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Youth Outreach

Ryan Brown

“25 years ago this spring I checked into the Men’s Shelter in Spokane, Washington, as a homeless meth addict. All that journey started when I was about 8 years old – that led to drugs, that led to more severe things in my life. So it’s such an honor to be back in this city working with kids who are headed in the same direction.” – Ryan Brown, Youth Outreach director

 

UGM Youth Outreach partners with local schools, churches, colleges and universities, and community groups to reach children and young adults with the love of Jesus Christ.

 

Reaching children is key to breaking the generational cycles of poverty, abuse and addiction that feed homelessness. Being raised in unstable or broken homes is a common denominator among the vast majority of adults who end up in UGM shelters. And in Spokane County alone, a recent study found, 3,000 children in grades K-12 are homeless.

 

Youth Outreach fights homelessness from three angles:

 

Instability at home and low-self worth increase children’s vulnerability to addictions and abusive situations that fuel the cycle of homelessness. We want to help protect them by reaching them early with the powerful message of the Gospel: God loves them unconditionally and made them for a good purpose.
Union Gospel Mission Camp

 

UGM Camp is a 125-acre camp along the Spokane River just a one-hour drive away from the city. Every summer, about 500 kids from low-income neighborhoods come to spend a week at camp under the direction of a team of volunteers from a church in their neighborhood. Thanks to the generous groups and individuals who provide camp sponsorships, it doesn’t cost their families a penny.

 

“It is really fun and it’s free and we get to learn about God. And it’s a good place to be when you need a break from your house. And the counselors are awesome.” – Note from a camper

UGM Camp gives children
a chance to just be kids
and enjoy the beautiful
Northwest outdoors.
  • Fishing
  • Canoeing
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Craft projects
  • Archery
  • Teambuilding exercises
  • Chapel services
  • One-on-one time with counselors and other caring adults
  • Connections with a church in their neighborhood
  • Memories to last a lifetime
Click here to sponsor a camper.
Homework Club

Homework Club

The children at the Crisis Shelter for Women and Children have all experienced the trauma of homelessness, and many have also seen or experienced abuse, hunger and neglect. They crave healthy interaction with adults. At Homework Club, volunteer college students provide the attention and support the children need to succeed in school and in life.

Young Club

Young Club

UGM volunteers work with children after school four days a week at Stevens Elementary School, where 85% of children qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. Activities are geared toward helping the children grow educationally, emotionally and spiritually.

When children and teenagers have already made mistakes or are in unsafe or unstable situations, they can feel hopeless: “I don’t have a future.”

 

Youth Outreach meets young people right where they are to deliver a simple but profound message of hope:  Because of Jesus, change is possible. Their future can be redeemed.

Juvenile Detention Ministry

Since 1985, UGM volunteers have conducted services and built relationships with the inmates in Juvenile Detention. When we meet teenagers at their lowest point, that’s where the Gospel shows its power.

 

Jerry McGlade

“But for the grace of God, it could be me or one of my children locked up in there. I am more convinced than I ever have been, that the only hope for these kids, and the only hope for this world is Jesus Christ.” – Jerry McGlade, Juvenile Detention volunteer

Adam
Mentoring in High Schools

“I love ministering to kids because they have their whole lives ahead of them and if we get them now, where they are, we’re going to see some awesome things happen through them. I don’t want their potential to be wasted; I want them to know they are valued and God sees them as worth it.” – Adam, Student Impact Team

Christa
Clothing Closets

Maintaining clothing closets at high schools in low-income neighborhoods creates opportunity to encourage students by providing for their practical needs. Being able to dress appropriately is one step toward being able to set goals for their future.

 

“If you feel dirty and you look in disarray, you’re not going to want to push yourself, versus if you’re wearing something nice and you feel confident in, you’re going to be more willing to pursue higher goals.” – Christa, Student Impact Team, helps run the clothing closet at Rogers High School

Student Impact Center

A primary purpose of this residential facility for college students is maintaining a drop-in center for homeless and at-risk youth near the downtown core. This former motel building at 1234 E Sprague was remodeled in 2017 to become a beacon of hope and community to young people without a safe place to turn for help. With practical assistance like laundry and meals, plus friendship, mentoring and spiritual guidance, the Student Impact Center shows homeless and vulnerable teenagers they are loved and valuable.
The Union Gospel Mission’s core value of Stewardship involves planning for the future. Directing and empowering young people to take leadership in ministry is how Youth Outreach embodies that value. We train and prepare the young people God has called to urban ministry because they’re the future leaders in God’s work among the poor and homeless in the Inland Northwest.

Student Impact Team

“Right there is the picture of hope. Because right there is a picture of young leaders transforming this world.” – Ryan Brown, Youth Outreach director

 

Started in 2015, the Student Impact Team consists of college students from Moody Bible Institute, Whitworth University, Spokane Community Colleges, Gonzaga University and Eastern Washington University. These young adults bring lots of energy, enthusiasm, sincerity and readiness to serve. Members of the team serve at camp, Homework Club, Young Club, high school clothing closets and mentoring, Juvenile Detention Ministry and the Student Impact Center.

Resident Interns

Several Student Impact Team members live at the Student Impact Center and complete 8-10 hours a week in hands-on ministry training. They staff the drop-in center for teenagers and also serve in many other areas of UGM ministries.

 

 

 

Make an impact on the future. Serve in Youth Outreach >