YouthCare was founded in 1974 as one of the first shelters to serve runaway and homeless youth on the West Coast. The goal was to help young people find safety today and build a future for tomorrow. This passionate vision continues to drive YouthCare every day. Over the past four decades, YouthCare has defined best practices and developed programs that set a national standard for excellence.


  • 1974: A group of concerned citizens pools their resources to create a three-bed shelter for runaway and homeless youth.
  • 1989: YouthCare opens Straley House, now Catalyst, one of the first low-barrier transitional housing programs for homeless youth in the region.
  • 1998: YouthCare opens Isis at Ravenna House, the first transitional housing program in Washington State to focus on the unique needs of homeless LGBTQ+ youth.
  • 2010: YouthCare partners with the City of Seattle, the King County Prosecutor’s Office, and others to open the Bridge Program, the first residential recovery program in the Pacific Northwest for sexually exploited youth.
  • 2011: YouthCare receives the Seattle Human Rights award, an annual award presented by the Seattle Human Rights Commission.
  • 2016: YouthCare fields a landmark gift from Paul G. Allen to open the Paul G. Allen Hope Center at YouthCare, with 14 emergency shelter beds for youth under the age of 18. This doubles the number of beds available for minors in the City of Seattle from 12 to 26.
  • 2019: YouthCare expands to 14 sites across Seattle, serving over 1,500 young people every year.