Anthropology exhibit showcases homeless youth in Yamhill County

Ragged pieces of cardboard line the walls of the Linfield College Anthropology Museum, a backdrop for the latest exhibit, “Runaways and Throwaways: Homeless Youth in Yamhill County.”

The exhibit, presented by the Linfield Sociology and Anthropology Departments, is the work of anthropology senior and student curator Shannon Merrick. It features photographs, quotes and displays to capture the experiences and struggles of Yamhill County’s homeless youth.

The process of creating the exhibit was one that began early in the year for Merrick during an internship with Yamhill County Prevention Programs where she took part in youth outreach.“With my experiences there, I was inspired to raise awareness about the homeless youth issue in our own community, something that is primarily unseen and often denied,” Merrick said.

There are currently 380 homeless youth within Yamhill County. Merrick hopes the exhibit will shed light on this prominent issue affecting the community.

“The most important part of this entire thing, and what I want to highlight most, is the impact I’m hoping to have on the community,” said Merrick, who worked with Keni Sturgeon professor of anthropology, to develop the exhibit. “Teenagers need a safe, supportive, stable place where they can eat, sleep, hang out, be themselves and find acceptance. Both a drop-in center and emergency shelter are desperately needed.”

The display is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday through August in the museum, located in 121 Walker Hall. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Merrick at or 971-221-9656.