Homeless Youth on the Eastside?
Contrary to widespread belief, the Eastside has its share of homeless youth. In fact, in its fiscal year ending in June 2012, Friends of Youth served 2,527 youth, aged 11 to 24. This represents an increase of 26 percent from fiscal year 2011, on top of a 20-percent rise from 2010. By year-end FY 2012, homeless youth made up a full one-third of our clients.
This is a dramatic worsening of already-grave circumstances. Not one youth was out there on the street by real choice. Facing the monumental task of surviving day to day, most are, in distressing proportions, living with legacies of abuse, untreated mental illness, the failure of overworked systems, disrupted education, and, increasingly, the profound shock of a household - a home - breaking up from economic hardship in combination with the worst job market in decades.
Without forgetting Friends of Youth's responsibility to the thousands of other youth facing adversity whom it serves, the Board of Directors of Friends of Youth adopted, in June 2011, a strategic plan putting special emphasis on consolidating and enhancing programs and services for homeless youth. Measures undertaken include the capital projects outlined here, for which we ask your support.
- Strategic Plan 2011-2015 adopted
- Ground breaking at Kirkland campus
- Homeless Youth Service Center opened in Redmond
- Youth Services Center opened in Kirkland
- Youth Haven Home opened in June
- Construction of transitional living homes and extended foster care homes in Kirkland (expected completion December 2014)