Gary and Linda Casady
After nearly 20 years serving in remote regions of Eastern and Southern Africa, Gary and Linda Casady settled in The Dalles at the beginning of the 21st century. Drawing upon decades of experience working with youth and families, they began to teach and volunteer in the public schools and various local service organizations, such as CASA, Mentor for Success, Six Rivers Mediation, SMART, The Next Door, Wasco County Youth Services, and regional camps that served youth and families.
In dialogue with various leaders of these organizations, community leaders, and listening to the stories of individual youth, a vision was born to provide a place of safety and security for youth facing overwhelming challenges of life in the 21st century. The Casadys visited and shadowed in existing youth shelters around Oregon to gain insight of what it might look like to have a youth shelter in The Mid-Columbia Region, to meet a significant need.
Support for the vision was overwhelming. Several stepped up to form a Board of Directors resulting in the Youth Empowerment Shelter being incorporated in February of 2014. With a strong desire to have robust personal and organizational oversight and accountability, Casadys approached InFaith to oversee them as field missionaries. They also went through the rigorous process of having the Youth Empowerment Shelter licensed as a Child Caring Agency with DHS serving youth ages 10-17. The Y.E.S. Board hired Gary Casady as the first Executive Director on a volunteer basis, where he served for seven years. Linda has served tirelessly behind the scenes in a variety of capacities. They both remain available as consultants and advocates to serve youth.
Y.E.S. received its first youth in August of 2016 and has since served nearly 300 youth and families from four states and even a youth from Europe. Y.E.S. has also provided services to schools and in cooperation with WCYS facilitated regular parenting classes for parents of teens. We continue to thank God for bringing so many compassionate people together to provide a place of safety and hope for youth in the Mid-Columbia area, 24/7/365. If you know of someone who could benefit from these services, please tell them about Y.E.S.