Our SAGE Youth Residential program provides long-term stabilization for survivors of commercial sexual exploitation (CSEC). Both during their exploitation and prior to it, many of these youth have experienced multiple environmental, social, and biological traumas. This may include sexual abuse, parental neglect and/or abuse, alcohol/drug dependency or abuse, school failure, and high levels of emotional vulnerability. Our SAGE program serves vulnerable youth in the CSEC population by providing a safe and secure setting in which they can experience Support, Achieve their goals, Grow, and become Empowered.
Our philosophy centers around the belief that the youth are not broken and do not need to be fixed. They are children who have been subjected to abusive situations and have learned to adapt to these situations by developing coping strategies and behaviors that have successfully kept them alive but that society might identify as harmful or bad. They do not always identify their experiences as traumatic or exploitative and are frequently resistant to treatment. For these reasons, the program places the focus on providing a nurturing, safe, trauma-informed milieu that will allow treatment to happen when the youth are ready.
Whom We Help
We provide services for up to 12 females at a time, from age 11 to 16.
The frequency and intensity of SAGE services are consistent with the needs of the client as determined by the following treatment team and state regulations:
- medical care from an on-site nurse
- mental health and psychiatric care from on-site mental health clinicians and/or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners
- on-site substance use treatment, individual and groups
- on-site school through a contract with Portland Public Schools to provide ability-specific groupings with two teachers per classroom
- CSEC-specific programming using the Sanctuary Model curriculum
- use of Collaborative Problem Solving as a milieu management strategy
peer mentors, case management, skills training, outreach and engagement
“Working at SAGE opened my eyes to a world I was – maybe purposefully – ignorant of. Very quickly, I was moved by how strong and resilient the young ladies at SAGE are. Their spirit, curiosity, sense of humor, and intensity belie their young age. Setting up their gardens and beautifying their campus/room will go a long way to making their community feel like a home. Every interaction with these young ladies is filled with opportunity. I look forward to working more with the SAGE community, learning about their visions of a thriving self, and how we can help them realize their full potential.” – SAGE Volunteer
Referrals are accepted from DHS, law enforcement, or parents and/or guardians.