Loria Yeadon, CEO and president of the YMCA of Greater Seattle, high-fives a child who was with his family during the mid-September grand opening of the new YMCA on Kent’s East Hill. COURTESY PHOTO, Brandon Patoc (patoc.co)

Loria Yeadon, CEO and president of the YMCA of Greater Seattle, high-fives a child who was with his family during the mid-September grand opening of the new YMCA on Kent’s East Hill. COURTESY PHOTO, Brandon Patoc (patoc.co)

YMCA to acquire Nexus Youth and Families to tackle youth homelessness, mental illness

  • Wednesday, November 6, 2019 9:22am
  • News

The YMCA of Greater Seattle voted to acquire Nexus Youth and Families, a nonprofit organization that has provided youth homelessness and behavioral health services in Auburn and South King County for more than 45 years.

The acquisition, which was announced in a news release Wednesday morning, will be finalized in the coming months to ensure that youth and their families in South King County continue to receive the services.

Nexus approached the Y with this opportunity based on both organization’s reputations, the relationship between the agencies, the Y’s longstanding presence in South King County and aligned missions. The Y is the one of the largest providers of housing and holistic services for young adults experiencing homelessness in King County. In 2018, it provided behavioral health and crisis support to more than 2,000 youth and their families.

“Homelessness is on the forefront of everyone’s mind. Our work and the work of so many others has led to a decline in the number of youth and young adults experiencing homelessness,” said Loria Yeadon, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Seattle. “We’re so glad to see more young people housed, but we still need to do more. By acquiring Nexus Youth and Families, we can serve more youth and young adults, find more efficiencies, and strengthen our presence in South King County so all people, especially youth, can reach their fullest selves in mind, body and spirit.”

The acquisition comes at a time when many young people struggle to find homes and resources. According to All Home’s 2019 Count Us In report, more than 1,000 unaccompanied youth and young adults in King County experience homelessness on any given night, with over half of them living on the streets. Simultaneously, death by suicide among teens and young adults has reached its highest level since 2000, according to the American Medical Association.

“Being able to provide our much needed services in South King County is the top priority of the Nexus’ Board of Directors,” said Lori Coppenrath, Nexus Board chair. “I have 100 percent confidence that the acquisition between the Y and Nexus will mean better outcomes for those we serve, enhance our staff’s experience, and create collaboration that provides the best services for those who need us most in South King County. It’s a no brainer.”

Earlier this year, the Y partnered with Nexus to build a new first of its kind facility in Auburn that addresses youth and young adult homelessness. The new facility, named New Arcadia, will provide transitional housing for 15 young adults and provide emergency shelter and holistic services for 12 more. The housing portion will include storage space and common areas, a community kitchen, office and conference spaces, and a drop-in center during the day. The Y and Nexus broke ground on New Arcadia in June 2019 and expects to open the facility in spring 2020.

Nexus Youth and Families is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that offers an array of social services in over 17 communities throughout South King County, including the Muckleshoot Reservation. Nexus offices are in Auburn, Enumclaw and Maple Valley. For more than four decades, Nexus has been the leading provider of shelter, housing and behavioral health services to youth and families experiencing homelessness and other trauma in South King County.

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