Moving the heart of its 60-year mission of serving young people in need to Kirkland, the non-profit group Friends of Youth has broken ground on a new campus in the Totem Lake/Kingsgate area.
The ceremonial shovels were bought out Wednesday at the site of the former church Grace Chapel at 13116 NE 132nd Street.
“It’s perfect for us,” Friends of Youth CEO Terri Pottmyeer told Kirkland Patch earlier, referring to the two-acre site. “This is a good place for us to have a center of gravity.”
The group will immediately renovate the chapel as its administrative headquarters—now at the Together Center in Redmond—and in October start work on adding “Youth Haven” crisis housing for up to 10 young people in need of a place to stay.
Meanwhile, the nonprofit is planning to open a new drop-in center and overnight emergency shelter at its current location this fall. A community meeting on that project will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. tonight in Building B of the Together Center, located at 16225 NE 87th St.
The new shelter will have 15 beds for homeless youth and young adults between the ages of 15 and 24. During the day, individuals will be able to access the center to have a meal, access showers and laundry, and obtain information on various outreach programs.
The Kirkland acquisition is part of Friends of Youth’s strategic plan which calls for a more visible “heart” of its operations, the consolidation of its Youth Haven program for young people in crisis and, in the near future, additional transitional housing for formerly homeless young adults working toward employment and educational goals.
Friends of Youth provides services to children, young adults and families in need at 21 sites in 17 Eastside and Snohomish County cities. For more information, visit www.friendsofyouth.org.