November 12

Holiday Helpings

‘Tis the season for giving at YouthCare.

YouthCare provides a variety of services for young people age 12-24, including homelessness prevention, engagement and outreach, shelter and housing, employment, education programs, and a bridge continuum that provides specialized services to young people who have experienced sexual exploitation.

According to YouthCare, almost 1,100 unaccompanied youth and young adults experience homelessness on any given night in King County, and around 70 percent of those young people sleep outside because of lack of shelter or housing. Instead of thinking about gathering with friends or loved ones, feasting on holiday meals, or receiving gifts, homeless youth often have to focus on food, shelter, and safety on a daily basis.

To spread joy this holiday season, YouthCare has put together a number of giving ideas for homeless youth:

* Host a holiday giving tree. Sign up here and YouthCare will supply gift tags.

* Make a donation through YouthCare’s Holiday Wish List on Amazon.com and items will be shipped directly to YouthCare.

* Purchase a frequently requested gift, including gift cards, prepaid cell phones and minutes, headphones and earbuds, art supplies, movie passes, makeup, sports equipment, and essentials like new socks and underwear, dish sets, pots and pans, and more.

If you have other ideas that would spread joy to the many homeless youth in Seattle and King County, contact donations@youthcare.org.

To learn more about youth homelessness, including some sobering but important statistics, its root causes, and why it’s different from adult homelessness, click here.

Story by Ethan Chung and photographs courtesy YouthCare.

Denny Park

Seattle’s first park — and former graveyard