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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 10 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 02
Sen. Patty Murray supports Orion Center and YouthCare
Section One
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Sen. Patty Murray supports Orion Center and YouthCare

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

In response to the news that YouthCare's James W. Ray Orion Center shelter for at-risk youth could soon be forced to turn people away after losing a federal grant in 2013, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Housing Subcommittee, wrote a letter to Acting Assistant Secretary George Sheldon, advocating for funds for the important Capitol Hill shelter, January 9.

Officials at the Orion Center learned in October of 2013 that the facility's existing federal grant - totaling nearly $1 million - would not be renewed for 2014, meaning the center, one of only two in King County tailored for youth and young adults, would be forced to turn away those without a place to sleep and cut outreach services beginning next month.

Murray wrote that she supports YouthCare's application for a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) Transitional Living Program grant. The funds would allow YouthCare to provide critical transitional housing and supportive services to homeless youth and young adults in Seattle and King County.

'For nearly 40 years, YouthCare has been a local leader in providing services for runaway and homeless youth in the community,' wrote Murray. 'YouthCare has successfully provided a continuum of immediate and long-term services to homeless youth. Their services include street outreach, a multi-service drop-in center, housing, and education and employment services for youth and young adults ages 13-24, and apartments for graduating youth. A vital component of their service delivery is the integration of housing and supportive services with education and job training for the community's most vulnerable youth.'

YouthCare has received RHY support from the Administration for Children and Families since 1974. 'With this federal partnership, YouthCare will be able to continue its extraordinary services to young people in Seattle,' said Murray. 'I commend YouthCare for their strong tradition of providing quality services to homeless and disconnected youth. Thank you for your consideration of their application.'

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