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The PAD (Positive Youth Development) is an emergency housing service in Bellingham that offers housing for
13-17 year olds who, for various reasons, are unable to live with the family. Young people live at the PAD and work on family reunification and skill building while attending school and maintaining their community. 

In the Summer of 2021, Northwest Youth Services partnered with the City of Bellingham to identify a new location for the PAD in a residential neighborhood that will allow for young people to heal from trauma outside of downtown Bellingham and in the comfort of a HOME.

Relocation Timeline


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MARCH 2021

APRIL 2021

MAY 2021

JUNE 2021

JULY 2021



As part of Whatcom County's Homeless Strategies Workgroup, Northwest Youth Services formed a committee to discuss year-around sheltering needs for young adults, 18-24, in our community. 

During the spring of 2021, staff and community volunteers toured multiple locations near downtown Bellingham, all of which required significant renovations to use as a nightly shelter, and significant funding to maintain a lease on top of service expenses. 

Brainstorming led staff and volunteers to realize that the assets and prime location of the current PAD facility was ideal for a young adult shelter - and that we could realize the long held desire to more the PAD to a residential neighborhood to better meet youth needs.   

NWYS starts search for a home that meets a variety of requirements set by funders - inside Bellingham city limits, over 3,ooo sq. feet, built after 1980. 

Bellingham's HOT real estate market complicates our effort, as we compete with buyers with  traditional loans and/or cash offers. NWYS makes multiple offers on homes throughout Bellingham. We expand our search to off-market homes and find a great home in the Ridgemont neighborhood of Bellingham.  

OFFER ACCEPTED! Northwest Youth Services begins work to apply for Phase 1 Permit and secure funding for site.  NWYS sends an introduction to neighbors, hosts two neighborhood meetings to respond to questions, meet one-on-one with neighbors with questions.  Home closes on 9/30/21 and permit is granted on 10/1/21.  

Starting Soon: NWYS to complete ADA renovations to ensure the property is accessible, offer community tours, and continue efforts to meet with neighbors. 

Northwest Youth Services is working to welcome young people to the new PAD by the end of 2021.  

Ridgemont Neighborhood Outreach

Efforts are ongoing to answer questions. We invite anyone to reach out to meet with our Executive Director, Jason McGill, or PAD management to learn more. Please reach out to our team at and
we'll be in touch!


Hello to Our New Neighbors

About the PAD - Slide Deck

Northwest Youth Services' Community Good-Neighbor Practices

Ridgemont Neighborhood Meetings

Northwest Youth Services has hosted two community meetings aimed at sharing more information and answering questions. View the first half of one of these meeting below - and look for answers to the questions we have received in these meetings and via other sources below. 

Neighborhood Questions & Answers

Efforts are ongoing to answer all questions asked of us. We will be updating this list frequently as
time/capacity permits. 


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