A Year in Review
A Note from Stephen Quirk, YESS CEO

Thanks to friends like you, 2016 w as another amazing year of keeping kids safe.

More than 2,200 children found help at YESS last fiscal year, and that number only continues to grow. When their lives are turned upside down, t hese kids not only find a warm bed in our shelter or a caring adult to talk to at YESS; they also spend time with volunteers, write heartfelt songs, and celebrate holidays. They read books, host talent shows, and plan for the future. Every day, we're changing kids lives and connecting them with safety, healing, and hope. 

Last year was also a time of change in our shelter. We opened another living space for pre-teen boys in our expansion. We celebrated 20 years in our current location and started updating living spaces in the original shelter.  Thanks to an incredible grant from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), we also created a team dedicated to helping shelter youth who have experienced significant trauma and need additional support. 

Outside our walls, we continue expanding our reach to keep more kids safe and healthy in their own homes. Our Integrated Care Connections program serves more than 700 families in the community every day, ensuring they have resources and support. Hope Hall Counseling Services is also growing and providing mental health services to many children and families in the community.

There is so much in store for Team YESS in the coming year. We will celebrate two years of operation in our shelter expansion. We will hold our 10th Annual YESS Duck Derby. Most importantly, YESS will always be here to protect and care for children when they need it most.

New challenges and exciting opportunities await us in 2017. I hope you will continue to be an active member of Team YESS. We can only meet the community's growing need for safety, healing, and support with your help.


Volunteer Spotlight

Pat Harding has been a part of Team YESS for nearly 20 years, helping with everything from graphic design projects to his most recent role - teaching kids to play guitar.
Working with our Music Therapist, Pat visits the shelter once a week to teach the basics of playing guitar. The lessons, however, are about so much more than teaching notes and songs. "It's connecting with the creative-expressive part of the students," Pat says. "Every child needs something different. Some need to learn. Some need to connect. Others need a break or a place to chill and feel special."
Pat says his favorite part of volunteering is helping kids make new connections through music. "The look in their eyes when something during a lesson clicks and the door in their mind opens up to a new world of thinking. It's that first few seconds when they look up from the guitar and look at me with that spark!"
While the kids in shelter get so much from their time with Pat, he says he gets just as much back. "I am surprised at the things I learn musically and personally during every lesson. Working with these students has changed my outlook on life."
Volunteers make such a difference for children in shelter, and we are so grateful to have Pat (and all of our volunteers) on Team YESS! F ollow our Facebook page to learn about some of our other amazing volunteers including Susan and Ed Brian , and  Lacy .  You can also learn more about how you can volunteer your time to help kids in crisis by visiting our volunteer page.

In-Home Support for Kids & Families

Every day, members of Team YESS help kids learn to make healthy and positive choices through our  Behavioral Health Intervention Services (BHIS) program.
Families in the BHIS program learn practical skills that improve day-to-day life including conflict resolution, communication, and ways to cope with frustration, fear, or anger. O ur BHIS Counselors  visit families in their own home and teach children age-appropriate ways to manage their emotions and improve their behavior. This support is provided to the entire family, helping children as well as parents find new ways to communicate and build strong relationships.

Click here to learn more about BHIS services or visit our Hope Hall Counseling Page to learn about all the ways we can help kids and families in the community.


Celebrating a DUCK-ade of Fun

The countdown has officially begun, and Team YESS is getting ready to celebrate the 10th Annual YESS Duck Derby!

More information will be coming soon about this year's spec-quack-ular event. In the meantime, you can help us get ready for our biggest year yet. Ask your coworkers or friends to join the fun by starting a team or volunteering. Subscribe to our events so you don't miss your chance to meet Quacky. And don't forget to mark May 6th on your calendar.

We can only make this our best year yet with help from friends like YOU!
(515) 282-9377 | 918 SE 11th Street Des Moines, IA 50309 |  yessiowa.org