Nexus-Enumclaw part of planned purchase by YMCA

With more resources, the YMCA may be better able to address homelessness in the area, especially in regards to youths.

Another change is coming to the Cole Street space that provides much-needed services to young people in distress throughout Enumclaw.

It was early 2017 when Enumclaw Youth and Family Services – after 43 years of service to the community – changed its name and branding by joining forces with the Auburn-based Nexus Youth and Families. It was announced recently that Nexus will be acquired by the YMCA of Greater Seattle.

Through a formal arrangement between the Enumclaw and Nexus, the city provides rent-free space in its downtown building, gives financial assistance and helps with utilities and IT services.

Nexus is a not-for-profit organization that provides an array of social services in more than 17 communities throughout South King County. Aside from Enumclaw, Nexus has nearby offices in Auburn and Maple Valley, along with the Muckleshoot reservation. Nexus has been the leading regional provider of shelter, housing and behavioral health services to youth and families experiencing homelessness and other trauma.

The planned acquisition, expected to be finalized in early 2020, was announced earlier this month.

“Nexus approached the Y with this opportunity based on both organizations’ reputations, the relationship between the two agencies, the Y’s longstanding presence in South King County, and aligned missions,” according to a press released issued by the YMCA. The released noted that the YMCA is the largest provider of “housing and holistic services” for young adults experiencing homelessness in King County.

“Homelessness is on the forefront of everyone’s mind,” said Loria Yeadon, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Seattle. “Our work and the work of so many others has led to a decline in the number of youth and young adults experiencing homelessness. We’re so glad to see more young people housed, but we still need to do more.”

The acquisition comes at a time when many young people struggle to find homes and resources. According to All Home’s 2019 Count Us In report, more than 1,000 unaccompanied youth and young adults in King County experience homelessness on any given night, with more than half of them living on the streets. Simultaneously, death by suicide among teens and young adults has reached its highest level since 2000, according to the American Medical Association.

“Being able to provide our much needed services in South King County is the top priority of the Nexus board of directors,” said Lori Coppenrath, who chairs the Nexus board. “I have 100 percent confidence that the acquisition between the Y and Nexus will mean better outcomes for those we serve, enhance our staff’s experience, and create collaboration that provides the best services for those who need us most in South King County.”

Earlier this year, the YMCA partnered with Nexus to build a first-of-its-kind facility in Auburn that addresses youth and young adult homelessness. Named New Arcadia, the facility will provide transitional housing for 15 young adults and provide emergency shelter and services for 12 more. The housing portion will include storage space and common areas, a community kitchen, office and conference spaces, and a drop-in center during the day. The Y and Nexus broke ground on New Arcadia in June 2019 and expect to open the facility in spring 2020.

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