Updated: Nov 14
By the Numbers: October Edition
107 individuals accessed the Ground Floor drop-in center
23 young people utilized Queer Youth Services
Queer Youth Services held 6 youth events plus 2 trainings
The Trans Fashion Treasury was accessed 8 times
23 youth were served by our Whatcom housing team
15 youth were served by our Skagit housing team
5 youth were served at PAD (emergency housing for 13-17 year olds)
Exciting news: we're making it even easier for you to give back with our monthly donation program. Just $10/month is enough to help us make real change in the lives of young people. As an added bonus, monthly subscribers will get exclusive perks and discounts at a variety of local businesses.
News, Notes, and Updates
The NWYS team celebrated Halloween not once but twice: during Downtown Bellingham trick-or-treating, and alongside youth at our Skagit drop-in location! The Youth Advisory Board also celebrated with a pumpkin party at Bellewood Farms.
NWYS has partnered with the Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce to form the LGBTQIA+ Business Council! Schantell is hard at work building Bellingham's first LGBTQIA+ Business Directory Application. To add your business to this resource directory, submit an application here.
The Law Advocates of Whatcom County officially started working out of the Ground Floor once a week. They have already assisted youth with parenting plans, immigration documents, no contact orders, and more.
Queer Youth Services' Trans Fashion Treasury has expanded to include a permanent site at North Fourth, our Skagit drop-in location. The Trans Fashion treasury provides youth with gender-affirming items at no cost.
Speaking of QYS, the program continues to work in schools supporting staff and parents to be better allies/advocates and providing navigation support to clients needing gender-affirming medical care.
50 youth across every program are enrolling in Samaritan, a new app that addresses the specific and unique needs of people experiencing homelessness.
NWYS Impact Story
The following story was shared by the NWYS housing team: "C.'s story began in 2017, when they first stayed at the PAD (NWYS' emergency housing for 13-17 year olds) for 3 weeks. Their previous housing situation was unstable, consisting mostly of short-term hotel stays with their mother. After completing the program, they planned to continue living with their mother in a more stable location. In November 2021, however, C. contacted NWYS' Rental Assistance program to access services again. They were initially able to get coverage from July 2021-January 2022 and continued to stay in touch. Thanks to their amazing follow-through, C. was able to cover rent until September 2022, when they moved out of state. But when C. moved back to Bellingham in 2023, they went from staying with their sister to sleeping in their car. Thus, C. began coming to the Ground Floor (NWYS' day-use center), where they connected with our housing team. In addition to working, C. remained on top of communication and paperwork and moved into HUSLY (Housing Underserving Low-Income Youth; NWYS' 90-day transitional shelter) as soon as space became available. C.'s story wasn't linear-- but it has a happy ending. Thanks to their diligent work with a NWYS Care Coordinator (and despite working most days of the week), C. was able to apply for a one-bedroom apartment and was approved within a week. Finally, at the start of November, C. moved into their very own place with a year-long lease. Once they're settled in, their plan is to work with their Care Coordinator to obtain health insurance, pay off bills, and look for a better job."
Holiday Drive + Pint Night at Ponderosa
(December 6, 5 p.m.)
Join the NWYS staff at Ponderosa to get in the holiday spirit (and give back to your community)! Folks who bring a donation will receive $1 off pints and 10% off beer to go.
Support Our Work
By supporting NWYS, you're giving young people across the North Sound a hand up, not a handout. NWYS' holistic, person-centered services help young people build long-lasting autonomy.
Note: If you want to give a holiday gift to our youth, check out our 2023 Holiday Donation Guide for a list of highly-requested items.