Tag: youth

Partnership: At the Heart of Building a Stronger Community

Associated Ministries is proud to partner with many other agencies in our community who believe, as we do, in building a stronger community and helping the most vulnerable.

One such partner is Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region YouthBuild program. YouthBuild works with young people ages 18-24 who are motivated to develop their leadership skills, gain construction experience, and earn their GED. Their 7-month program works with youth to overcoming barriers to employment and establish a living wage career. Employment is one of many key factors in maintaining stability for an individual and their families, and developing these skills in order to maintain work, pay rent, and fund living expenses is a challenge in our current economy. YouthBuild stands as a community to support individuals in achieving goals, learning, and growing.

Many of the participants who are a part of the program have accessed AM’s programs such as Coordinated Entry. Approximately a third of the participants are experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity as they enter the YouthBuild program. Participants access supportive services through the Goodwill staff and partner agencies, including case management, job development, education and tutoring, construction training, resources, food, clothing, transportation assistance.

The next program cohort begins July 31, and they are always accepting applications for participation (call (253) 254-4959 for more information). YouthBuild students give back to the community through service projects and building on affordable housing sites where they further develop construction skills. If you are interested in having a YouthBuild volunteer with your project or organization or be a guest speaker to share about your employment experience with students, please contact Michaela Woodmansee at (253) 254-4959 or michaelaw@goodwillwa.org.

Associated Ministries welcomes stories from other partner agencies and communities of faith for our blog. Please submit your story and photographs to communications@associatedministries.org

Youth homelessness program closing December 1

Associated Ministries (AM) is sad to announce that by the end of December, after 3 years in operation, the Youth Advancement & Housing (YAH) program will be closing operations of the two residences in the Graham area.


The YAH young men’s residence.

Every year the YAH program successfully received competitive funding through Pierce County Community Connections to operate this vital program in the Bethel School District. But in addition to being competitive, funding for transitional housing programs has continued to decrease over the last 2 years in Pierce County and throughout the nation. Tough decisions were made to best manage the very limited resources that are available within the homeless system and this year YAH and several other programs did not receive the level of funding they requested.


The YAH young women’s residence.

This news has been met with deep sadness and concern from our young adult clients still living in the YAH homes. Associated Ministries is committed to preventing all of our residents from entering homelessness following the closure of the YAH program and AM staff are working with them to find immediate housing.

We would like to extend our immense gratitude to our esteemed partner and guide, the Bethel School District, for working alongside Associated Ministries over the last 3 years, devoted to the well-being of students experiencing homelessness in their district. Thank you for helping us and the entire community understand the persistent work and heart necessary to ensure that unincorporated Pierce County has advocates and resources for the most marginalized members of their community.

We are also grateful to the Spanapark Lions, Eagle Scouts, Kiwanis Rotary Club, Key Bank, and so many more individual community members who hoped to support and connect with YAH residents. Thank you all.

Our hopes for solutions does not end with the YAH program. Associated Ministries will continue to build relationships and partner with others in the cause of ending child, youth and young adult homelessness throughout Pierce County.

Village Keepers Tacoma – Free Friday Meals

Village Keepers Tacoma is serving free meals to youth, young adults and their families at the Peoples Community Center in Tacoma. The Community Dinner is every Friday from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Additional Lunch Service Dates & Times:

  • March 21st 12-2pm
  • April 4th 12-2pm
  • April 5th 12-2pm
  • April 6th 12-2pm
  • April 7th 12-2pm
  • April 8th 12-2pm

Interested in giving a hand? Reach out to us via email village_keepers@yahoo.com phone 253-693-8165 or on Twitter @villagefirst1