Youth center named to honor Dick Brugger’s legacy in advocacy and awareness

The YMCA of Greater Seattle will honor the legacy of the late Dick Brugger by dedicating a building at the Y Social Impact Center in his honor.

Join Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus and Y President and CEO Loria Yeadon with Brugger’s family on June 4e to celebrate Brugger and the young people he helped. The event will take place at 932 Auburn Way S., Auburn, WA 98002, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The signing will also have Dick’s Burgers for Dick Brugger!

Brugger was the longtime Executive Director of Auburn Youth Resources, the city of Auburn’s first Poet Laureate, a proud member of the Kiwanis Club of Auburn, and one of the area’s most valued community members. . For generations of the area’s at-risk youth, Brugger was an advocate, a friend, and a lifeline for a brighter future in Auburn and South King County.

The YMCA believes in the potential of all children and young adults, and every day we work to help young people find that potential within themselves. Brugger practiced these principles and fought for the future of young people during his lifetime.

Click here to learn more about Dick Brugger, Auburn’s first Poet Laureate, from current Auburn Poet Laureate James Rodgers: May Poet Spotlight: Dick Brugger

poet Dick Brugger | Photo by Lela Brugger

Continue to be an anchor

The Dick Brugger Building will be the anchor of the Greater Seattle Social Impact Center’s YMCA Auburn Campus. Some campus features include a youth shelter, young adult shelter, supportive housing, behavioral health counseling, and medical facilities. According to Michael Jackson, director of philanthropy, the Social Impact Center served more than 1,200 young people in the Auburn Valley last year.

Among the more than 1,200 young people served, more than 800 behavioral health clients. Over 250 young people have been housed or housed at the Auburn Social Impact Center also saw over 250 young people housed. Campus services and staff served 76 youth in foster care, helped 64 youth reduce violence, and more than 50 received support with education and employment services.

You might also like: Introducing the Y Social Impact Center

Auburn Youth Resources

In 1973, a concerned group of parents, educators, and local civic leaders came together to tackle the growing problem of substance abuse among South King County youth. Auburn Youth Resources was created. In 1976, Brugger was named the agency’s new executive director. A former self-proclaimed hippie priest, Brugger was tasked with educating young people and fighting drug addiction, but he didn’t stop there, seeing the whole person beyond a condition or disease.

In 1980, Brugger met with community leaders in Enumclaw to develop a drop-in center for young people, which became Enumclaw Youth and Family Services (EYFS). In the mid-1980s, as the Green River Killer threatened our youth, Brugger developed the first emergency shelter in South King County. In the 1990s, Brugger was there again to establish the first street outreach services for homeless youth.

There’s a story that Brugger’s wife, Lela, has told over the years. She had taken him to a doctor’s appointment and a young man who worked there recognized Mr. Brugger. This youngster shared how Brugger’s efforts changed the course of his life. It is the legacy of someone who “does” good things for the community.

This dedication is a recognition of Brugger, as well as a call to follow his lead and stand up for young people in our communities.

The Arcadia Building of the Y Social Impact Center in Auburn
Arcadia Auburn Shelter & Drop-in | photo of the YMCA

In 2017, after expanding to 20 cities in South King County, Auburn Youth Resources changed its name to Nexus Youth and Families. Last year, Nexus Youth and Families merged with the Y Social Impact Center to serve jointly using industry-leading services and proven practice to serve children, youth and families in the region.

The above information was provided by the YMCA of Greater Seattle.

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