Transitional Youth

Who we are

Transitional Youth works to bring hope and healthy transformation to at-risk youth in Oregon and Washington.  We believe relationship is key to discipleship.  It starts with a meal, a conversation, and unconditional high regard.

What We Offer:

• Weekly Street Outreach – Reaching homeless youth on the streets of downtown Portland with the love of God and practical necessities for survival. It starts with a meal and builds into a relationship that honors their value and offers hope for a life beyond the streets.
• Long-term Housing – Referrals come from our outreach, foster care services, treatment centers, other youth service programs,  JDH/jail, and families who need an extension of love and support for their sons and daughters.
• Serving teen and young adult moms (ages 14-25)and their babies
• Vocational Training at our Braking Cycles Coffee and Bike Shop (click here for more info)

Our Mission:

By providing outreach, support, and housing to homeless and at-risk youth, we seek to transform both hearts and lives through compassion, guidance and the grace of God.


To present at-risk youth with opportunities that will cultivate a healthy future.

Statement of Faith:

The Bible is the inspired, authoritative Word of God. We believe there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, in his virgin birth, in his sinless life, in his death on the cross, in his bodily resurrection, in his ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in his personal return. We believe people receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life through a relationship with Jesus.

Our Housing Programs

We see potential in our youth they don’t yet see in themselves.

Ritz Family Ranch Home • Learn More
Ritz Family Ranch – Yacolt WA  – Serving males, ages 18-25.  This country home is a get-a-way from the city and a safe place young men can learn structure, job skills and a work ethic that will help them transition into healthy self-sufficiency upon graduation.

Located just outside the town of Yacolt WA sits a warm family environment for at-risk males ranging in age from 18-25. Here are the beginning steps to transform their lives from the darkness of the streets of Portland and SW Washington.

Junction House • Learn More
Junction House – Vancouver WA – Serving males 18-30.  This home is for young men at a variety of different starting points in life who need a safe and sober place to begin again, build up rental history and be a part of a healthy community of peers.

Vida’s Ark • Learn More
Vida’s Ark – Vancouver WA – Serving females 14-25 – This home provides a haven for young mothers and their babies, who have been displaced and are in need of support and services necessary for a new healthy start that leads to life and parenting skills, as well as education and vocational training.

Beaverton House • Learn More
Beaverton House – Beaverton OR – Serving males 18-25 – A one-year residential program designed to build self-sufficiency, self-respect, and solid healthy relationships.  Work and/or education are key components to this program.

Homeless Youth

It’s estimated there are 500 homeless youth in downtown Portland alone.  There are hundreds more across the metro area and even more aging out of foster care and other youth agencies. 

The reasons behind these kinds of family dynamic breakdowns are complex; from drug addiction, generational poverty and gang involvement, mental health issues, increased costs of living and cuts in support services.

We believe, with your help, we can stand in the gap for our youth and build bridges to a better tomorrow.


Volunteer at our outreach or homes  | *weekly, monthly or for special events | Become a mentor | Teach a life skills class | Become a prayer partner | Fulfill needs on our house/program wishlist | Sponsor educational opportunities | Donate clothes and other items | Allow a youth to job shadow you | Hire a youth in your place of employment | Buy Braking Cycles coffee or bikes | Donate a bike | Invite us to share at your church, business or club
Some Sobering


Portland, Oregon has one of the highest homeless youth populations per capita in the USA.

There are thousands of homeless youth in Portland, Oregon, and Southwest Washington. Their numbers grow annually.

Shelters are full, with addiction and prevention programs also at over-capacity levels.

Homeless youth have a continuous need for survival basics such as food, clothing, and shelter.


Getting Involved!

What an opportunity for us to step up and make a difference together:

• Goals

• Needs

• Participate

Executive Director

Rhona Mahl

Rhona has worked with the marginalized youth of Portland her entire career; youth caught in the cycles of abuse, poverty, addiction, sex trafficking, homelessness, and hopelessness. Rhona knows firsthand the pull of the streets as she too was once one of the youth that she serves today.

Born at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, Rhona’s first home became the family car for the first seven years of her life, along with three of her six siblings, a mother who came from abuse herself, and a father whose addictions and abuse would lead her mother to eventually escape to Portland, the city Rhona now considers home.

Rhona’s childhood was filled with neglect, abuse, loneliness and points of despair so deep she started using drugs at 12 years old, was on the streets as a runaway and a throw away at 13, and by 14 was a teen mom.

As Rhona became a mother at this tender age, she experienced hope for the first time in her life. At 14 she called out to God and dared Him to reveal the reality of His existence. He did, and Rhona never looked back. That tiny thread of hope was all she needed to fight; fight for her baby girl, fight for her life.

Today, Rhona serves the youth of Portland on the very streets she came from. She is the Founder of Braking Cycles, and she feels great honor to be Executive Director for a faith-based ministry called Transitional Youth (

Rhona is the mother of four beautiful adult daughters and the proud grandmother to five. She has devoted her life to God, her family and bringing the marginalized youth of Portland hope through the transforming message of the outrageous love of God, our rescuer and restorer.


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