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NTPS receives $20,000 grant to support homeless youth (5/19/20)

North Thurston Public Schools was recently awarded $20,000 from the Washington State Student and Youth Homelessness COVID-19 Response Fund. The funds will be used for a wide variety of supports, ranging from rental assistance and transportation, to food and medical needs.

“The generosity of our community partners, including this $20,000 grant from Building Changes, creates hope for families who visit the Family and Youth Resource (FYR) Center weekly for needs resources,” said Leslie Van Leishout, Director of Student Support. “Without compassionate donors such as Building Changes it would be impossible for us to continue this work through the summer months.” Van Leishout estimates the grant will help the district serve over 1,700 youth. The grant will specifically help support non-English speakers or those with limited English proficiency.

They FYR Center has provided food, diapers and wipes, hygiene and school supplies, and other basic needs to approximately 300 students per week since school closure was ordered due to COVID-19. Every Tuesday and Thursday in a drive up no-contact system that includes translation services for non-English speakers, families can connect with the district in person. These services are provided with an extremely low barrier as no names, addresses, phone number, name of school, or other information of any type is needed for families to receive services.

The grant is awarded through Building Changes and the Raikes Foundation, a nonprofit that pulls together government, philanthropy, and nonprofits in a collective effort to impact family and youth homelessness in Washington state. To learn more visit