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I love the world of entrepreneurship, and I love the fire I feel when I am driven by passion. After more than two decades of starting restaurants (Red Agave, El Vaquero, Asado Grill, Asado Bistro, June at Midtown), focusing on Slow Food, and a clothing line, Katie Brown Los Angeles, focusing on Slow Fashion, sitting on multiple entrepreneurial boards, mentoring founders of companies and U of O business students, my newest endeavor is by far the most powerful and most needed project I have dedicated myself to: Scorpion Creek Ranch.

Katie Brown, Found, Scorpion Creek Ranch

Katie Brown

Twenty-eight years ago, at the age of 23, my younger sister was diagnosed with schizoaffective bipolar disorder. To say it’s been a painful journey is an extreme understatement. While medications helped, at times she went off her meds and ended up on the streets, homeless and in a full schizophrenic break. Her most recent homeless stint lasted three years. That includes three long, cold winters. The number of times she got arrested, usually for “Civil Disobedience”, or placed on a “hold” for 5-15 days in a psychiatric hospital and then released back onto the streets WAY TOO early… it’s too many times for me to count. After our mom passed away 20 years ago, my dad and I became my sister’s warriors on the frontlines, fighting for her life, over and over and over. To get a person who is having severe mental health issues Civilly Committed one time is damn near impossible. My father and I successfully accomplished this three times. Looking back on the last three decades, I now see the silver lining: through all the pain and all the fighting to get my sister help, I sharpened a serious intrinsic tool: to stand up for those who can not stand up for themselves.

I am very happy to share that after my sister’s 10 month stay at the Oregon State Hospital, she is now off the streets and stable. She has her own sweet one-bedroom apartment, which she has beautifully decorated with plants, white lights, and her own whimsical art on the walls. She manages all her responsibilities on her own.  She takes the bus to her appointments.  She recently bought a super cool retro red Schwinn bicycle from the 60’s and joined the YMCA, where she enjoys taking water aerobics and sitting in the sauna, staying healthy and taking care of herself.

I am grateful. Yet, I realize my sister’s story is an anomaly.  Most of our homeless do not have tireless advocates like my father and I on their side, navigating a broken system.  Rather than receiving help, they perish.

Now my focus is on getting homeless teens off the streets by providing them with the most healing, nourishing, and inspiring environment conceivable so that they can have the highest chance at the life they deserve.

It’s going to take a lot of work, and a big village to pull this off. And boy is it worth it.

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