Photo on left courtesy of Aaron Briggs. Photo on right courtesy of Chamonix Films.
YouthCare was founded in 1974 as one of the first runaway and homeless youth shelters on the West Coast. The goal was to help homeless youth find safety today and build stability for tomorrow. This passionate vision continues to drive YouthCare every day. Over these four decades, they have defined best practices, developed programs and policies that are a national standard for excellence, and ensured that young people experiencing homelessness have the hope, skills, and self-confidence needed to thrive.
YouthCare works to end youth homelessness and to ensure that young people are valued for who they are and empowered to achieve their potential. YouthCare envisions a community where no young person experiences homelessness, all young people have the opportunity to thrive, and the systems that oppress them are dismantled.
Through a combination of individualized services and a trusting relationship with a caring adult, YouthCare ensures that young people experiencing homelessness achieve long-term stability. This includes housing stability, financial stability, personal support, and wellness. Each young person receives a combination of services tailored to their individual needs and goals.
In 2019, YouthCare served 1,500 young people ranging in age from 12 to 25. This included youth participating in core programs (housing, case management, education, and employment training) as well as those who visited an engagement center for a hot meal and to connect with supportive staff and services.
The Chief Operating Officer (COO) will have the distinct opportunity to join an organization at the forefront of ending youth homelessness as it undertakes the significant transformational work of a recently launched community capital campaign, the inauguration of a partnership with NHL Seattle Kraken/Climate Pledge Arena and the implementation of program innovations that will improve outcomes for youth. When completed, funds raised will support three key initiatives:
- Build out The YouthCare Academy to significantly expand education and employment programming;
- Deliver equitable compensation and professional development for staff to support the exceptional and consistent care they provide to clients; and,
- Strengthen YouthCare’s infrastructure and organizational capacity to support this transformational work into the future.
The addition of a Chief Operating Officer to the executive team is part of a leadership restructuring that will position the CEO to prioritize capital campaign fundraising, external relations and advocacy while centralizing responsibility for all internal business operations with the COO. Reporting to the CEO, and serving as a trusted advisor as part of the executive leadership team, the COO will manage the leaders of Human Resources, Finance and Facilities/IT. They will lead collaboratively across departments and functions to ensure the systems, processes, people and resources are in place to optimize efficiency and operations of a multifaceted organization comprised of 250 employees, 1,500 clients, 14 facilities and a budget of $17 million (a mix of government contracts and private donations). The complexity of YouthCare’s work and the policy/funding environment in which it operates requires a COO who sees every challenge as an opportunity to innovate and strengthen systems so that the disruptions that naturally arise from growth and change are easily handled.
Key Priorities and Responsibilities
- As a member of the executive leadership team, the COO will collaborate with the CEO, the Chief Impact & Program Officer, and the Chief Advancement Officer on major organizational decisions affecting staffing, budgets and culture.
- Partner closely with the visionary CEO to evaluate opportunities and provide clear operational cost/benefit analysis to guide decision making.
- Provide strategic direction to the Human Resources, Finance and Facilities/IT departments and supervise the directors of these three departments.
- As a leader of leaders, solidify the collective power of highly skilled peers and direct reports while driving toward clear decisions and actions.
- Utilize a strategic mindset to build an operating plan that clarifies priorities, keeps the organization focused on both short- and long-term goals and emphasizes growing smart so that internal capacity is aligned with service delivery.
Internal Operations and Organizational Development
- Enhance existing infrastructure (systems, processes, procedures) to more efficiently support current organizational activity as well as anticipated future expansion.
- Identify system and process bottlenecks or gaps and implement infrastructure improvements that teams need to be successful.
- Develop institutional policies and procedures that align operations across 14 facilities to create a culture of “one YouthCare.”
- Oversee organizational risk management and compliance.
YouthCare seeks a seasoned Chief Operating Officer who feels a visceral connection to the organization’s mission and the youth they serve. The ideal candidate possesses tenacity and perseverance driven by a sense of urgency around homeless youth. Their orientation to the work puts clients and the front-line staff supporting them at the center of every decision.
YouthCare’s mission is centered on social justice and anti-racism and the work to incorporate that orientation throughout the organization’s operations is ongoing. The successful candidate has a history of working with diverse populations and a demonstrated willingness to lead their teams’ collective efforts to center equity, anti-racism and social justice in their approach.
As a thought leader in the organization, it is imperative that the COO has the ability to collaborate, listen, learn from others, and bring a sense of humility to the work. The ideal candidate is an effective communicator and relationship builder; someone who leads by influence and is sensitive to team dynamics. The COO’s responsibilities will touch every level of the organization; strong emotional and cultural intelligence is crucial to engage compassionately and respectfully with clients, staff, board members and community partners, all of whom bring diverse racial, educational and socio-economic backgrounds to the organization.
The ideal candidate will serve as a strong partner to the visionary CEO, helping to evaluate and prioritize projects and opportunities that advance the organization’s mission while balancing growth with practicality to ensure success. They will be a natural diplomat and navigate calmly in a dynamic, fast paced and rapidly evolving environment. Decisive and positive, the COO is a creative problem solver who listens actively, synthesizes multiple points of view and moves people to action. They are a detail oriented and skilled multi-tasker who can keep the end goal in sight, yet possess the agility and level-headedness required to manage unforeseen circumstances.
This role requires a results-oriented executive with strategic decision-making leadership and operational management experience within a dynamic environment. The ideal candidate will be excited by opportunities to consider how existing systems can more effectively meet current service delivery demands, while simultaneously planning for anticipated future growth. Focusing on solutions that put the human users at the center and align with the organization’s culture is critical. YouthCare is a complex, multi-site enterprise and the new COO must have a track record of success within a similar context developing and monitoring systems to foster operational excellence.
The successful candidate will have a minimum of 10 or more years of progressively responsible hands-on executive leadership roles. Experience managing organizational change and growth is required as is a track record overseeing human resources, finance or facilities. Prior nonprofit financial management experience is important. A background in social services, public health, hospital administration or nonprofit housing would be a significant asset.
The salary range for this role is $145,000 – $165,000.
To Be Considered
Please submit your resume and cover letter expressing your interest in the position and fit for the role via the Become a Candidate button. Letters may be addressed to Sarah Meyer.
YouthCare’s EEO Statement
YouthCare is an equal opportunity employer. Employment decisions are based on merit and business needs and YouthCare is committed to recruiting, hiring, training, and promoting qualified people of all backgrounds, regardless of actual or perceived sex; race; color; religious creed; national origin; ancestry; age; marital status; pregnancy; nursing parent status; physical, mental or sensory disability; medical condition; genetic information; sexual orientation; gender (including gender identity or expression); military or veteran status; or any other basis protected by federal, state and/or local laws. People of Color and Members of the LGBTQ community are strongly encouraged to apply. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
The search for a Chief Operating Officer is being assisted by a team from GoodCitizen: