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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

YouthCare

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services

Mission: YouthCare works to end youth homelessness and to ensure that young people are valued for who they are and empowered to achieve their potential.

Target demographics: homeless youth 12-24 years old

Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 1,200 young people

Geographic areas served: Seattle

Programs: Engage - YouthCare engages youth through outreach, meeting basic needs, and providing safe places to sleep. Staff help youth build trust, map out plans for their next steps, and support youth in achieving these goals. Stabilize - YouthCare’s housing programs, offering more than 150 beds every night in Seattle, help young people build independent living skills, and provide a stable foundation to pursue education and employment opportunities that will lead to thriving independence. Prepare - our employment training programs help young people gain marketable job skills and confidence while learning how to write a resume, interview with employers, and maintain paid employment. YouthCare offers GED- and high school diploma-track programs designed to help homeless youth reconnect to school and work towards post-secondary options.

Community Stories

80 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

16 DavidScottKeller

Client Served

Rating: 5

As an adolescent male I found myself rejected from my own family and on the streets of Seattle, back in the 1980's. My very first morning, homeless, at 16 years old, I was introduced to Seattle Youthcare's Orion Center. That was when it was a small little "office" on Terry Avenue. From that day on, Youthcare was the only guiding light for my present and future. They provided housing, sustenance, counseling, education, clothing, medical needs and a safe place to exist off the dangerous streets. Through the many services at Youthcare, I completed my GED even before I snuck in to the FWHS Class of 1987's graduation ceremony, that I should have been walking in. I then received aid and admission to Cornish College of the Arts, where I studied briefly as a Theater major. Each and everything I was provided by Youthcare, helped shape the person I am today. I am an executive assistant in the Silicon Valley, supporting a top Executive of a large software company. I have also explored acting on stage and screen, encouraged by Orion's theater program. And I am currently studying music production through Berklee College of Music. Thanks to Youthcare, I am a successful, happy, healthy and established man. And I now support Youthcare every opportunity I get with charitable donations, time, anything I can to see this organization flourishes. I hope that others see the value in Youthcare and contribute generously.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an incredible organization filled with an amazing staff of dedicated individuals.

Mimi P.

Donor

Rating: 5

Children ( youth) in Seattle don't have to live on the streets plus they are mentored into education / training and jobs.

3 Patty N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been privileged to interact with YouthCare in a couple of different capacities. In one case the organization was the client for a Master's project. I serve on the board of another professional association which chose YouthCare as the organization of choice to support for the year. We purchased a tile which one of the students had created and auctioned it off at our benefit event for additional proceeds.
I have toured the Orion Center a couple of times and am always impressed with the quality of the programs, the caring professionalism of the staff, and the extensive and well-thought out services they provide.
I am honored to be able support the organization in various ways and will continue to do so as much as is possible.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

YouthCare has been in the business of helping homeless teens for generations! I volunteer at at house for young people from 12 to 18 years of age. The kids and the staff are like a second family to me. So I guess you could say they give me a "home," too. YouthCare touches many lives. And we ALL are the better for it.

2 Diane171

Donor

Rating: 5

As a previous volunteer from Alaska Airlines, working at the Youth Center and fixing breakfast for the young men and women, I was immediately impressed with the staff and all the young people that came for breakfast. They were all very thankful and courteous . I was so impressed that I continue to make the Youth Center the recipient of my donations on an ongoing basis. Our youth must be given a fighting chance to succeed in a difficult world and the Youth Care Center is providing that chance every day with their support and facility to provide a safe, supportive and comfortable place for our youth on the street.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am I child and family therapist and a researcher on youth homelessness working in the Seattle area. As a therapist, I have worked with dozens (maybe even hundreds!) of clients who were connected to YouthCare in some way. In each and every case, I am always thrilled to learn that a client is being served by YouthCare becuase I know they will receive excellent support and compassionate service. I have known clients at all levels of the agency--outreach, case management, shelter, transitional living, etc. In all instances I have been impressed by the expertise and passion demonstrated by the staff. In my mind, YouthCare is undoubtedly the greatest resource available to homeless young people in the Seattle area.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've donated clothing and money, in the past, to Youthcare. But, after attending a fantastic luncheon (which raised, not only funds, but awareness for me!) last spring, I decided to donate time, as well. I had met a couple of women that served dinner at the Orion Center and they asked if I'd like join them sometime. Sign me up! Since then, I've felt honored to assist in preparing meals and, the best part, smiling and laughing with young people. The staff is very gifted, recognizing the stress so many youths experience being out on the streets. The place is welcoming and encouraging-hopeful. As a mom (and one that has my own personal story), I appreciate what Youthcare has accomplished and will continue to support this great organization!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've served a couple of times at this Youth care facility. I think it is vital that outreach to at-risk teens especially those that are homeless. Great experience with the staff and I hope to serve soon again.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved in supporting YouthCare for 10 years. First as a staff member, then a donor and advocate, and now a board member. I am always in awe of the pure dedication and hard work of the staff and board. The mission to get young people off the streets and preparing for life is a simple one, but the work is not simple work. I am proud to be a part of this work and know that the focus of everyone involved in YouthCare is always about helping young people succeed. Please support this organization. Our young people deserve it!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have long been a supporter of YouthCare - as I have become more active over this past year as a volunteer and as a Board Member I have become more impressed each month with the depth of excellence with which YouthCare and its terrific staff operate. I am proud to be associated with this organization and love introducing my friends to this nonprofit having amazing impact.

