About Us

Historic Sites


Our Book






Photo Albums

Celebrating 50 Years...

Mercer Island Youth & Family Services


courtesy MI Reporter

The early 1970's were a turbulent time for youth on Mercer Island. Drugs were a factor, as was alcohol, and, heaven forbid, rock and roll!

The early 1970s were a turbulent time for youth on Mercer Island. Drugs were a factor, as was alcohol, and, heaven forbid, rock and roll!

On March 13th, 1973, the City Council received a report from an ad hoc Youth Services Committee that Mercer Island was very much in need of youth services.

The committee recommended beginning with a modest program on the Island and increasing the utilization of area resources, such as Youth Eastside Services.

The Council directed the City to proceed with an application for a grant from King County for $40,000 in Federal and County funds which would fund the basic recommendations of the ad hoc committee. Lola Deane was one of the chairs of the Youth Services ad hoc committee. Dr. Ted Mandelkorn is the other surviving member of the committee.

The Committee recommended setting up an Island Youth Services Advisory Board, hiring a Youth Services Coordinator and training a police office to work with juveniles. The funding for a staff person came from the grant and made the idea of Youth Services possible. Peg Morgan was hired as director in August, 1973. In addition to continuing to work with Youth Eastside Services, the committee recommended the grant funds be used for services on Mercer Island that included counseling; provision of foster homes for troubled youth and opportunities for employment on Mercer Island.

In 1975 Youth Services became a city department. Peg Morgan organized a staff of counselors and volunteers to help youths with substance abuse, self-esteem and family problems. Opportunities for employment became Jobline which helped young people find jobs such as babysitting, lawn care and computer operation (many current residents found employment through Jobline while growing up on the Island).

A monthly fundraising garage sale operating out of a garage in the original facility became the Thrift Shop. It is a significant source of funding for MIYFS and until the Covid shutdown raised almost $1 million a year YFS programs. As it rebounds after the closure, it continues to attract shoppers from around Puget Sound

From its offices in the big brick building at Luther Burbank,Youth & Family Services is our island’s sole, full-service social and human services provider. The MIYFS safety net assists those experiencing a crisis, as well as cultivating strength and resilience in our community.

And to think it all started with a $40,000 grant.

courtesy MI Reporter