Meet the Young People of the Social Impact Center

Last updated: September 29, 2021, at 3:37 p.m. PT

Originally published: November 10, 2020, at 1:20 p.m. PT


Despite the intensified needs of the pandemic, the Y Social Impact Center is tirelessly serving young adults all over King and South Snohomish County. The idea is to help fill in the gaps where kids, teens, and young adults often fall into cyclical patterns which lead to homelessness, chronic mental health problems.

By addressing trauma early on, helping to meet basic needs like hunger and housing, and empowering young people to achieve things for themselves, the Y is changing the lives of kids and teens across our region. 

The Y’s Social Impact Center works to dismantle systemic inequities by connecting kids, teens, and young adults with critical support and resources. 

Our top achievements aren’t numbers, but the lives of young people improved by getting the support they need in all aspects of their lives. 

Miranda Found Her Way Home 

In September 2020, Miranda was having a tough time. On top of a global pandemic and everything else this year has brought, Miranda experienced a psychiatric emergency which required hospitalization while chronically homeless, Miranda was referred to the Y LifeSet program. 

The LifeSet program helped Miranda to find some stable ground within herself and regulate and process negative emotions and communicate them to those around her. 

Miranda was then able to transition from homelessness to permanent housing of her own. Miranda was successful in navigating some personal goals on her own and advocate for her needs with multiple providers. Miranda said, “My case manager was the best case manager I have ever had and has helped me gain many blessings!” 

Learn more about the Y’s LifeSet program here

Kirah’s on the Clear Path to Employment

Kirah is a people person ready to get to work. The only trouble was that chronic homelessness and instability stood in her way of maintaining continuous employment. Then, Kirah was referred to the Y’s Clear Path to Employment (CPE) program. 

After enrollment into CPE, Kirah earned a paid internship with the Hall Foundation, a non-profit organization in Seattle, Washington, that provides opportunities to women and girls for economic advancement, as well as personal and professional development. While there, Kirah developed a great rapport with her site supervisor who has provided excellent mentorship and guidance. With the help of her case manager, Kirah is now employed as a desk officer at a local public arts establishment. 

With her new job and her new confidence in life, Kirah obtained her own apartment and is on her way to achieving her dreams. 

Learn more about the Y’s employment programs here

Kevin Needs Us in His Foster Care Journey

Kevin is nine and has been in foster care since he was two years old. As you might expect from a child with this experience, Kevin really struggles when attaching to new caregivers and is prone to angry explosions. 

His current foster parents are loving people who are committed to him, but have a hard time envisioning how their family can function well with Kevin’s angry outbursts that sometimes become very physically aggressive. The family reached out for help to one of the Y’s behavioral health therapists. Our therapist, Sarah worked with Kevin to begin identifying his feelings of anger before they became too difficult to control. Sarah helped Kevin develop strategies to express himself and get help from adults with diffusing his anger. 

Sarah also worked with Kevin’s foster parents to learn how to coach him and respond most effectively during his outbursts. Kevin being able to identify and cope with these feelings has helped the family have more enjoyable time together and function more smoothly as a family unit. The even better news is that Kevin’s parents are moving toward adopting him! 

Learn more about the Y’s foster parent licensing, casework, and alumni of foster care programs here.

What’s New in the Social Impact Center?

In September 2020, we launched Roy Street Commons, which is transitional housing for young adults ages 18-25. We have 38 units available for housing clients and since we launched, several of the shelters in our community have seen a reduction in utilization because we were able to offer more stable housing for clients.  

Also in September 2020, the Y Social Impact Center was awarded 3.6 million dollars to help with eviction prevention for young adults in our community. So far, we have had close to 300 applicants and have been working hard to connect with young adults around preventing evictions in our community. 

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