2 Mary384

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been extremely impressed by Youthcare's team (in social services so much depends on who is working with the clients), their integrity, their values, their commitment (they go above and beyond in ways big and small to improve the lives of their clients), and their strategy (don;t just provide a ht meal or a place to sleep but work with young people in need every step of the way).

Board Member

Rating: 5

Through all my interactions with YouthCare, as a volunteer, donor and Board Member, I am consistently impressed with the level of care, thoughtfulness, expertise and professionalism shown by all those involved in this incredible organization. It is a really tough world for our young people and it genuinely feels like YouthCare is making a difference, one young person at a time.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthcare is a fantastic organization that meets youth where they are without judgement, offering a wide range of services and involvement. As a weekly volunteer at the drop-in center, we offer a place to come take care of themselves, do activities, and visit together. The youth are great, appreciative and respectful with better communications skills than any number of people I can think of.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

YouthCare is a great organization serving homeless youth. I volunteer to provide a lunch meal once per month. The staff do a good job of having a relaxed and supportive atmosphere as they engage the young people they serve. Often as we serve lunch, the youths thank us.

Gin_

Volunteer

Rating: 5

YouthCare is a tremendous organization that does everything it can to respect, protect and empower the youths it serves.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I work as a volunteer helping to serve dinner. Every time I have gone, I found the center to be clean, well-lit and inviting to all the youth that would come. There is a sense of appreciation, too, of the good the center does for them as every single meal ends with at least a few of the kids thanking the volunteers for dinner. It has the feel of a safe space and on the only time I have witnessed an altercation among the youth, it was quickly taken outside an deescalated by staff. I'm very impressed with the services they provide and feel it makes a real difference which is why I continue to volunteer, if only to help in a small way to a greater cause.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Along with my coworkers I have been volunteering with Youth Care for over ten years providing hair and make up services for the annual prom and rounding up donations for gift bags to be given out at the holiday party. Youth Care and the Orion center staff strike a perfect balance of structure and flexibility in working with our volunteers. For many of the folks I work with this is their first time volunteering and the experience they have with Youth Care makes them want to sign up year after year. I love that in addition to the essential and emergency services provided that there is also energy put into creating fun events and meaningful experiences like the prom and holiday party. I appreciate every opportunity to support Youth Care and our downtown neighbors who use their services!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

YouthCare contacted CPS regarding my daughter based on lies told to them by another youth. Instead of contacting me youthcare contacted CPS.. Youthcare based on someone else's lies ruined my daughter and my life. I had to pay a lawyer $5000 to prove that youthcare lied and contacted CPS based on a jealous youths lies.. I paid 5000 to keep my daughter but cost me our housing. This situation made me lose my housing and has ruined our lives.. all because youthcares employees believed a street kids lies..THANK YOU FOR RUINING OUR LIVES

Comments ( 1 )

profile

YouthCare 10/01/2015

We are so sorry to hear about the challenges you are facing. All YouthCare staff are mandated reporters and are required by law and licensing to inform child welfare of any allegations of abuse and neglect. It is CPS’s role to investigate whether the allegations are founded or not. We are unable to discuss specific cases in a public forum, but please contact us at info@youthcare.org if you have further questions.

Donor

Rating: 5

I became aware of Youth Care at my workplace when a couple of the staff spoke to us. They provide a necessary life support for youth on the streets, many of whom aged out of the foster care system and have no where else to go, others whose families have abandoned them, and still others who are addicted to drugs or find themselves in prostitution in order to survive. Youth Care has a passionate, dedicated group of volunteers and staff who are tireless in their efforts to assist teens and young adults get off the streets and on their feet, successfully helping them to go on to lead productive lives. If it weren’t for them, many of these kids would have a much harder life, even hopelessness and tragedy. They are my favorite charity. Please help them with whatever you can give and in whatever way you can.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a social worker for Children's Administration, Youthcare has been one of my top referred resources. I have been amazed by the depth of their services and the impact it has made on my clients.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can't say enough wonderful things about YouthCare. I volunteered with the organization for the first time over a decade ago. Now, I'm entering my third year running monthly styling workshops for youth in partnership with the One Eighty Foundation. The staff has an extraordinary ability to stay focused on the youth while still nurturing the volunteer's experience. Organized, consistent and always appreciative, the staff are exceptional. And the youth! They are unbelievable- relaxed, fun, open and thoughtful. After over 25 years of being involved with endless nonprofit organizations, I strongly recommend YouthCare. Any way that you can get involved, please do.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The government does not support homeless youth in the ways one would hope. Youth Care is an amazing organization and they fill a vital role in the Seattle community. Social workers help homeless kids with everything from the basics of food, shelter, and a shower to tutoring, job hunting, and counseling. The stories the youth tell of their struggles are heartbreaking. This organization needs our support financially and from volunteers who help with things such as preparing meals, tutoring, serving on the board and providing professional services. Please give them your support!

