NorthStar Advocates is a federally recognized, tax-exempt 501(c)3 non-profit organization (EIN 87-1428320) dedicated to preventing and ending youth and young adult homelessness in Washington state. NorthStar Advocates is in the “start-up” phase of organizational development, and began operations in July 2021.
All young people facing homelessness or exiting state systems have the support and resources they need to create a life that is healthy, loving, and achieves their NorthStar.
Preventing and ending homelessness by supporting young people, strengthening families and communities, and holding the systems designed to serve them accountable.
UNCONDITIONAL CARE: All children and young people deserve a safe, warm, nurturing environment to grow, learn, and thrive. Children and young people do best when they are raised by healthy families and communities. Families and communities do best when they are trusted, supported, and free of bias and discrimination. Society does best when young people, families and communities have the resources, policies, and opportunities they need to be strong, healthy, and lead their own lives. We want young people and families to not just thrive, but to survive!
The NorthStar was the name of the name of the newspaper founded by Frederick Douglas in 1847.
Jim Theofelis began his lifetime commitment to serving young people and families as an outreach worker on the streets of Seattle in 1979. For the next several years he worked on the “front lines” continuing to do street outreach and working in an emergency shelter that served youth surviving on the streets of Seattle that began his commitment to the philosophy of Unconditional Care: “All children and youth deserve a safe, nurturing environment to grow and thrive independent of behavior.”
Dr. Ben Danielson
Clinical Professor of Pediatrics University of Washington
Justice Bobbe J. Bridge, ret.
Founding President/CEO CCYJ
Secretary Washington State Department of Social and Health Service (Retired)
Sen. Reuven Carlyle
36th Legislative District – Seattle
What’s in a Name?
Our Executive Director has been serving children, youth and families in Washington state for over 40 years-through non-profit organizations and his private practice. One of the exciting and meaningful aspects of the name NorthStar Advocates is how it challenges us as a new organization to not just patch system gaps with “Band-Aid” programs, but to be more intentional through an equity and justice lens:
“Where do we want to be in 1 year, 3 years and 5 years?”
For example, in the child welfare and foster care system, driving toward a more humanistic goal instead of only improving the system for children today: “How do we strengthen and support families so that they do not need to enter the foster care system?” Let us remove the policies, practices and programs that are rooted in racism and white supremacy. The NorthStar Advocates approach insists that those with lived experience are at the table.
When Jim founded The Mockingbird Society, one of his guiding principles to elevate the voice and leadership of young people in foster care and/or homeless was: “If we are not at the table, we are on the menu!” NorthStar Advocates is dedicated to changing who is at the table, as well as the very menu being developed and served.