FROM THE DESK OF PAUL LWALI
As 2022 draws to a close, I reflect on our success this year providing comprehensive services for youth and young families experiencing great challenges. Our work this year was made possible by you: our partners, donors, volunteers, and employees. Collectively we strive to ensure youth face zero days of vulnerability. These are just a few of the accomplishments I am thrilled to share with you;
Thanks to affordable housing capital funding from King County Department of Community and Human Services, Friends of Youth is renovating and expanding our New Ground Kirkland capacity. Furthermore, support from A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH) and Washington State Department of Commerce, is enabling the agency to provide affordable housing to 20 un-housed young adults.
We achieved our two-year planning vision of identifying and acquiring a site to serve as Friends of Youth’s new Emergency Overnight Shelter. This need is huge as Friends of Youth offers the only overnight emergency shelter for young adults on the Eastside.
The acquisition and renovation of the site will significantly expand our agency’s capacity to provide 30 youth with a safe place to stay, quality meals through the addition of a commercial kitchen, commercial laundry amenities, dedicated health area, but most of all, caring employees to assist our clients in a dignified way.
The new Emergency Overnight Shelter property was made possible by the extraordinary advocacy of State Representative Lisa Callan 5th District, who advocated for financial support from Washington State to help make this dream possible.
This great news was followed by additional support to make the necessary improvements to the facility by:
Congresswoman Suzan DelBene and Senator Patty Murray
King County Councilwoman Claudia Balducci
Regional Coalition for Housing ARCH
Washington state Building Community Fund
Washington state Department of Commerce
Thanks to a highly competitive award for Street Outreach services from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services office of Runaway and Homeless Youth, Friends of Youth is re-starting our street outreach work that was suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic. These outreach efforts will help connect youth facing vulnerable circumstances to the services and resources they need.
This is only a snapshot of the work that’s happening every day at Friends of Youth, and we look forward to sharing more exciting updates in 2023. On behalf of the Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Team, I want to thank all of our partners, donors, volunteers and employees, for your essential support this year.
I invite you to continue supporting our work, centered on youth, in the year ahead. You can make a donation at friendsofyouth.org/donate or by mailing your check to Friends of Youth, Attn: Becky Slade, 13116 NE 132nd Street. Kirkland, WA 98034-2306.
Happy holidays and thank you for your partnership.
President & CEO