Homelessness and parents' substance abuse take a huge toll on children. In fact, children who experience homelessness are much more likely to be homeless as adults.

The Rescue Mission’s Child & Youth Program nurtures, supports and educates children to help break the cycle of homelessness and abuse. This program is focused on education. Children and youth receive tutoring and enjoy games, sports and other activities that help them forge healthy habits and trusting relationships.


Youth thrive at the Mission, thanks to dedicated staff and volunteers, and thoughtfully designed programs. On any given day, you might find someone offering homework assistance, preschool students practicing their ABC's, teens participating in fun evening activities, or children and youth of every age heading out the door for educational field trips and great outdoor recreation opportunities.  

Preschool Program

Tyler St. Preschool

At the Tyler St. Family Campus. Teachers and qualified volunteers work with students to prepare them for future academic success, in Kindergarten and beyond.

Elementary-Age Program & Teen Program

For older children and teens residing at The Rescue Mission’s family shelters, being involved in the Child & Youth Program means access to tutoring programs, life-skills programs and community group programs, including social activities and outings with an education-oriented purpose.


In 2013, Youth Services served 162 unduplicated, homeless students from the ages of 2.5 to 18 in the Preschool, School Age and Teen programs. This was made possible by 487 hours of time donated by 33 dedicated, repeat volunteers. The majority of service hours were invested in homework support, tutoring, and preschool. 

In an addition to academic support, there were 14 off-site socio-emotional and developmental activities for the kids, services trips, hiking adventures, trips to the zoo, and baseball games. In January, the teen program took to the hills for an all-day snowshoeing adventure to reward students who attend a majority of tutoring sessions. These incentive trips provide the students a goal to strive for and offer staff the opportunity to teach outside of the classroom. To promote health, Youth Services provided 1,027 meals according to USDA guidelines to students during program hours.



To support our education-oriented programs, we need volunteers with experience in teaching, child care, or related fields. If you have this background and are interested in volunteering, please contact Alison Powell, Youth Program Manager at or call 253-592-6841.

You can also get involved with Rescue Mission families and youth by volunteering for special events. Contact Jessicca Brathwaite, Volunteer Coordinator, to learn more about these opportunities. Email or call 253-383-4493.


You can donate directly to the Child & Youth Program by taking items to the Downtown Tacoma Campus Donation Center, and tagging them for the Tyler St. Family Campus.

Specific, ongoing needs include: Gift cards for older children and teens, as well as new shoes, new socks, and coats. Sizes Infant – 6x


Alison Powell

Youth Program Manager


Adams Street Family Campus Youth

Volunteer With Us Today

Visit our Volunteer Hub to learn about volunteer opportunities and get on the schedule, here!
The Rescue Mission's Mission Youth Program photosetThe Rescue Mission's Mission Youth Program photoset