Youth portrait

About Friends of Youth


Our Mission

We partner with youth and families to provide the relationships, resources, and skills they need to attain personal growth and success.

Our Vision

Friends of Youth envisions all youth having every opportunity to succeed.

Our Values

Youth First - We consider the impact on youth in every decision we make, while utilizing the inherent strengths of the individuals and communities we serve.

Equity - We are committed to a movement toward empowerment and social justice by advocating for social change and providing access to culturally relevant services and programs.

Collaboration - We collaborate when it will lead to improved outcomes for the individuals and families we serve.

Relationships - Constructive relationships are essential to a fulfilled life. We seek a constructive relationship with the youth and families we serve and promote this in their lives.

Quality - We strive to achieve the highest degree of quality in our services–one that is internally and externally validated and provided in a context of safety and confidentiality.

Accountability - We ensure fiscal and program accountability and exhibit the highest professional and ethical standards to all internal and external stakeholders.

Equity Statement

Friends of Youth welcomes, honors, and celebrates our clients, colleagues and communities’ diverse identities, histories, knowledges, languages, and cultures. Our organizational values shape the way we work individually and collectively, as we prioritize young people’s belonging and achievement. We work to challenge, alter, and ultimately dismantle interconnected systems of structural and historic oppression. We collaborate with community stakeholders and partners to develop policy and decision-making frameworks that advance racial equity.


Since 1951, Friends of Youth has been helping young people in challenging circumstances get their lives back on track.

Today, Friends of Youth positively impacts over 3,200 children, youth and their families each year, at 24 sites and programs in 18 cities across the Puget Sound region.

In addition to operating the only overnight youth shelters on the Eastside, we offer youth development initiatives, in-home family support for young parents and guardians of children up to five years old, parent education, youth and family counseling, substance abuse counseling, therapeutic foster care, residential treatment and transitional housing for homeless young people and teen mothers.

Click here to watch a Flash presentation about our mission.

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National Accreditation

Friends of Youth is one of just a few organizations in Washington to be accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children. (more)

A Vision Realized

Friends of Youth continues to expand on the original vision and commitment demonstrated by Mrs. Iva Matsen and her co-founders. (more)

Mrs. Matsen’s Story

Read the story of the founding of Friends of Youth, in the words of Mrs. Matsen herself. (more)


Discover important milestones in the more than six decades of Friends of Youth. (more)

Board of Directors

Our Partners

Employment Opportunities

Resources For Employees

Our Financial Data

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