November is National Runaway Prevention Month (NRPM) and this year we are proud to announce that our Organization of the Month is Youth Services System, Inc. (YSS). YSS is an agency that is committed to responding to the complex needs of youth who are at serious risk. Located in Wheeling, WV., it is a resource in NRS’ database available for youth, and has been an NRPM task force member ffor several years.
YSS has supported NRPM and the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) by hosting an annual “Sleep Out.” People register to sleep overnight in a box, tent, or sleeping bag on a football field. The purpose is to raise funds to support local homeless youth as well as raise awareness about runaway and homeless youth. Every year, YSS interprets NRPM’s theme by sharing NRS promotional materials.
YSS was organized in 1974 as a nonprofit by local citizens, social workers, clergy, attorneys and judges seeking answers for youth and families in crisis. YSS operates emergency shelters for youth like Samaritan House in Wheeling, WV., and Helinski Shelter in Moundsville, W.V. The organization is also the only Safe Place program in West Virginia. Here are some more interesting facts about YSS, according to their website. These include:
- An independent living program to prepare young people to live on their own after they leave foster care—Tuel [pronounced: Tool] Center in New Martinsville.
- Operates the only private nonprofit juvenile center in West Virginia.
- Operates a community-based adolescent drug and alcohol program in the Northern Panhandle.
- Provides in-home support and skill-building for parents in the Northern Panhandle.
- Offers job skills training and employment programs for youth in the Northern Panhandle.
- Youth Services System’s success with youth is the result of the commitment and generosity of our staff, fellow agencies, courts, law enforcement, and businesses, large and small.
- Youth Services System believes that young people are every community’s treasure.
We are glad to have such a strong partnership with an agency that does such great work. We hope our ties only grow stronger.