Every year our neighborhood of Ballard does a little something different for Black Friday. Local shops and businesses donate a portion of their Friday sales to a local charity. This will be our second year partnering with YouthCare. In addition to donating 5% of our sales for the day, we will be kicking off a weekend clothing and shoe drive to help collect needed items for homeless youth.
Unfortunately, Seattle is experiencing a rise of homeless people throughout the city. Each night in Seattle, up to 1,000 young people have no safe place to sleep. With over 40 years of experience, YouthCare builds confidence and self-sufficiency for homeless youth by providing outreach, basic services, emergency shelter, housing, counseling, education and employment training.
Facts about Youth Homelessness
• 35,000 students in WA public schools were homeless in the 2014-2015 school year, a 9% increase over 2013-2014
• 40% of homeless youth identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ); many were kicked out for coming out to their parents or guardians.
Facts about YouthCare
With multiple sites and a continuum of individualized services, through YouthCare in 2015:
• Nearly 900 young people accessed basic services during drop-in hours at YouthCare’s James W. Ray Orion Center.
• 426 young people found safety in YouthCare’s emergency shelters, including 249 in YouthCare’s Young Adult Shelter. 45% of exiting youth entered into improved housing situations.
• 153 young people were housed in YouthCare’s transitional living programs, with 62% exiting into more stable housing situations.
• 81% of youth ages 12-17 in crisis through Safe Place were found a safe housing situation for the night.
We were first introduced to YouthCare by our friend/stylist Mellicia Marx of Poplin Style. One of the things that Mellicia does to help is donate clothes and her time to style outfits for graduates of the YouthCare Barista Training and Education Program. These young folks are trained in food and customer service in partnership with FareStart. YouthCare works with youth in the Barista program to encourage confidence and give them the tools to succeed. Prior to graduating, they do a styling session with Mellicia and get to keep the outfit for future job interviews.
I personally have attended several of these styling sessions to help young kids build a basic work wardrobe. They truly appreciate the help and are excited to look for a job with their new confidence. It is very humbling and uplifting to hear their stories and why they appreciate everything that is provided for them through YouthCare.
We have collected shoes in the past but, this year we felt that we could do more, so we will be donating some more shoes and would appreciate anything you can bring from the list below.
- New underwear and boxers
- New socks, tights, leggings
- Hooded sweatshirts
- Rain-proof jackets
- Gloves and Hot Hands hand warmers
- First Aid supplies (such as Ace bandages, etc.)
- Hygiene supplies
- Gift cards (Target, Fred Meyer, Amazon.com, etc.)
- Gently worn shoes
- Gently worn professional clothing items
- Accessories – handbags, jewelry, scarves, hats, etc.
Please bring in all donations to re-souL from November 25th – 27th. We’ll make sure they get to someone in need and help them get on the right foot to finding a new job.
Want to learn more? Follow this link to see other ways you can help YouthCare this holiday season.
Thank you for your time and interest in YouthCare.