What We Do – and Why We Do It!

Do you believe, as we do, that every young person has value and potential?  For many, that value goes unnoticed. That potential is never reached.  These youth, once full of promise, can become lost and troubled.  They may end up on the streets, putting themselves in unsafe situations, or even committing delinquent acts.  Their families may seek help – or they may become overwhelmed and uncertain about what to do.  Sometimes their families give up.  Tidewater Youth Services Foundation is here to help.

At Tidewater Youth Services Foundation, we help youth reach their full potential.  We believe that even those who make mistakes have the capacity to change and become productive citizens.  And – we are committed to making that change happen.

The TYS Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, established in 1991 to raise funds and find community resources to support a public agency, Tidewater Youth Services Commission, in its efforts to help at-risk and court involved youth grow into productive members of the community.  Our public partner, “the Commission”, serves the cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Franklin, as well as Isle of Wight and Southampton Counties. These seven localities formed the agency in 1977 in an effort to coordinate needed services for the juvenile population, thus avoiding a duplication of services in the region. In 34 years of operation, the Commission has developed a broad range of programs and services and is now the primary resource for juvenile justice services in the region.

When youth walk through the doors of our public partner, they will have caring counselors.   They will learn and practice new skills.  Their families will receive guidance and support.  But publicly funded programs can only go so far.  With philanthropic support, we can do so much more and touch the lives of youth in ways not possible through state support alone.  With community support we can:

  • Offer remedial education programs and provide the tools needed for vocational exploration;
  • Provide therapeutic recreation and positive activities, and expose children to the arts and cultural enrichment;
  • Improve the physical environments of group homes;
  • Support programming that would otherwise be eliminated or could not be developed due to a lack of, or loss of, public funding;
  • Provide personal items for needy youth, including clothing, medication, toiletries;
  • Help with family emergencies, including the loss of utilities or eviction, events that destabilize families and compound a child’s problems.
  • Ensure that our public partner, Tidewater Youth Services Commission, has all the tools needed to help the youth it serves.

The TYS Foundation has one full-time staff member, the Executive Director, and is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.  Our auxilliary group, Friends of the TYS Foundation, also plays an integral role in the workings of the Foundation, through direct volunteerism and assistance with fundraising and special events.

Do you want to get involved?  Your help will not only affect the future of the youth we serve, but it will also impact the future of our neighborhoods and cities.  For more information, please contact [email protected].