Yakima, WA - Madison House has been helping kids in the southeast part of downtown Yakima for over 30 years. Madison House is a youth community center where the Union Gospel Mission (UGM) hosts after school programs.
They have volunteers to help kids with their homework and offer other after school activities like sports.
The building is 101-years-old and is still using the original radiator. The building also doesn't have air conditioning.
The UGM CEO Mike Johnson said they host a lot of activities in the building and all them require a working air system. United Way of Central Washington donated $50 thousand to help them update it.
"This United Way gift is going to allow us to modernize the heating and cooling system so when we have kids in here after school they're not sweating and they can actually concentrate on their studies and have a future," Johnson said.
It will also help volunteers focus on furthering Madison House's mission.
"The kids in this part of downtown, their moms and dads are often working two jobs, they're working so many hours and there's nobody home to help them after school with their math or reading or that kind of stuff," Johnson said. "Without that, they get this message that maybe they're just not as set up to go succeed in the world and maybe that's just their fate, but we don't believe that's their fate. We believe that every kid in this town should get the same shot as everybody else, everybody should have someone to help them with their reading or math."
Johnson said programs like this one are the key to keeping kids stay away from gang involvement and preventing future homelessness.
Community members can help make these kids successful by volunteering their time to help with homework. If you'd like to volunteer you can sign up at the Union Gospel Mission's website.