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August Sabini

"This is where I meet the kids," says August Sabini, sharing a bench with Rosa Parks in bronze at the downtown LTD station. "It's really fun." An outreach worker for the New Roads Program, serving homeless youth, Sabini hits the street on Wednesdays and Saturdays, carrying snacks, socks, condoms, and "bathroom cupboard stuff" in his backpack. Raised a Quaker in Skyview Acres, a cooperative community along the Hudson River, Sabini got started in mental health work as a conscientious objector in 1968. He picked up the saxophone around that time and played in bands that toured the Northeast from the 70s to the 90s. He worked in a residential treatment center, finished college, married Lesley in '91, adopted Rose in '95, and taught English for 10 years to kids of Japanese fathers assigned to NYC. The family moved to Eugene, joining Lesley's sister, in 2002. "There was no work, so I volunteered at New Roads," says Sabini, who wound up with a job at New Roads' Center Point School for kids with mental health issues. "I've never worked so hard in my life, but kids got better." His work these days is varied. "I'll be cooking tomorrow night at New Roads," he says. "We serve lunch and breakfast all week." Catch Sabini on blues sax at the Rooster Jam, Tuesday nights at the Black Forest.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 7 June 2012

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