In the One Night Count this past winter in King County, over 2700 homeless people were counted as sleeping outside that night. It was also projected that 6000 people were living in shelter programs around the county.
For the last five years, Redmond Youth Partnership Advisory Committee (RYPAC) has been involved in helping the homeless in our community. This assistance includes helping with meals for Tent City IV and working with the church-based Eastside homeless men’s program.
As one teen said “I never knew we had these problems here in Redmond,” while another commented “They look like everyone else. I would never know they were homeless and I learned so much.” The stereotypes of homeless men and women were dispelled when the teens saw firsthand real people in a state of homelessness and needing help.
The teens rallied together to cook meals served at the programs. “We designed the meals so everything was cooked from scratch. They were not allowed to bring frozen lasagna or prepared salad in a bag. It was fun to teach them cooking fundamentals but also watch them be excited about giving back,” stated Ken Wong, Teen Programs Director.
RYPAC has created many activities for teens in Redmond this year to help and encourage community. Programs RYPAC has offered range from fundraiser dances that support local charities to removal of invasive species in our parks and green spaces.
If you are interested in being part of RYPAC or involved in their activities, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Nancy Chang
The Old Fire House Teen Center (OFH) has served teens in Redmond for over 17 years with activities including arts, music, education and sports. With that in mind, when you or your friends are bored come and check out the teen center.
OFH has free drop in programs including homework help, arts and crafts and sports. On Mondays and Tuesdays, the OFH offers educational programs such as job seeking skills, the ins and outs of filling out college applications or leaning to play drums.
If you have an idea for a project or an event, talk to the OFH staff and see how they can help you out. If you need a place for community service or want to find a way to give back, come see what’s possible.
So next time you’re bored or just need a place to be around other teens and supportive adults, come and check out the teen center located at 16510 NE 79th Street or call 425-556-2370 for more information.
Reaching Beyond Your Limits
Michelle Solomon, a senior at Redmond High School (RHS), continually stretches her limits with all she does for those around her. Michelle grew up in Redmond and has been active ever since she can remember. Four years ago she joined the Redmond Youth Partnership Advisory Committee (RYPAC) and is the current youth chair. “There are no words to describe how much I have gotten out of RYPAC and how much it has meant to me being a part of it,” stated Michelle.
For two years, Michelle has mentored an autistic girl whom she has come to love. This experience has allowed her to see needs of developmentally challenged youth and the separation they feel.
With this realization, Michelle came up with an idea to create a club at RHS matching high school students with younger students with special needs for outings together. These outings serve to break down potential barriers.
Sharing Interests Forming Friendships Club now has 20 members with matches; however Michelle faced many challenges to make it happen. She reached beyond her limits and let the friendships begin.
“I’ve had the pleasure of watching Michelle grow in her confidence and spirit. She sees obstacles and finds ways to overcome them, showing she cares deeply about what she’s doing for those around her,” stated Ken Wong, Teen Programs Director.