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 President's Message

When Miss Ettie Lee started the first group home for at-risk youth in 1950, she wanted to serve at-risk kids for many, many years! Well, 65 years since starting the agency, Ettie Lee's mission remains strong - even amidst the all-too-common atmosphere of shrinking funding.


I am honored to be in the business of helping people.  It’s an easy task to be able to embrace the mission of Ettie Lee Youth & Family Services, where we are Doing Whatever It Takes to save lives, change lives and build hope for children, youth and families.


At the same time, we are a business of course. If we do not meet our fiscal and organizational obligations, ultimately we will not be able to help anyone.  In addition to keeping the doors open, as President & CEO I am always looking for opportunities that will move the mission of Ettie Lee forward.

Recently we were awarded two contracts that will allow Ettie Lee to broaden our continuum of care and serve additional children, youth and families.  The first program is the Transitional Housing Program (THP) for foster or probation youth between the ages of 18-24.  We are thrilled to say that, since the beginning of the year, those receiving THP services are meeting the very important goals that have been set for them.  Goals include school attendance and/or working, taking over their personal budgeting and home care responsibilities and expanding their community relationships.


The second program to begin is the Wraparound Program.  Wraparound is an integrated, multi-agency, community-based program grounded in the philosophy of unconditional commitment to support families to safely and competently care for their children.


The indefatigable spirit of Miss Ettie Lee is shared by the staff at Ettie Lee Youth & Family Services as we come together to fulfill the mission of Ettie Lee through our ever-broadening array of services that is responsive to the changing needs of our communities.






Terri Varnum

President & CEO