Friends of Youth drop-in center and emergency shelter coming to Together Center
By SAMANTHA PAK
Redmond Reporter Reporter
June 27, 2012 · Updated 7:12 PM
This fall, the Together Center at 16225 N.E. 87th St. in Redmond will be the new home of the Landing, Redmond-based Friends of Youth's (FOY) full service drop-in center and overnight emergency shelter for youth and young adults.
The shelter will be open seven nights a week and fill the space that was formerly occupied by a food bank, which moved to 16725 Cleveland St. in October 2011 and is operated by human services nonprofit Hopelink.
FOY President and CEO Terry Pottmeyer said the current Landing is at the Bellevue Family YMCA five days a week and has been at Redmond United Methodist Church in downtown Redmond on Fridays and Saturdays since March. She said the shelter's weekend location moves to different locations depending on availability so it will be great to have a permanent location seven days a week.
"You can count on us to be there," she said.
The new facility is 2,498 square feet and will house a 15-bed overnight emergency shelter for homeless young adults ages 18-24 and a daytime drop-in center for homeless youth and young adults. The Landing will be fully staffed by trained professionals working to help youth between the ages of 15 and 24 end their homelessness and move to safe and stable housing.
"This time we had the opportunity to design the space for the young people," Pottmeyer said about the new location.
Guests will be able to come to the shelter during daytime hours to have a meal, access showers and laundry facilities and discuss options for housing and services with FOY staff. In the evening, the shelter will provide a safe place to sleep and a warm meal for homeless young adults every night of the week.
Pottmeyer said one of the challenges of sharing spaces with other organizations has been providing clients with privacy and confidentiality when they speak with caseworkers or health care providers. With the new Landing facility, FOY will be able to address this.
Pottmeyer added that FOY's drop-in services have been located at the Together Center for two years so they already know young people will be able to access it by bus since the downtown transit center is nearby.
"We know that young people will continue to find us relatively easily," she said.
Pottmeyer said they approached the Together Center about taking over the former food bank location in March and they have received a lot of support from the rest of the campus's tenants.
"We're just really excited about it," Together Center operations coordinator Sondra Sciola said about the Landing joining the campus.
She said they are happy to have the Landing coming to the Together Center as it will provide much-needed shelter for the area's homeless youth.
With expanded services, the Landing will require additional ongoing investments including dinner donors to provide a hot meal for overnight guests, volunteers to assist in supervising on nights when there are more than 15 guests for meals and annual donations to support operational expenses.
Residents will have the opportunity to learn more about the Landing coming to Redmond on Thursday.
FOY, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting youth and families in challenging circumstances, will hold a neighborhood meeting on from 5-7 p.m. at the Together Center in Building B in the Baker-Adams Room. The meeting will include a presentation, information and conversation about the opening of the drop-in center and the expanded Landing programs. City of Redmond staff will also be at the meeting.
FOY was founded in 1951 and provides youth services in three major areas: youth and family services, residential services and homeless youth services. The organization provides street outreach, emergency shelters, transitional living programs, employment services and supportive housing programs for runaway and homeless youth between the ages of 11 to 24.Contact Redmond Reporter Reporter Samantha Pak at email@example.com or 425-867-0353, ext. 5052.