Community Philanthropy Teams Up to Fund New Vehicle for Youth and Family Services YMCA

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From left to right): Kielle Horton, Junior League; Marissa Byrne, President of the Junior League of Santa Barbara; Yonie Harris, Youth and Family Services Board Chair; Lynn and Roger Karlson, The George Karlson Family Foundation; Amy Schneider, Santa Barbara Foundation; Jennifer Neisse, Past President of the Junior League of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, Calif., Sept. 21, 2016 – Noah’s Anchorage, a program of Youth and Family Services YMCA, was the grateful recipient of a new vehicle to aid in the necessary daily transportation of youth in the program. The vehicle purchase was funded by donations from the Junior League of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Foundation, The George Karlson Family Foundation, and a private donor. Toyota of Santa Barbara assisted the search committee in finding the right vehicle.

Noah’s Anchorage serves runaway, throwaway, homeless and foster youth who have nowhere else to go. It is a licensed residential eight-bed group home for children 10-17 years old and provides outreach to young adults at no cost to clients.

“A well-running vehicle is absolutely necessary to the health and well-being of the youth and seamless operation of the program,” said Valerie Kissell, Executive Director of the Youth and Family Services YMCA. “We are grateful to all of the agencies and individuals who made this a reality for the most vulnerable youth in our community.”

The van will help transport youth to a number of destinations including medical appointments, court appointments, grocery stores, attorney meetings, school events and shelter-sponsored outings. Noah’s Anchorage operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including times when public transportation is not an option.

While Noah’s Anchorage has the majority of the transportation needs of Youth and Family Services YMCA’s programs, as the only vehicle owned by the organization, the van will also at times utilized by the organization’s other programs, My Home, Street Outreach and the Teen Center for outings, appointments and urgent needs.

Noah’s Anchorage Youth and Family Services, a branch of the Channel Island YMCA, is the only youth crisis shelter of its kind between Los Angeles and Santa Cruz. Noah’s Anchorage has served the Santa Barbara community for 35 years.


About Youth and Family Services YMCA

Youth and Family Services YMCA serves over 600 children and young people each year through Noah’s Anchorage Youth Crisis Shelter, the St. George Family Teen Center, My Home, and Support and Outreach Services. Children and young people in high-risk environments that participate in Youth and Family Services YMCA programs experience increased safety, health and wellbeing and they increase their capacity for self-sufficiency by building skills for independence and developing lasting relationships with adults who are committed to their success. For more information about the Youth and Family Services YMCA, visit or call (805) 569-1103.

Established in 1887, the Channel Islands YMCA is a charitable organization of seven YMCA branches serving Santa Barbara and Ventura counties including: Camarillo Family YMCA, Lompoc Family YMCA, Montecito Family YMCA, Santa Barbara Family YMCA, Stuart C. Gildred Family YMCA in Santa Ynez, Ventura Family YMCA, and Youth and Family Services YMCA.


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