Half of Whatcoms homeless youth face mental health issues This grant could

first_imgBELLINGHAM — A $1.2 million federal grant will allow Northwest Youth Services to deepen the mental health services it provides to more than 100 young people in Whatcom County, according to its executive director.The money from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will be spread over three years.Northwest Youth Services is using the grant to launch REVIVE, a new project that also will provide help with chemical dependency. It will include partners Compass Health and Catholic Community Services – Recovery.The goal is to help the young who are homeless and who struggle with those issues.Nearly half, or 46 percent, of young adults who are homeless reported having a mental health disability, according to the Point-in-Time Count, the annual census of the homeless in Whatcom County.The nonprofit Northwest Youth Services helps people ages 13 to 24 in Whatcom and Skagit counties with housing and other services.NWYS will use the grant to hire a team of four led by clinical director Nicole Torres. The dollars also will pay for a mental health professional from Compass Health and a chemical dependency professional from Catholic Community Services-Recovery.The idea also is to focus on those youths who are chronically homeless and on marginalized groups such as young people of color and young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning, according to Riannon Bardsley, executive director for Northwest Youth Services.last_img read more