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Mike Langley

"I started playing music in junior high," says Mike Langley, who grew up in Ottawa Hills, outside of Toledo, Ohio. "I've played in lots of garage bands." Langley dropped out of Defiance College and in 1975 hitchhiked to Memphis, where he sold his guitar to buy food. He fell in with a group of "Christian hippies" associated with the Shiloh Youth Revival movement, based in Dexter, Oregon. "We did yard work and carpentry to support ourselves," says Langley, who formed the band Commonwealth and moved to Eugene in 1976. When Shiloh folded, he went to work at Cafe Glenwood. "I managed Glenwood on campus for 20 years," he says. "That's where I learned about street youth." As a volunteer at the First Christian Church's free Saturday breakfast, Langley saw that the "mall rats" he hoped to serve were not comfortable around homeless adults. With a donated space in the basement of the Eugene Evangelical Church, he founded the non-profit Hosea Youth Services in 1997. Open 2-7 pm MWF, HYS offers a solid meal plus showers, laundry, and access to other services. Kids who play music can join Langley in the "Ragamuffin Church" music room after the Wednesday evening meal. Langley and his wife Jeanie raise Kiger Mustangs on their Wild Ones Youth Ranch west of Junction City.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 21 July 2011

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