The Heart of Enumclaw by Phillip Morina
In the heart of Enumclaw by the corner of Stevenson and Cole hangs a green awning that reads Youth Center. Alongside is inscribed, Resources and Family Services. This is the home of Enumclaw Youth and Family Services (EYFS), a counseling agency devoted to helping the community, restoring families, and helping those in need. EYFS has established several programs, outreaches, and activities, with one sole purpose; to improve the quality of life in Enumclaw. The Youth Center, like it so boldly reads on the awning, is one of the central components to EYFS and the Enumclaw community.
Organizations like the youth center can be found across the country, from organizations like the YMCA to Big Brother Big Sisters. Even Buckley has a youth center to help support their community. The Enumclaw Youth Center was created by the City of Enumclaw and funded as one of the services provided by the City, along with the Senior Center, back in the early 1980’s. Since then in addition to running the Youth Center, EYFS has grown to provide more than half of a million dollars worth of services to Enumclaw and the Plateau community.
One of the current programs run through the Youth Center is SNAP (Summer Nature Activity Program). SNAP is a summer based program that takes kids on trips once a week throughout the summer. This year the Youth Center has planned activities of hiking, ice skating, rock climbing, swimming, and miniature golf. There will also be trips to the Woodland Park Zoo, the Museum of Flight, Seattle Sounders game, and a Mariners game.
A young but growing program is Village Tutors. When the EBT tutoring program closed their doors, EYFS opened theirs to make sure kids still had a place to go in order to succeed in school, and none of it would have been possible without the support of the Youth Center. Currently plans are underway to expand the program for next year’s students.
In addition to providing a place for tutoring, or taking kids on trips that most of them would never be able to go on, the youth center opens its doors for kids after school or during the summer. Here the kids are continually monitored and have access to computers, games, and resources. The kids are exposed to community events and challenged to participate in activities from running 5k’s, helping load food for the food bank, and cleaning up city trails. The staff at the youth center have invested themselves into the kids, encouraging them to be a part of their community. It is not surprising at all to see kids walk in off the streets pull up a chair next to Ryan (The youth center director) and unload their troubles and worries. Ryan has built trust and gained respect with many of Enumclaw’s youth and EYFS is fortunate to have someone like him who is continually investing into the lives of the kids in the community.
The youth center has been a source of pride to EYFS for everything it provides to the community day in and day out. Churches and volunteers have recognized the importance of the youth center and have offered their help to provide food, making sandwiches and bringing in fresh fruit for the kids here on a routine basis. In fact the youth center has been so successful that the City of Auburn is currently trying to develop the same model that has been pioneered here in Enumclaw. Dave Johnson the president of Navos (a multi million dollar non profit agency based out of Seattle) has even come out to Enumclaw to speak on behalf of the youth centers importance to the City officials. Though the youth center may go unnoticed by many in the community, it is undeniably turning heads, changing lives, and positively impacting our community. And to think something as incredible as this is hidden away under a green awning in the heart of Enumclaw.
We could use your help!!
It is that time of year again where all the stores fill with school supplies. Here at EYFS every August, we organize and hand out over 300 backpacks filled with the basic school supplies to Enumclaw students. We could use your help collecting new school supplies for the back packs. We need glue, glue sticks, pencils, composition notebooks, pens, colored pencils, 24 pack boxes of crayons, markers, eraser, spiral notebooks and folders. For a complete list of needs give us a call! Please bring your donation to the Youth Center.
Volunteer Thank you
We would like to take a moment to thank all of those who have made sandwiches and donated snacks to the youth center this past school year: High Point Village, Wabash Presbyterian Church, Chris Eide and Joyce Magnuson.
We would also like to thank those who are donating snacks and sandwiches for the youth center and SNAP lunches this summer: Wabash Presbyterian Church, Calvary Presbyterian Church, High Point Village, Chris Eide, Denise Baxter and Joyce Magnuson.
We appreciate you so much. Thank yous are just not enough.
Highlighted Service of the Month: TIPS
Our TIPS department is the newest member of our team at EYFS. TIPS stands for Treatment Intervention Prevention Services. TIPS is our youth drug and alcohol treatment program. The goal of this program is to reduce drug and alcohol use in the youth population of South King County. Our prevention and treatment services rely upon evidence based best practice models of prevention, intervention, and treatment. We provide drug and alcohol assessments, individual outpatient treatment, group treatment, and aftercare. The one doing all of this amazing work is Ashley Prichard. If you are interested in this service or have any questions, please call us at (360) 825-4586.
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