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Providing a Helping Home for the Holidays

Last updated: July 1, 2020, at 5:29 a.m. PT

Originally published: November 16, 2016, at 1:02 p.m. PT

The holiday season can be especially difficult for youth and families in need. At this joyful and festive time of year, the Y provides support and resources for those who may be without means, family, or a safe space to enjoy the season.

For families and individuals looking to spread goodwill this holiday season we’re offering several small and easy ways to give with big impact. Through a Giving Tree, food bank collection, or coat drive at our local branches, we’re working with and encouraging the community to come together in giving back.

Participate in our annual Amazon Holiday Drive, providing household and personal essentials to young adults living in Y transitional housing, to make an immediate impact. Welcome Kit supplies are provided to all residents, giving them the basic supplies they need to be comfortable as they transition off of the streets or out of foster care placements.

Young adults like Luis, a resident in the Transitions housing program, rely on the Y for essential academic, employment, and housing support services. Before finding Transitions, Luis was struggling to find affordable housing and volunteering at a restaurant to gain work experience after aging out of foster care.

“Living at the Y Central House has helped me a lot,” says Luis. “The staff have been a major part of my current success, for they really care about our future goals and achievements. They helped me learn how to save money, look for apartments, and even helped me join Year Up.”

After living in Y housing for less than a year, Luis was able to plan for life after transitional housing. He enrolled in the Year Up program, allowing him to earn college credits while developing skills and relationships. The skills and training Luis gains will allow him to secure sustainable employment and transition into his own apartment. His internship as a  hospital tech assistant helps develop important work and life skills.

“My future goals are to have my own apartment, save money to buy a car, and graduate from Year Up,” says Luis. “I’m glad I’m heading in the right direction, I owe everything to the YMCA.”

The Y is the largest provider of housing for homeless youth in King County and on any given night, we shelter more than 250 young adults across 7 shared homes and studio apartments at our Downtown location.

Thanks to the generosity and support of Y members and donors, the holiday season will be that much brighter for these youth in transition.