Deanna Z.

Donor

Rating: 5

YouthCare is an organization that makes a lasting change in the lives of young people. I can't think of an organization that is making a bigger difference for our community.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been involved with YouthCare since the mid-1980's, initially as an attorney representing and advocating for young people in the criminal justice and child dependency systems and later as a volunteer and donor. This wonderful agency is staffed with incredibly capable, competent and caring individuals. Because of their boundless efforts and dedication and strong support from the community, YouthCare has rescued and, in some cases, saved countless young lives. And for me, I gain such personal fulfillment and meaning working as a volunteer. The young people I have encountered while they attend school, participate in the educational/vocational training, and use the clothing bank, hygiene center and meal service are kids who are generally desperately in need of the services YouthCare provides and have been victimized, abandoned and forgotten. This agency and its services improve the quality of their lives and give them hope for the future every day...

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a mother, it is obvious just how much support young people need to get a good start in life. The obstacles these kids face are enormous and certainly not of their choosing. Youthcare tackles the tough stuff and provides life-changing interventions that put these deserving young people on the path to stability and success. I am proud to be a volunteer and supporter of Youthcare. In my mind it is the best nonprofit in Seattle, period.

1 Kiki S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for youth care by cooking and serving lunches at the Orion center. The center really provides amazing essentials for young people who are really down and out. Giving them an opportunity to be safe, cared for and understood. Allowing many to move into a more stable phase and hope for the future. Really great work and an awesome place to volunteer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered as an activity leader in 2013 at youth care orion center. I loved facilitating a dance jam for youth who were eager to engage and express themselves.
I feel so grateful to have been involved with this organization. I was amazed at how down to earth and professional the staff were. The youth care community for the at risk youth was shaped by respect and empowerment. The resources and opportunities youth care provides are in touch and adaptable to the real world these youth face. Programs like barista training, resume assistance and dressing/ training for an interview, and construction working degrees all centered around empowering youth with tools to become independent. Youth care is a place of compassion and growth building.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Erika and I volunteered at YouthCare in January of 2014. My Washington Conservation Corps crew and I served lunch one day for a couple of hours and collected food donations at the Whole Foods down the street the next day. It was a humbling experience that I will never forget. We were able to restock their shelves with canned goods and other packaged foods. It felt good to give back to my local community, knowing the kids would have hot food.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The many success stories of YouthCare tells all about knowledge, passion and dedication of the staff . I recently attended an orientation for Volunteers. The presentation was one of the most informative and honest discussions of homelessness youth.

Our community owes YouthCare a huge thank you for all their efforts!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered at YouthCare Orion Center as a kitchen cook and server quite a few times in 2013. The volunteer team who I worked with under Michele from CSL was excellent, and we were always in sync with each other. To see these kids with nowhere to go, come in, dry off, and get a hot, wholesome meal, prepared with love, and be so extremely appreciative was always such a soul-nurturing, extremely rewarding experience.

I'd do it again in a heartbeat, if I'm ever living in Seattle again!

Donor

Rating: 5

Working downtown, I see on a daily basis, the need for organizations like YouthCare that provide an avenue off the streets for young people. I am confident that when supporting YouthCare, I'm helping provide access to safe housing, caring adults, and employment training programs.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As part of a church group that provides a meal once a month at Youthcare's Orion Center in Seattle, I am always impressed with how organized the center is, and how friendly, helpful and on-track the staff is. Most of all, I love that the center provides the opportunity for volunteers to put nourishing food in the bellies and smiles on the faces of the kids who come in for a hot meal and a taste of community. I'm so glad that Orion Center is here for the young people who come to their door.

jfaronson

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am constantly impressed by the staff, kids and volunteers at YouthCare. The staff and volunteers know the mission, and know how to accomplish it. I always overhear some amazing story from the kids. For example, a resident travels 2 hours on the bus just to get to work and another 2 hours back.
The key to it all is giving the kids a safe place. Great job, everyone.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was drawn to YouthCare by a friend who volunteered there. My first exposure to YouthCare was a volunteer project of painting one of the houses. The staff was very organized and really optimized their volunteer resources and constantly expressed their gratitude for everyone's efforts. I have since started working with some of the kids with financial education and it is gratifying and inspiring to see these kids engaged, motivated and interested in making their lives better. There is no culture of dependency that I can see. I can see any investment of time or money in YouthCare paying off in a huge way by creating an environment and support for these kids to thrive later on in life.

Chieftovia O.

Donor

Rating: 5

Over the Summer, I had the privilege of touring YouthCare's Orion Center. I was literally blown away by their warm welcome. Randi, fellow staff and volunteers were not only hospitable, they all seemed really happy to be there.

Aside from shelter and food, YouthCare provides useful resources for our youth. What impresses me the most is that within these walls, youth are given an opportunity to receive an education which is a gift.

Throughout my life, I've learned that many (material) things can be taken away from you to the point of feeling empty but once you receive an education...NO ONE can ever take that away.

Kudos to everyone at YouthCare!! You're doing amazing work and it's not going unnoticed.