All young people deserve to be loved and supported. We are here to fight for them.
Over 1,000 young people are experiencing homelessness in the Seattle area today. Each young person has unique talents, abilities, and dreams. The youth we serve are disproportionately Black, Brown, Indigenous, and LGBTQIA+ young adults who have been impacted by systems of oppression and discrimination which refuse to acknowledge their talents and potential. Leeza is one of our young people.
Leeza uses he/him pronouns. He is smart and good with numbers and systems. He is deeply insightful with a quick wit and a calm demeanor. He is kind, thoughtful, and hard-working. Home wasn’t a supportive place for Leeza, and he was relying on friends for housing until he could save up enough money for a place of his own. Leeza had recently graduated high school, secured a job, and was saving money. Leeza was moving forward, until the pandemic hit.
Almost overnight, Leeza’s situation became dire. He lost his job and his income. The libraries and community centers he relied on for resources shut down. Metro routes were reduced or closed, making it almost impossible for him to get where he needed to go. And his social safety net was no longer available to him. Leeza found himself without any support.
At Orion Center, Leeza was offered warm meals, showers, laundry, and case management support services. Orion’s team connected Leeza with YouthCare’s Passages, a transitional living program for ages 18-24, providing a safe home environment and on-site support services to help young people heal the trauma of homelessness and build a path for the future. It is one of YouthCare’s16 program locations.
At first, Leeza stayed in his room. But as he engaged in group activities, he began to build connections with Passages staff and his peers. As Leeza’s relationships at Passages deepened, his community of support broadened, and Leeza began to care for himself. He took a proactive role in managing his mental and physical health and began making plans for his future.
Youth experiencing homelessness are working hard to move forward in the wake of upheaval and trauma. YouthCare provides the foundation of family for young people, celebrating their successes and offering consistency, care, and guidance as they heal. When young people’s needs are met, they can begin to focus on their future, dream about what might be possible, and build a path forward. Now that Leeza is in a safe, stable place with support, he has a new job and is making plans for his future.
Leeza has a bright future ahead of him and we will be there to support him every step of the way! Your support of YouthCare ensures ALL youth have compassionate, powerful, and culturally relevant networks of support they can rely on that value and celebrate them for who they are. In a world filled with challenges and obstacles, Your gift is a lifeline to young people.
We can’t do this work alone. You are the reason YouthCare can serve young people with fierce dedication and can provide a beacon of safety for the youth who need us the most. Your support helps young people overcome their experience and thrive.
Please consider renewing your support of YouthCare today! Your 100% tax-deductible gift will be used to provide young people with safety, stability, and hope to meet their futures.
If you have any questions or would like to make a gift of stock, please reach Chief Advancement Officer Suzanne Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 206.475.5922.
Have you seen YouthCare’s 2021 Agency Update? Enjoy a special video presentation to learn more about our path forward! Watch now