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Big Funds for Homeless Teens

Local tech company CBT Nuggets gives back
Shelly Galvin
Shelly Galvin. Photo: Todd Cooper.

St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County (SVDP) has received a $2 million donation to build a home for homeless teen boys — the largest single donation it has ever been given.

The donation was announced as SVDP finishes up construction on its home for unhoused teen girls, which will be completed in January.

The donor, CBT Nuggets, is a local tech company that produces online education materials on information technology.

CBT Nuggets already has a history of philanthropy, according to its director of philanthropy and sustainability, Shelly Galvin. She says the company supports “solutions that help people to help themselves,” like the Drop in a Bucket program they support for clean water, sanitation and gender equality in Uganda and South Sudan. After a few years of international philanthropy, Galvin started looking for a local partner.

“When I started learning about what St. Vincent de Paul was doing in our community, it really knocked our socks off,” Galvin says. The $2 million should be sufficient to fully fund the boys’ home, which will be called the CBT Nuggets Youth House. “As far as planning and executing the project, we have full faith in them,” Galvin says.

Paul Neville with SVDP says he’s thrilled to have CBT Nuggets in his corner. The two groups plan to wait till the girls’ home is completed before starting construction of the boys’ home. “We’re about $200,000 short,” Neville says. “We are going to open regardless; we’ll borrow money if we have to, but we’ll open in January.”

Neville says the goal of the two projects is to keep youth housed and in school. “There’s an 86 percent drop-out rate for homeless kids who are in high school,” he says. “Teens who don’t finish high school are six times more likely to end up in prison, and three times more likely to be unemployed.”

These youth homes are meant to change that.

To donate to SVDP to help with the Youth House projects, go to SVDP.us.