safety and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LBGTQQ) youth age 23 and younger. With their peers, professional staff and volunteers, they gain self-confidence, develop personal power and learn life skills in a tobacco, drug and alcohol free environment.

Located in Portland, OR, SMYRC annually helps more than a thousand LGBTQQ youth at the resource center, and through individual and family counseling, leadership development activities, outreach and public speaking, and specialized skill building programs. SMYRC helps at-risk youth succeed in their education, cultivates peer and community support, improves personal health, and fosters employment readiness. To learn more about SMYRC, please visit http://www.smyrc.org.

About Signature Hospice:

Signature Hospice is building an independent freestanding hospice facility (the only independent facility in the region) that will offer immediate accessibility to a holistic team of healthcare professionals, physicians, nurses, home health aids, social workers, counselors and trained volunteers 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. Hospice services are covered 100% by Medicare, Medicaid and most commercial insurers.

Currently operating an active home-based program, Signature's mission is to enhance the life of every person they serve. Headquartered in Wilsonville, OR, Signature Hospice is a subsidiary of the Avamere Family of Healthcare service solutions for seniors in 30 communities throughout Oregon and Washington. Through its home health, independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, dementia care, rehabilitation therapy, and hospice care professionals, Avamere offers the highest quality of care in a choice of settings.

CONTACT:

Trey Mailicoat, President

Signature Hospice

503-962-9933

-or- Mara Woloshin 503-241-3834/503-310-4504


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SOURCE SMYRC
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