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ceo message | december 2023

Updated: Apr 8

Dear partners in our work supporting youth and young adults,

As the year ends, I am grateful for our employees' work toward helping youth and young adults facing great challenges envision a future of success and stability. Because of you, we have met the following milestones, helping to ensure our vision that youth face zero days of vulnerability:

In October, we celebrated the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Willows Youth Services Center in Kirkland. This new facility will replace the Landing in Redmond and serve as the only overnight emergency shelter in East King County for young adults, ages 18 to 24. In the near future, a safe shelter will be available every night of the year for up to 35 young adults. Our heartfelt gratitude extends to the numerous employees, both past and present, whose contributions have played a crucial role in this project. 

This new Emergency Overnight Shelter was made possible by you and the extraordinary advocacy of State Representative Lisa Callan, 5th District, who advocated for the financial support needed from Washington State. It was also made possible with the support of Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, Senator Patty Murray, King County Councilwoman Claudia Balducci, the Regional Coalition for Housing ARCH, Washington State Building Community Fund, Washington State Department of Commerce, Microsoft, Aven Foundation, Joshua P. Williams Foundation, Amazon, Meta, and WaFd Bank.

This year marked a significant achievement as we reinstated our Street Outreach initiatives, which had been temporarily halted amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemicWe appreciate the support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Runaway Youth which allows our Homeless Youth Services Division to resume outreach efforts that will connect vulnerable youth and young adults to the services and resources they need. In the upcoming year, we are committed to the development of new, cost-effective housing options tailored for low-income young adults in the Kirkland community. 

In the past year, we've also marked the following significant milestones:

  • 1,439 youth and families supported with services

  • 623 youth and families received behavioral health counseling

  • 500 families and youths' holidays made brighter with support from Giving Thanks Meals and Giving Tree programs

Read more about how your support impacted vulnerable youth and young adults in our Fiscal Year 2023 Impact Report.

As I look forward to the year ahead, I know that your continued support will be essential to creating brighter futures for many youth and young adults who come to us for essential support.

Thank you,

Paul Lwali

Friends of Youth President and CEO

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