Northwest Family Services, a Milwaukie-based youth development and social services nonprofit, celebrated its 30th anniversary with more than 60 friends, board members, donors and staff at its headquarters earlier this month. 

What was started by a small group of people has now served hundreds of thousands since it began. NWFS, founded in 1983, has a $3.3 million budget to serve 20,000 annually with a staff of 60. 

Rose Fuller, founder and executive director, said: “Our intention wasn’t to be an agency of a certain size. We just focused on the people who needed our assistance. As we refined our mission to support child well-being and family stability, we continued to expand our services.”

In the mid-1980s, NWFS received a free space at what is now the Portland Providence Medical Center. After raising $1 million in a capital campaign, NWFS found its own home in Milwaukie in 2009. 

NWFS Jobs Department Manager Iliana Fontal said, “Our new location in Milwaukie has allowed us to increase our presence in the Clackamas community. Since 2009 we have been able to receive with open arms and doors many people inquiring for local social services like employment assistance. We are proud to contribute to the Clackamas economic development by helping people find jobs.”

Currently, NWFS provides programming in nine school districts designed to equip students with skills to make healthy choices, such as avoiding drugs, alcohol and gangs; creating positive goals; establishing healthy relationships; and doing well in school. Adult programs focus on the skills to identify or develop a healthy relationship, money management, job readiness and parenting. 

Professional counseling services are available as well. All programs and services are available in English and Spanish.

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