09 Oct org focus friday: youthcare
YouthCare is a nonprofit organization serving homeless youth ages 12-26 in Seattle. YouthCare builds confidence and self-sufficiency for homeless youth by providing prevention, outreach, basic services, emergency shelter, housing, counseling, education and employment training.
No one grows up wanting to be homeless. The young people we meet are navigating life circumstances beyond their control—they all want the chance to stabilize and thrive.
We must understand the root causes of homelessness to undo them. Homelessness is not a natural phenomenon: it’s a social product. Multiple, and often intersecting, forms of oppression lead to youth homelessness. Institutionalized racism within the overlapping systems that touch young people’s lives—education, child welfare, and juvenile detention—disproportionally push youth of color into a pipeline of homelessness.
YouthCare offers a variety of services that are designed to meet youth where they are at – whether it’s a warm meal and new clothes, support to pursue their education, or a safe place to call home at one of our housing programs, our staff provides holistic and culturally informed services to young people across the city. In 2018, more than 1,100 youth accessed drop-in services, over 737 youth accessed our shelters, we answered 467 calls through our Safe Place program, and 93 young people enrolled in the Orion GED program.
We could not be as successful in this work without support from our community partners, donors, and volunteers. Our partnership with Kaiser Permanente and Swedish have made it possible to bring timely and affirming care to young people and staff – which has become especially critical as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Each week, we are able to source food for our YouthCare Pantry from Food Life Line. Our community has also responded to our rising food needs by signing up to provide a meal to one of our shelter or housing programs.
Providing youth with the basics, and more, needed to successfully engage with our programs is critical. Clean underwear and socks, hygiene items, move-in supplies, interview clothes, art supplies, phones, and laptops are essential to creating dignified environments that lead to healing and transform lives. You can help meet the needs of young people experiencing homelessness by visiting our website.
Brandon* had been living at YouthCare’s Orion Center for three months, and after working with case managers and staff, he was excited to move into one of YouthCare’s housing programs. But he also felt nervous about the transition. He had recently been accepted into the Virtual Youth Barista Employment program but with online classes fast approaching, Brandon worried he’d fall behind since there was only two computers in the house for the residents. Thankfully, we recently received a donation of new laptops for students pursuing their education goals. Brandon was thrilled to know that he would be able to log on for online class with ease! Within a week, he moved into housing and received a new Chromebook to start the school year off on the right foot.
*Name change to maintain confidentiality
YouthCare hosted their annual luncheon today (October 9th) to raise funds to continue serving young people in our community. To watch the virtual Luncheon and to DONATE, click here. To get involved by donating your time and resources in the form of volunteering, visit their website at the following link to find an opportunity that matches your skills and interests: https://youthcare.org/ways-to-volunteer/