This month, West Sound Youth For Christ opened a teen center in the heart of Poulsbo, Washington in a community partnership with North Point Church. The center, which is located right across the street from North Kitsap High School and Middle School, is designed to serve kids in the area and provide them with a safe location to visit after school.
One of the core values of YFC USA is something we call “collaborative community strategy,” which means we intentionally work together with local churches and other partners to provide sustainable ministry for youth and their families.
Phil Daubenspeck, West Sound YFC’s Executive Director, is grateful for this partnership with North Point Church and with additional partnerships West Sound YFC is building with other churches and organizations in the area.
“This new location will give teens a place to see friends in a safe environment,” Phil said. “Many of these kids aren’t back in classrooms yet due to the pandemic – this is a chance for them to connect with each other [and] to experience the YFC program. It’s a chance to bring them hope at a time when they feel hopeless.”
Adam Smith, West Sound YFC’s Development Director, echoed the need to bring hope to teens in the local community.
“If a teen’s life was hard before COVID, it has become increasingly harder during the pandemic,” he said. “We’re seeing a lot of kids really struggling emotionally with the isolation…they are hurting badly right now, so much so that some kids are turning to drugs to try to numb the pain that’s in their lives.”
Adam has recently been volunteering with a YFC teen art group, using his art education background as a connecting point with the kids.
“As we are teaching the kids about cartooning or other fun art techniques, the teens are becoming familiar with me and my fellow volunteers,” he said. “They’re getting to know an adult leader through a positive experience. There are moments when a teen will have a faith-based question, and now we’re in proximity to really mentor and guide them through areas where they’re struggling. It’s a positive experience for all involved.”
West Sound YFC’s ministry sites are located throughout North Mason County and Kitsap County in Washington and include Campus Life ministry, Parent Life ministry, and Juvenile Justice Ministry. Although their presence in the community and the lives of the kids they reach is growing, there is still a lot of need for involvement, support, and partnership – especially as the teen center opens.
“Those in the area can offer prayers, volunteer with food/snack donations, volunteer with their time, or even providing financial support if they can,” Phil said. “We are always looking for community partners!”