Creating a regional center for excellence for the care and treatment of Oregon’s youth
Building on a 54-year heritage of providing residential care to some of Oregon’s most vulnerable and marginalized children and youth, Parrott Creek is working with local and national thought-leaders to re-envision how we conceptualize the care, treatment and physical spaces provided to system-involved youth in residential settings. We are developing sector-leading, transformative, and culturally responsive approaches to individual, group, and residential treatment and are placing our organization at the heart of statewide efforts to meet the ever-changing and dynamic needs of children and families. In particular, we are responding to the growth in demand for mental health and drug-treatment services and for programs that can reverse the disproportionate impact of behavioral health challenges on BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ and other disadvantaged communities.
Trauma that youth have endured prior to their stay at Parrott Creek include emotional abuse, physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, mental illness in the home, domestic violence in the home, an incarcerated parent, drug use in the home, and/or divorce.
We have a successful track-record in our programming: youth reoffending rates, at 12%, are half the state-wide average, two-thirds of youth (67%) complete their treatment goals and 92% report positive changes in their lives.
Parrott Creek’s 80-acre property is located in Clackamas County just outside the Portland Metro region. The property includes wetlands, creeks, meadows, and forest. The current 12,000 square feet of buildings are located on a 5 acre area at the northern edge of the property; preserving the majority of the land as a resource for nature therapy, indigenous environmental stewardship, and community access. The current buildings can serve up to 20 youth in treatment at any given time.
Sadly, Oregon is failing its youth. Research published by the Oregon Health Sciences University in 2022 found Oregon ranks 2nd in the nation for drug related deaths, first for needing but not receiving treatment and, worse still, first in the nation for the percent of the population 12 and older with illicit drug use disorders. Further analysis shows a 49% gap in the provision of substance use treatment services. In Oregon, black youth are 3.7 times more likely to be detained or committed to juvenile facilities and 50% of children under 18 who have contact with a parole/probation officer or a child welfare caseworker will experience homelessness before the age of 25. These harrowing statistics point to massive holes in the social fabric of our communities and it is these gaps in services that Parrott Creek seeks to fill through the expansion of new care and treatment facilities.
THE BRIGHT FUTURES PROJECT
We are building 28,000 square feet of new housing, education, treatment, recreation, and administrative space in the same site area. The new facility will double our existing capacity to care for up to 40 youth on site and provides an opportunity to broaden our array of services to fully meet the needs of Oregon’s communities.
We are creating modern, trauma-informed, and culturally responsive buildings that use cutting-edge design to support the healing work of the residents and staff, allowing us to serve an increasingly diverse demographic. Our redevelopment will create a regional center of excellence for the care and rehabilitation of children and youth.
The principles guiding our project design are: Let Youth Be Youth, Site Stewardship, Practical and Cost Effective, Flexible Adaptive and Resilient, Healing and Restorative.
Parrott Creek serves a diverse population and the expansion of our facilities will better address the current disparities youth experience in their interactions with the justice and child welfare systems, as well as other systems of “care”. Currently, over 45% of youth we serve come from communities of color, compared to their statewide average that is 15% of the population. To this aim, our development, design, and construction team is striving for:
- Equity-Centered Design. The buildings will be designed and programmed to be welcoming to youth who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color, and responsive to their families/communities. The buildings will also be accessible to those with varying abilities.
- Youth Engagement. The design team is engaging Parrott Creek’s resident youth population in activities that are happening to their home to ensure the new design for the complex is responsive to their lived experiences and the final outcome supports their treatment and well-being. The project team is also collaborating with Harvard University and University of Oregon on multidisciplinary graduate design studios using the Parrott Creek site as their focus.
- Youth Interaction with Diverse Professionals. Parrot Creek youth will have the opportunity to interact with and see a diverse group of people engaged in the development process (development, design, and construction) in order to give them greater exposure to a diverse group of people and industries for future career opportunities.
- Target Businesses Participation. The team has a goal to achieve 30% BIPOC- and Women-owned Business Participation in the design and construction of the buildings. Our team has achieved this goal with the design and engineering team and will continue to target similar diverse participation goals during construction.
Environmental sustainability is crucial to our operational outlook through energy savings and for the health of youth residents and staff through an enhanced indoor environment. The rural setting makes green building, land stewardship, and environmental resilience a critical component of the long-term financial sustainability for Parrott Creek. This includes a responsive design to fire risk and climate change. To this aim, our development, design, and construction team is striving for:
- LEED Gold Certification. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification provides a framework for healthy, efficient, carbon and cost-saving green buildings and is the most widely used green rating system in the world. LEED certified buildings are proven to save money, improve efficiency, lower carbon emissions, and create healthier places for people. The project be held accountable for the project’s sustainability goals through this third party verification system while also striving for Net-Zero!
- Indigenous Site Stewardship. Parrott Creek is located on the ancestral lands of bands of the Chinook, Kalapuya, and Northern Molalla peoples. We strongly believe that nature is healing, restorative, and that it cannot be owned. We are collaborating with Tribal partners via their Cultural Ecology & Trauma Healing Project to connect indigenous knowledge on the site’s environment and landscape, as well as providing access to these community partners to embrace cultural practices (such as the planting of First Foods) that predate acquisition through colonization.
Parrott Creek has engaged partners in the development, design, and construction industry to support their efforts to transform the campus and the work/outcomes of our residents. Design and engineering consultants were selected with a lens of equity, trauma-informed design, design excellence, and sustainability expertise. The team leaders are Adre, El Dorado Architects, and Walsh Construction.
- Adre is an equity-centered real estate development firm, is managing the project for Parrott Creek. Adre seeks to develop buildings that create social and economic benefits for Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) through the creation of affordable homes, mixed-use developments, and facilities for mission-driven organizations. Their focus is on design excellence, development innovation, environmental stewardship, and equitable outcomes. Anyeley Hallová and Joe Swank are leading the project for Adre. https://adre.dev/
- El Dorado Architects is an integrated architecture, urban design, curatorial, education, and fabrication practice. El Dorado has made a name for themselves doing visionary work for nonprofits and foundations in both planning and design. Elisandra Garcia is El Dorado’s Director of Engagement and a Design for Spatial Justice fellow at the University of Oregon. She is focused on urban violence and trauma-informed design and brings that body of research and experience to their practice. https://eldo.us/
- Walsh Construction is a preeminent contractor in the Pacific Northwest, with vast experience on community-centered projects, affordable housing, sustainability, and target business outreach. They are a key team member to help Parrott Creek achieve the project goals. They have a history of engagement and expertise that will ensure that the residents and staff of Parrott Creek are seamlessly operating during the 14 month disruption on site to their operation. https://www.walshconstruction.com/
For more information, contact Robbie Leggett, Bright Futures Campaign Director: firstname.lastname@example.org, 971-421-3042