Non-profit organization that helps homeless youth receives $10,0 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Non-profit organization that helps homeless youth receives $10,000 donation

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YAKIMA, WA - Rod's House is a non-profit organization that helps homeless and at-risk youth in Yakima, and was a participant in Homestreet Bank's Vote Your Heart campaign, which had the bank donating three different sums of money to three non-profit organizations. Rod's House ended up receiving a $10,000 donation.

It was up to the public to vote for who got what, and after weeks of voting, Rod's House took the grand prize.

For those who don't know, Rod's House was opened back in 2009 and helps homeless and at-risk youth from ages 13 to 24. Some of the services the non-profit organization provides includes education support, job coaching, obtaining identification documents, and hot meals.

Joe Willis, the Executive Director, says their mission is to help the youth and not enable them.

Willis also says that at this point, they haven't quite made a decision on how they are going to use the money, but they have some ideas.

 "We have always wanted to open up an overnight shelter, but right now financially, it takes millions of dollars to do that. Some other things that we are looking at is potential software for our case management so that it is more robust," said Willis.

Willis adds that they are also looking into the possibility of placing some of the youth they serve in homes with families.

Last year alone, Rod's House served nearly 3,500 homeless and at-risk youth, with 60% being male and 40% being female. A majority of those they serve are Caucasian. 

Willis says that the long-term goal for Rod's House is to expand so they can provide more help.

Although they received a substantial donation, Willis told us that the organization is always looking for more help and volunteers.

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