Place Category: Specialized Court Projects
- NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH AND FAMILY CENTER
- PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
- PLANNING & IMPLEMENTATION
- PROGRAM OUTCOMES
Summary: The Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) is a non-profit organization in Portland, OR that offers wrap-around services to self-identified Native Americans of any tribe. Their broad menu of programs ranges from a food pantry and affordable housing to the Positive Indian Parenting Program and a domestic violence healing circle. NAYA is inthe Portland Metro area and partner with a variety of organizations across the city, including the Multnomah County Social Services and Police Department,to offer assistance to Native Americans and Alaska Natives residing in the Portland area.
Self-identified Native Americans
Program Running Length:
NAYA started offering services in 1974 and was incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)(3) in 1994.
P: (503) 288-8177
F: (503) 288-1260
5135 NE Columbia Blvd.
Portland, OR 97218
NAYA is located in the Portland Metro area, down the street from a rehabilitation house for previously incarcerated individuals reentering into their community.
Portland is a large metro city. It offers a robust public transportation system and a wide array of social services. It is dissected by four separate rivers and bordered by the Washington State line to the north, the Cascades Mountains to the East, and a wooded backdrop to the West.
As of the 2010 census, Native Americans and Alaska Native make up about 1% of the Portland Metro Area. It is the one of largest concentrations of urban Indians in the US.
The Native American population in Portland struggles with high rates of poverty, domestic violence, addiction and incarceration. In addition, as in many metro areas, the Native Population lacks culturally appropriate services to address their needs. NAYA aims to foster community within the Native population and advocate for their needs. Additionally, they address issues of collateral consequences and reentry for Natives returning to their communities after incarceration.Any self-identified Native American and their families can use NAYA services. However, it exists to primarily serve the low-income and homeless population and will serve non-Indian families as well.NAYA was started in 1974 by a group of the Native American elders living in the Portland Area, who saw the need for services and community-building. Since then, the organization has evolved into a broad organization that addresses the collateral consequences of incarceration, meets the needs of at-risk youth, and builds community for the urban Indian population in Portland. It received its official non-profit status in 1994 and continues to grow the number of Natives it serves.The goal of NAYA is to offer culturally appropriate services to underserved Native Americans and their families residing in the Portland Metro Area.All of NAYA’s programming is approached through a traditional lens. When they first began, they were initially focused on youth. However, NAYA hasexpanded over the years to offer a broad range of services to every age group. The organization is split into 11 different buckets:
- College and Career Services
- Community Economic Development
- Community Engagement
- Critical Services
- Early College Academy
- Elder Services
- Foster Care Support
- Parent Involvement
- Youth and Education
Within each of these buckets lies other services. For example, the Positive Indian Parenting Program is under the “Parent Involvement” bucket and the Domestic Violence Healing Circle falls under “Critical Services.”
NAYA is located down the street from a rehabilitation house for people reentering into their communities post-incarceration. They address many of the collateral consequences experienced by this populationsuch as lack of housing, addiction issues, and access to basic needs like food and water. They host a food bank, help identify varying housing opportunities, and can even help with family reunification through their Foster Care Support programs.
Intervention services are offered in addition to basic “critical” services. NAYA hosts a weekly domestic violence healing circle which incorporates a wide array of traditional practices, offers emergency planning, and offers education services. In addition, their Intimate Partner Violence and Pregnancy Program, a partner program between NAYA and the Multnomah County Department of Human Services, offers counseling and rehabilitation programming for pregnant women and/or women who have recently given birth.NAYA’s Executive Director is Paul Lumley. Each individual program then has its own department director and staff. Additionally, administrative staff help oversee the reception and intake of the organization as well as the evaluation of its programs and fundraising. NAYA is governed by a diverse, eight-personBoard of Directors, and Chair Eddie Sherman. Board members come from a wide array of tribal and non-tribal backgrounds, and work in both the private and public sectors.The case flow process depends heavily on the program; however, the basic flow is listed below
Eligibility Criteria: Self-identified Native American who meets the specific program criteria.
Referral Process: Often referred to programs in-house through other services. Referrals also take place through partner programs.
Supervision and Compliance: NAYA requires that all their participants follow the basic rules of the center. These include but are not limited to: not posing a danger to staff or participants, not consuming alcoholic beverages or illegal substances on the premises, and obeying program-specific rules.
Termination Criteria: NAYA will terminate clients from their programs if they repeatedly disrespect the stated rules and requirements of the center and/or its programs.NAYA receives funding from a variety of sources. It has garnered support from the private-sector, foundations, and both local and state organizations. NAYA also relies on donations and support from its local community through monetary gifts and volunteer time.NAYA has received assistance from a variety of organizations. Some of the services they offer, such as alcohol and drug rehabilitation, are referred out to their partners. Additionally, some of their specialty programs, such as the Positive Indian Parenting Program (PPP), were developed by outside sources and integrated into NAYA.To offer their wide array of services, NAYA has established a network of interdisciplinary partnerships throughout the Portland Metro Area. They work closely with the Native-focused programs such as The Native American Rehabilitation Center (NARA), Relodge Transition Services, and The Seattle Indian Health Board, among others. In addition, they partner with Multnomah Country Behavioral health, local homeless services and the Portland Police Department.NAYA’s breadth of partnerships and interdisciplinary services have added greatly to its success. Additionally, a dedicated staff and a supportive local community have helped to sustain NAYA’s programs. The lack of culturally specific services offered in the area make NAYA a unique organization, further adding to its success. Lastly, constant pursuit of reliable funding and grant opportunities have helped NAYA make a sustainable impact in the Portland area.Similar to many other non-profits, NAYA lacks a reliable source of funding. However, their well-respected reputation has helped them find and solidify funding from various sources. Additionally, working with an at-risk population can make it difficult to track clients after services.Over the years, NAYA has come to see the large amount of need there is among the Native Community outside of juvenile population. As a result, they have continually added programs that are needed such as energy assistance for low-income families and offering a safe space of elders to come and spend time with one another. Additionally, through the continual expansion of their programming NAYA, has learned the importance of developing an efficient administration to oversee and manage the different arms.NAYA serves, on average, about 10,000 individuals from over 380 tribal backgrounds annually. Each specialty program, such as the domestic violence healing circle, tracks their individual program participation numbers.NAYA’s programs continue to have a positive impact on the community. In 2013 – 2014, with just 5% spent on overhead costs, NAYA spent 86,000 hours strengthening their community through their 25 distinct client-facing programs. They helped75% of individuals in their employment assistance program find full-time work and helped 179 individuals find stable housing, and 623 access home energy assistance. A total of 153 people received NAYA’s foster care support and over 140 people participated in Domestic Violence Healing Circles.The Portland community has been very receptive to NAYA. Although, initially, some of the community was skeptical, residents have come to realize that NAYA is providing both services as well as a safe place of many Natives in the Portland Metro area.
- NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH AND FAMILY CENTER
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