15th Night – It Takes A Community

February 15, 2023

When Jon Ruiz, former Eugene City Manager and Greg Erwin, a local business owner, learned from Looking Glass Community Services, that youth are more likely to experience chronic homelessness if the community doesn’t intervene within 15 nights, they were determined to rally the community around a solution. Their vision was, and is, to ensure that a youth never had to choose to spend a 15th night on the street.

15th Night is a youth-informed community effort to reduce the number of youth experiencing homelessness by providing support so that they never step onto the street and to intervene quickly if they do. In order for this effort to be successful, we knew that we needed to get input from the youth we were hoping to serve. One of the things that we learned from them is that staying engaged in school is a vital factor to keep kids off the street. With this information, 15th Night created a network of service providers, community leaders, and volunteers to provide support that would help keep youth connected to school and safely off the street.

Northwest Community Credit Union (NWCU) President and CEO John Iglesias was one of the first leaders to come to the table to help find a solution, and NWCU has been with us ever since.

“Our ongoing annual support for 15th Night is, in part, our recognition of the invaluable intervention 15th Night provides. Helping troubled teens off the streets, and offering them safety at night, allows them to stay engaged with schooling while they find their footing. The transition to adulthood can be bewildering and challenging, particularly if a teen has no appropriate adult role model in life. The outreach and encouragement of 15th Night helps link troubled youth to support at an extremely vulnerable time, and diverts a pattern that often leads to homelessness. I am also personally very thankful for the work they do; my own foster son needed this assistance in finding connection to our family. I can tell you how important it is to provide a safe space for young adults and youth to connect to services—or a future foster family.” – John Iglesias, NWCU President and CEO 

NWCU annually donates funds to 15th Night to help us fill the gaps when needs can’t be met by local service providers or other community resources. We are so grateful for their ongoing support and know that we truly could not do this work without folks like John Iglesias and the NWCU team. 15th Night is a community effort and each of us has a role to play when it comes to creating solutions to end youth homelessness. If you are interested in donating to 15th Night to help us fill the gaps, please check out our website!

A HUGE thank you goes out to John Iglesias and Northwest Community Credit Union. Thanks to you we have been able to provide so many youth with the resources and supplies they need to stay engaged in our community’s resources!