As of June 30, 2017, Y.E.S. has a caseload of 76 youth and young adults with 50 of them being female. Between April 1 and June 30, 2017, Y.E.S. completed 118 street outreach and case management sessions, accessing students in the schools and in the community as a result of a referral. Y.E.S. is proud to report that we had 11 youth graduate this year, 2 joined the military, 1 the forest services, and 3 have joined the workforce in various trade positions.
I am continually amazed by the financial support we receive in the community. People continue to see the value we provide and are generous with their donations. During this period, we received two large donations from anonymous funders, one was for $5000.00, and another for $10,000.00. We also received over $4600.00 in three-months from various community members and organizations, including $1000.00 from a local doctor. Y.E.S. also receive substantial support from the community in the form of in-kind donations. We receive donations like gently used clothing, toiletries, blankets, and pillow. This period we received over $10,000 worth of donated items.
Who We Serve
Y.E.S. kids come from all walks of life and are with us for a variety of reasons. Some live in homes that are unsafe and riddled with drugs and others are
kicked out because they are different from their parents. One young man was referred around the middle of April by the school. He had been living in his car since mid-December and was able to keep his homelessness from the school for many months. His father had been caring for him at their family home but recently had some mental health issues and disappeared, leaving this 17-year-old with no money or family support. The school was able to identify him after it became obvious that he was not going to graduate and the homelessness had started to affect his mental
health. Y.E.S. was able to connect him with a Host Home and he was enrolled in the River School to catch up with his classes. When he came to us, he had two pairs of pants and a few t-shirts, all of which were filthy. We set him up with clothing, basic needs and case management to help him reach his goals. In the Host Home program, he flourished and was able to graduate on time. He came back to visit us a few weeks after graduation to say goodbye. He had accepted a job working on a fishing boat and had reconnected with a long lost uncle. These are the youth we serve! Without YES this boy may not have graduated and could have easily ended up on the streets in Spokane.
“In 2016, 30 unaccompanied homeless youth were identified in Pend Oreille County, WA” (Office of Homeless Youth). The Y.E.S. Host Home Program provides safe housing to these individuals as well as other youth living in unsafe or unstable situations. Youth in need of housing are placed in emergency, short term and long term housing dependent on their current living situation.
The Host Home program is currently seeking caring community members throughout Pend Oreille County to provide housing to our counties homeless and at risk-youth. Training is provided!
Contact 509-447-1125 for more information.
What are our Challenges?
Keeping quality staff -As a small non-profit in a rural area it is next to impossible to attract quality staff and once we find someone they inevitably leave for jobs in Spokane, with better pay and offer medical insurance. As of June 30, we are down one case manager and hope to hire in the fall.
Navigating the changing definitions of homelessness- the definition for homeless is different depending on the funder. HUD qualifies homeless as someone who is either without a roof over their head or one living in substandard housing, where the McKinney Vento Act says that families that are doubled up are considered homeless. Restrictions on funding based on definitions is a barrier especially when we have a large population of homeless who are over the age of 18 and youth living in camping trailers.
Funding is always uncertain – Although we work with our community for donations and are constantly seeking grants the world of a small non-profit is continually changing and funding sources come and go. We are able to project out for 6 months of operating funds but depending on grants may face tough decisions around the first of the year. The counties continued support of the mission is critical to our survival and we are grateful.
Donna comes to Y.E.S. with a diverse background in Corporate America and most recently as an Elementary School Teacher. Donna has been heavily involved in Prevention for Pend Oreille County for over four years and currently serves as the Chair for the Panther County Coalition in the Usk/Cusick areas. She has served the county well by assisting in forming partnerships to provide drug free, family friendly community events, education classes and evidenced based trainings. Donna has a long standing reputation for working with at risk children and youth. She has three children, a dog and cat. Enjoys reading and hiking. Donna is excited about the opportunity to serve the youth of our community!