YouthCare is an organization with 40 years of experience and national stature. From dry socks and meals for youth on the street, to residential and other site-based programs that make for success upon independence, YouthCare is unusual in this community for its ability to provide — on its own and with partners — services of the necessary scope. Limited only by resources, this organization knows how to wrap every homeless youth in a best-practices “continuum of care.”

Mission Statement
YouthCare builds confidence and self-sufficiency for homeless youth by providing a continuum of care that includes outreach, basic services, emergency shelter, housing, counseling, education, and employment training.
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2500 NE 54th St 
(206) 694-4500 

Dr. Melinda A. Giovengo, PhD 
Executive Director 


YouthCare Programs

Each night in Seattle, nearly 1,000 young people are homeless. YouthCare serves these youth through street outreach, housing, and education and employment programs — working day and night to get them off the streets and preparing for life.

Basic Services
YouthCare provides basic services to homeless young people and helps them obtain life skills, educational credentials, housing, and employment. YouthCare’s street outreach team distributes essential supplies to homeless youth across Seattle four nights per week. Last year, the James W. Ray Orion Center, our hub for basic services, provided over 24,000 meals, and each month, offered a safe space to over 400 youth to get hygiene supplies, take showers, wash clothes, connect with medical care, and access case management.

Finding employment or attending school is hard when your first concern is where you’ll sleep tonight. Our housing options provide youth with a safe space to plan their next step while simultaneously receiving case management and counseling. We offer short-term emergency shelter for those on the streets, as well as transitional housing programs for youth 15-23. Finally, youth can “graduate” into our independent housing, learning how to budget and pay bills, while continuing with a case manager. All of our long-term housing requires that youth work towards education and employment goals.

Education and Employment Training
Many homeless youth arrive at our door with gaps in knowledge, or little work experience. Some arrive simply without the confidence in themselves to believe they can succeed. Our employment counselors work with youth to develop resumes and conduct mock interviews, while our employment training programs teach youth customer service skills, computer repair, or construction work. Meanwhile, youth can work towards their GED or high school diploma at our on-site Interagency Academy, a partnership with Seattle Public Schools.

YouthCare’s Bridge Continuum of Care for Sexually Exploited Youth and Young Adults provides specialized services, including case management, emergency shelter, housing, education, employment training, and trauma-informed therapeutic services to young people ages 12-24 who have experienced (or are at risk of) sexual exploitation.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

In 2012, YouthCare formally launched a homelessness prevention program, comprised of Safe Place (a 24/7 in-person response to youth in crisis in King County), community-based case management for youth at high risk of homelessness, and Project SAFE, which offers clinical consultations to parents of youth at risk of running away or who have already run. Through each program, we are working to help prevent a child from ever spending their first night on the streets. Our community-based case managers work in schools, juvenile detention centers, and drop-in centers, areas where young people might not self-identify as homeless, but still be in need of services like basic needs support, shelter, and counseling.   

YouthCare serves breakfast, lunch and dinner weekdays at the James W. Ray Orion Center. Volunteer support for meeting this basic need is critical. When a group of 5–8 community members prepares and serves a meal, the youth benefit from a good, hot meal, and the volunteers benefit from the experience. This is a great opportunity for corporate groups and community organizations to connect while performing a valuable service.


YouthCare provides a spectrum of services to homeless youth and young adults in King County including education, case management, and housing.

YouthCare has experienced tremendous growth over the past several years, averaging an annual budget increase of nearly one million dollars per year since 2009. In order to manage and sustain this growth, agency leadership have hired development staff, significantly increased volunteer program capacity, invested in an online staffing management system, and will be launching a new strategic planning process in late 2012.

Use of Best Practices
YouthCare is the Seattle based affiliate of the National Safe Place, a network of first responders trained in assisting youth in crisis. Over 60 local businesses and community organization, including Seattle Metro, have received training on how to help a young person seeking help. YouthCare staff are committed to responding to calls for help through their toll free number, and whenever possible, support the youth in being reunited with their families.

Financial Health
YouthCare’s fiscal strategy is to continue to diversify their funding base, by decreasing dependence on government dollars and increasing private fundraising. In 2009, 85% of their income came from government funding. By the end of 2011, government funding made up only 64% of YouthCare’s funding base, while private dollars increased to 36% of this base (with no decrease in government funding).

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

6/10/2013 $5,000.00support Person Centered Planning staff training. YGB 2013
3/10/2013 $20,000.00provide general operating support.
3/10/2012 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/10/2010 $35,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/11/2009 $7,500.00to support the Alive and Free violence intervention training.
3/10/2008 $35,000.00support general operating expenses.
12/15/2005 $30,000.00support the purchase of computer equipment and general operating expenses.


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