The YMCA Oasis Teen Shelter provides emergency housing 365 nights of the year for all runaway and homeless youth 13-17 regardless of where they are in their lives. They have an intensive outreach team working diligently to connect youth on the streets with the services they need.
"We meet them where they are, they don't have to come to us. We work with the schools and the social service providers to get the word out." Justin Krupa, the Executive Director of the YMCA Oasis Teen Shelter explained. He is one of the few paid full-time administrators. " "my job is the supervision of staff, writing grants, community presentations, janitor, house repair, meeting with youth or whatever is needed in an emergent situation. Everyone at the shelter pulls together to help the youth and there isn't a strict hierarchy when it comes to helping people. There isn't one person who is more important than the other."
The YMCA Oasis program is a confidential program. All staff have been cleared by the FBI and the State of WA. The volunteers we have supporting us also must pass a background check. "Our background checks on volunteers are pretty thorough, so the youth and the community can be confident that they are in good hands."
There isn't a geographic limit on where a youth comes from whether they are from Skagit County, Oregon or Alaska. "As they find their way to YMCA Oasis, we just try to stabilize them to the best of our ability. Just the fact that they know if things go wrong, they still have a safe place to sleep can help stabilize someone's situation."
If you want to help provide shelter for runaway and homeless youth 13-17 years old in the Great Northwest, you can send a donation to the YMCA or drop off a check at the YMCA center on Hoag Road. Any donations marked for the YMCA Oasis Teen Shelter go directly to the shelter. You can also volunteer your time at the Daylight center to provide Summer and after-school activities.