YouthCare's education program

The Key to Overcoming the Legacy of Homelessness

These young people have been stopped in their tracks. They risk being denied a fundamental right.

Up to 75% of homeless teens have left school without graduating. Every day on the street makes it harder to catch up again — only increasing the chance that they will plunge into chronic adult homelessness.

Many of the youth in our education programs are forced to build a future while still spending each day wondering where they'll sleep that night. Many are in housing, but not ready for a traditional school environment. A disproportionate number have learning disabilities, often undiagnosed. Most had their education repeatedly disrupted before becoming homeless.

YouthCare’s education programs are designed to help recently and currently homeless youth overcome the barriers. They combine flexible diploma and GED-track resources with intensive case management, drop-in, and housing services. Over the last two years, we have helped nearly 100 students earn their high school diploma or GED, and more than 100 young people enroll in college.  

High School Diploma

Thanks to our partnership with Seattle Public Schools, teens and young adults can work toward a high school diploma at the University District Youth Center (UDYC), alongside other students who share their experiences. Some arrive only a few credits shy of graduation; others start at the very beginning of the high school curriculum. We draw up personalized education plans with each of them — and certified SPS teachers and YouthCare tutors, including volunteers, help them succeed. 


YouthCare's GED program enables students to complete their secondary education at a pace that allows for their individual circumstances. We employ two full-time GED tutors and count on the further support of our many volunteers. Every weekday morning at the Orion Center, they are at the side of young people who are working quietly and diligently to master the necessary knowledge and skills, helping them fill in educational gaps and build confidence for the road ahead.


We partner with Seattle Education Access to help our young people get into college: SEA staff help with applications, prepare youth for interviews, and help them access scholarships and financial aid. YouthCare's case managers and staff across programs, continue to provide crucial support after enrollment.