With a handful of programs, 120 volunteers, five staff members and a strong ethos, the nonprofit p:ear works to help youth exit homelessness.

p:ear does this by forging positive relationships with homeless youths, and through their programs and services. The organization focuses on creative education in non-judgmental spaces and provides five main areas of service. These include cultivating space spaces, education programs, art programs, recreation, transition assistance and food.

These areas of service are all part of p:ear’s main goal, which is to create lasting, meaningful and healthy relationships with youth trying to leave homelessness behind. p:ear volunteers are dedicated mentors, there to show these young people that their lives are meaningful, and that there are avenues for building themselves a future.

It’s inarguable that p:ear makes a difference for Portland’s homeless youth population with their mentoring. Last year homeless youth spent over 22,900 hours inside p:ear’s doors. The services the organization provided ranged from handing out bus tickets, to community networking opportunities, to mental and physical healthcare. And their innovation and energy continues into 2016, with projects like p:ear cycling kit fundraisers, and more.

This week on PRP we featured p:ear as part of our award-winning Community Voices series. You can listen to interviews with key members of the organization below.