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.
Decades ago, I was on the streets having ran away from an abusive home, and the foster care system. Were it not for YouthCare I would likely not even be alive today. They provided food, clothing, and many other services, but the most important service they gave to me was teaching me that there were good people in the world. My faith in adults and in people had been shattered by my experiences, and YouthCare helped to establish some trust in good healthy people.
They treated as a valuable person. I had never felt that way before, because the ones who were supposed to love me and take care of me had thrown me away. YouthCare taught me that I am valuable and worthy.
Today I am a happy and healthy and thriving individual. I might have died on the streets, but thanks to YouthCare and all the help they gave me, I get to live a life I could never have imagined as a hungry, cold, homeless little girl on the streets of Seattle.
I am grateful that they are still here to help kids who now must live as I did. I am still in touch with staff from long ago. YouthCare has remained a part of my life.
YouthCare I have accesed a number of there resources including there youth shelter and there drop in center. Any youthcare program offers a safe place with amazing staff. At 16 and being on the streets it gets kinda tough, without youthcare I most likely would be hooked on meth or something. They provide 3 meals a day a snack, showers, and just a place to chill and be safe... if you been on the streets you know that priceless. I do not have one complaint about any of the services I have accesed at youthcare. YOUTHCARE IS ABOSOULUTELY AMAZING!!!!!!!!!
I was on the streets for 8 years. I always had a job, always. But even with $3600 in a bank account, no one would lease me an apartment. There was one scary week-by-week rental place on cap hill with shared bathrooms and kitchens, but theft and drugs were common there and I couldn't bring myself to risk it. After a couple years, I got into STRALEY HOUSE thru YouthCare. I had been going to Orion Center for food and to hang out on days off from work and when I finally got into Straley House, everything started changing. I got 18 months of rental history with them. I was able to save up even more money and have safe place to keep my things with an actual lock on my bedroom door. Laundry. A KITCHEN with FOOD. Absolutely amazing. Straley House got me off the street, YOUTHCARE got me off the street. And now? I make 6 figures working as an FTE with Microsoft. Yessir. They believed in me and I'm happy to say I am paying them back through matched donations and volunteer service. PLEASE believe in this organization. They are true and real.
As one who received services from YouthCare years ago, I will speak for this organization. The services provided to youth by YouthCare are life-changing. The atmosphere in any of their buildings was pure acceptance and love. There is a constant drive to not just provide for the most basic of needs. Young people who reach for assistance will find, in addition to the necessities, the tools that are needed to be both successful and happy in life. They will find a group of people who genuinely care about the struggles faced by children, teens, and young adults and are actually able to help you pick yourself up from the bottom.