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YouthCare Launches Capital Campaign with $1.74 Million Gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Patricia Hart
Phone: 206.694.4500, Ext. 1202

SEATTLE -- YouthCare, a private nonprofit agency dedicated to Seattle's homeless and at-risk youth, today launched their capital campaign to build a new and permanent Orion Center. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation made the launch possible with a grant of $1.74 million to YouthCare. The gift represents a 25 percent cornerstone of the $6.96 million capital campaign.

"We are very grateful for this gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation," said Victoria Wagner, chief executive officer for YouthCare. "The new Orion Center will allow us to continue our efforts in providing hope and a future to homeless youth. YouthCare is committed to ensuring that our most vulnerable youth have an advocate and a friend when they need it most."

YouthCare has led the charge to assist homeless youth since 1974, when it became the West Coast's first shelter of its kind. Since 1983, the walk-in Orion Center has provided a safety net that reaches out and draws young people from the streets by non-coercive means. Once engaged in YouthCare, homeless youth can find support – three Seattle Public School District teachers are on staff – with family reconciliation, gang intervention, HIV/AIDS prevention, testing and counseling, chemical dependency, employment services and education. Additionally, YouthCare provides housing for up to 74 homeless teens.

"We are excited to help YouthCare launch their capital campaign with this gift," William H. Gates, Sr., Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said. "We hope others in the community will recognize the value that YouthCare and the Orion Center provide by lending their support for a new facility."

Additional information on YouthCare can be found on the web.

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