Youth Ministry

August 14, 2017

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the closure of Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission Youth Services department including the Youth Reach Out Center (YROC), our after school care partnerships, and Summer Academy.

As you may know, Seattle is in the midst of a homelessness crisis and the Mission has responded in a significant way to this urgent need. During the past few years, we continue to increase staff, time, and energy to respond to the crisis, but the needs continue to grow. At the same time, we experienced a tough budget year and cannot continue to sustain every program that we have traditionally offered.

After much prayer and consideration, and with the input of our Board of Trustees, we will be focusing our efforts on our root calling — homelessness. This has been an extremely difficult decision, and we know it creates some difficult challenges for you as well. We deeply value each of you, our neighbors, churches, partners and friends that we have served for many years.

We realize that the timing of this announcement will be tough for many families. Middle and high schoolers may find other after school options at local organizations. It might be harder for elementary age children given the shortage of affordable after school care programs for this age group. Our hope is that some of the churches that have hosted these programs with us will continue to do so in the future. The Mission is prepared to donate equipment and/or vans previously used by each specific school care program to assist in the transition as needed.

It has been a privilege and joy to serve you and your children.

Thank you for entrusting us throughout the years.

If you have any further questions, please contact the Mission's Chief Program Officer Terry Pallas —