Working a shift at Virginia Woof Dog Daycare, Delilah Stevenson gently scrubbed strawberry-scented shampoo into a French bulldog's fur while listening carefully to her supervisor's instructions: Wash gently under the dog's arms. Hold her chin up. Scour between the toes. But Stevenson, 22, is learning far more than how to bathe a bulldog.
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KGW NewsChannel 8
Virginia Woof grows business and options for homeless youth.
The Portland Tribune
Taking your dog to day care usually just gives your pooch a play date. At Virginia Woof Dog Daycare, your dog could make a real difference in the lives of at-risk Portland people.
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Dog day-care center creates portal for homeless kids by David Austin. Helping hand - The program aims to get youths off the streets and give them the means to live on their own.
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From Outside In to the dog daycare business. "Is today the 10th?" asked a young woman filling out paperwork in the lobby of Outside In. Actually, it was the 14th, as the staff member at the desk informed her softly. The exchange illustrated a challenge faced by the Portland homeless-youth advocacy agency: how to help street kids, whose lives aren't centered around the calendar or alarm clock, transition to the structure required by a job?
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Our stories capture the voices of some of the people we have helped become independent. While these stories are both inspiring and heart-breaking, they demonstrate the true life situations that people in Portland are dealing with and how Outside In is doing its part to help.
"Homeless youth have circumstances out of their control that put them on the streets and they may have gotten off-track. But they can still change. Before I came to Outside In, I had 11 interviews in one year. It was a frustrating year that left me feeling deflated. I knew I had to do two things: get an education and get some help with job training.
While working on my education at Outside In, I was also working on building skills to find employment. I went through the job training program at Virginia Woof and had great success. After the program, I was able to get a full time job. Now, I’m balancing a full-time job and college. It takes a lot, but my mind is set on where I want to go."
"Our chocolate lab Riley cannot stay home by himself because he has major separation anxiety. I never knew a dog could destroy a couch and chair in one day. We took him to a day care that didn’t work for him so I went on line to check the list recommended by the Humane Society. As I read the names, Virginia Woof jumped out at me. I pulled up their web site and as I read I knew it was where Riley needed to be.
What really impressed me was that Riley would go to a place to be taken care of and at the same time he would be helping a great program for young people. Since he has been going to Virginia Woof his whole demeanor has changed. He knows when he is going to doggie day care and the closer we get the more excited he gets. His eyes light up and the tail is going a hundred miles a minute. When we get to the door he tries to push it open to get in quicker. The interaction everyday at day-care seems to have given him a sense of confidence which he takes every where. We are very grateful to Virginia Woof and all the great people who work there for all that they have done for Riley and us."
Linda, owner of Riley
"My favorite part of working for VW is the great staff. The love they share for the dogs and the time they put into training me and other young people is amazing. Being with dogs all day is all I could ask for!"
"Virginia Woof has the nicest facility at the greatest location, making delivery of my dog, Blue, both convenient and enjoyable. The staff seems genuinely happy to greet Blue and to entertain him throughout the day. I leave Blue in their able hands and depart for my office without a thought. Knowing I am supporting an offshoot of Outside In makes even writing the check a joy."
Christi, owner of Blue
"Virginia Woof is an excellent place to learn how to be a leader of a pack of dogs"
"I can’t even begin to tell you how thrilled we are to be bringing Louie in to Virginia Woof. We can see that Louie is learning things from his stays there. It’s nice to know that when you drop off your "child" that they aren’t just thrown into a room with toys. You guys really provide the whole package and then some. It’s a win, win for everyone involved. Your program should be the blueprint for all dog day cares.
We love having Louie there. He comes home happy & tired. What more can we ask for? Thank you so much for all of the effort you put in to working with the dogs. You all are amazing."
Kelly, family member of Louie
"Happiness is acceptance."