night in Seattle, up to 1,000 young people are homeless or unstably housed.
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.
Outreach and Basic Needs
Outreach and drop-in services are based at YouthCare’s James W.
Ray Orion Center, where young people can shower, wash clothes, get nutritious
meals that are served three times a day, and work toward stability with case
managers. YouthCare’s outreach team goes out into the community several days
each week to connect with homeless youth, meet their basic needs, and encourage
them to access additional services with YouthCare.
Shelter and Housing
emergency shelter programs provide a safe alternative to sleeping on the
streets. Our goal is to reunify families where possible, and connect young
people to stable housing when returning home is not an option. YouthCare’s
transitional and independent living programs focus on stabilizing homeless
youth and fostering independence, and offer access to case management, chemical
dependency and mental health counseling, life skills coaching, and support with
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.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Through YouthCare in 2014:
Nearly 1,400 young
people accessed basic services during drop-in hours at YouthCare’s
James W. Ray Orion Center, including access to showers and laundry, referrals
to shelter and housing opportunities, and much more.
Volunteer teams and dedicated staff served over 30,000
young people found safety in
our emergency shelters, including 249 in YouthCare’s Young
Adult Shelter (YAS).
Nearly 2/3 of these young people
exited shelter into improved housing situations.
young people were housed in our
transitional living programs.
these clients exited transitional housing into more stable housing
youth worked towards
their goals with case managers.
employment training and education opportunities.
these clients obtained unsubsidized employment or enrolled in college
within 3 months of program completion.
responses to youth ages
12-17 in crisis were made through Safe Place.
those who called in crisis were placed in a safe housing situation for the
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.