The outbreak of COVID-19 has profoundly impacted our communities, businesses, families, and daily lives. Our hearts go out to those affected—particularly to those personally at-risk or who have lost a loved one.
YouthCare serves some of our community’s most vulnerable young people. We cannot shut down—even in dire times. Now, more than ever, young people need safety, shelter, food, and loving care. Our priorities are twofold:
- Providing young people essential, life-saving services
- Mitigating the risk of exposure for young people, staff, and our community
Below, we’ll do our best to answer your questions about YouthCare’s needs and services during this time as well as ways you can help.
What are we doing?
- To prevent the spread of COVID-19, YouthCare’s main office will be closed through May 4th. All donations have moved online and will be shipped directly to our office. Volunteer activities are on hold and our annual luncheon has been moved to October 9th.
- YouthCare has consolidated resources and teams to support the core services of shelter and housing; these programs have all shifted to a 24/7 shelter-in-place model serving a fixed group of young people. To learn more about YouthCare’s programmatic changes, please read our FAQ here.
What are we experiencing?
No doubt, the fear is real. We are cautious about the costs and stamina it will take to get through this. At the same time, we are resolute. We will not quit on young people. Amidst this crisis, our staff are heroes. Send staff a personalized message of support.
What do we need?
Our staff are doing heroic work every day in these uncertain times—but they simply can’t do it alone. Below are five ways you can help young people experiencing homelessness stay safe and healthy during this pandemic:
The best way you can help us right now is by making a financial gift. Responding to this crisis is costly and we need to remain nimble to meet the demands of each day. That requires cash on hand. Every dollar is powerful.
We need more food items to support young people. We also need books, art supplies, games, and other items to stay positive and pass the time. You can ship items directly to us here.
We are deeply grateful for all frontline staff, including Amazon warehouse workers who are showing up every day to ensure life-saving supplies reach those in need. We stand in solidarity with them and their right to protection and safety as employees.
We’re all in this together. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to witness acts of courage and inspiration from our heroes. Help us raise awareness about young people experiencing homelessness and the impact of COVID-19 on our work by sharing with your friends and networks.
Let us know now that you’re excited to join us on October 9th for our virtual annual luncheon! As always, we’ll have incredible stories of transformation and would love to see you there!
Let’s take a moment to thank YouthCare’s frontline heroes continuing to provide shelter and essential services to our community’s most vulnerable youth.
The global impacts of COVID-19 will likely take us more than a generation to fully understand. We hope you and your loved ones are staying safe during this time. In the immediate, please know that your love and care sustain us to keep going. Thank you.
Additional Info & Resources
In the midst of this outbreak, we want to remind everyone that a person’s ethnicity, language, or association with a country or region does not mean they carry the virus. Anyone can transmit or become infected. Let’s continue to support one another and avoid the spread of stigma, discrimination, and fear.
General recommendations from the Washington State Department of Health:
- Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face.
- Stay home when you’re sick.
- If you are sick and wondering what to do, call your healthcare provider before you go to a clinic or emergency room.
- Show compassion and support for individuals and communities most closely impacted and anyone who might be sick.
- Learn and be prepared: Visit the WA Department of Health resource page.
- Washington State COVID-19 website
- City of Seattle Community Resource Page
- King County Department of Public Health webpage (for tips and daily updates)
- Handwashing guide from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- New York Times COVID-19 FAQ & e-book
- Anti-stigma resources unique for COVID-19
Please check back to this page for updates in changes to services and needs.