Youth Services System, Inc.

Inspiring success for today's youth

aka YSS, Youth Mentoring Network, Lazarus House/Mary & Martha House, Winter Freeze Shelter, YSS Transitional Living Program   |   Wheeling, WV   |


To create better futures for children, families, and our community.

Ruling year info



John Moses


Tammy Kruse

Main address

Post Office Box 6041 87 15th Street

Wheeling, WV 26003 USA

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NTEE code info

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

Temporary Shelter For the Homeless (L41)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our communities are full of disconnected, lost, hurting people dealing with traumatic experiences, substance and alcohol use disorder, mental illness and the consequences of poor choices not entirely of their own doing. We are a safe place where youth and adults can get their feet back under them, acquire skills and knowledge to move forward, and gain confidence to keep the momentum going toward better and brighter futures.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Youth Services System, Inc.

YSS has been preventing and responding to youth homelessness since 1974. We have two youth emergency shelters and two transitional housing programs for youth aging out of foster care or are experiencing or at risk of being homelessness. In the words of our founder, it is our moral imperative to say "Yes, yes and yes again" to helping youth in need.

In the past 10 years, our efforts have broadened to helping adults and families who are homeless; it is with these folks in mind that we opened the Winter Freeze Shelter in our administrative office building in 2009. It is open from Dec. 15-March 15 each year to prevent serious illness and death among the local population that is sleeping outdoors.

In 2017, we took on the administration of the Lazarus House and Mary & Martha House sober living homes for adults in recovery from substance use and alcohol use disorder. There, men and women live in community and support each other as they navigate their individual recovery journeys and uncover pathways that lead to good health, higher education and gainful employment.

The ever-increasing problem of substance abuse in our state has brought us to the cusp of opening our new Substance Abuse Treatment Program for WV girls who are remanded to the state juvenile commitment program. We have completed the $1 million retrofit of a wing of our Ronald C. Mulholland Juvenile Center and plan to open the treatment center this spring.

Our programs also include the Youth Mentoring Network, which matches youth ages 6-17 with adults in the community; Prevention Services, which addresses youth and adult substance abuse and alcohol abuse prevention as well as suicide and bullying prevention and early intervention; Expanded School-based Mental Health programs to educate children and allow for early intervention and mental health referrals; Quiet Minds, referral for first episode psychosis in children; Safe at Home parenting training; Youth Opportunities Unlimited work program for ages 14-24; among others.

The youth and adults we serve are seeking better futures for themselves and their families. Our mission is to help them create those positive outcomes. Many of our programs and services receive no government reimbursement or support. We can’t operate without the help of our community.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Homeless people

YSS operates Samaritan House and Helinski Shelter as emergency youth shelters. These licensed emergency shelters serve boys (8-17) and girls (8-17 years old) respectively. Tuel Transitional Training Center and McCrary Center provide Transitional Living skills training for older youth from 17-22. Youth Achievement Center works with boys 12-17 with intellectual disabilities and mental health issues. YSS operates the Ronald C. Mulholland Juvenile Center, the state's only private, nonprofit juvenile center for youth ages 10-21. Our residential programs received a three-year accreditation in 2019 from CARF International,

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth

YSS offers professional behavioral health and substance abuse assessment and treatment services to youth and families. Assessments are used to create plans to end crisis, to build skills to support independent living. In-home services build parent competencies and develop positive coping and discipline skills.

Our professional staff includes four case managers, assessment coordinators, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, a Licensed Graduate Social Worker, a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, two Registered Nurses and in-home service providers.

Population(s) Served

Since 2009, our efforts have broadened to helping adults who are homeless by opening our nightly Winter Freeze Shelter from Dec. 15-March 15 inside our administrative office building. The goal is to prevent serious illness and death from exposure. Since 2009, we have seen more than 1,500 individuals stay with us; this year alone we've had more than 260. Our male and female guests enter at 9:30 p.m. and receive a hot meal, fellowship, and a warm bed in either the men's or women's dorm. They receive assistance with any resources they need to access, help finding permanent housing, medical assessments and first aid, and more.

In 2019, we opened our Winter Freeze Shelter one month early, on Nov. 15, for women only in response to another local shelter changing its policy to exclude women and families. Women were welcomed on Nov. 15, but for those with children, we leased three apartments to provide Temporary Emergency Housing for families. We house additional families who come to our door at a local hotel for a discounted rate.

When any of our Winter Freeze Shelter guests or families is able to move into more permanent housing, we are able to help with their rental deposit and utility deposits, food, furniture and other necessities as our funding allows.

These efforts are funded entirely by donations from the community.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people

YSS Recovery Homes — Lazarus House, Mark's House and Mary & Martha House — were started by Shelley and the late Bill Rohrig to honor the memory of their son Mark who had struggled with depression.

The recovery homes serve men and women ages 18 and older who are working toward getting their lives back on track after treatment for substance use or alcohol use disorder. It is a place to call home, with as many of the comforts of home as possible within the means and budget.

The houses are for recovery not treatment, although the director assists residents with accessing local treatment services, including Medication Assisted Treatment. During their time in the house, a resident can build on strengths learned in treatment, get back to school, and look for employment, while living in a safe space along with others in recovery. Residents have the option to be matched with Peer Recovery Coaches, and mental health counseling is available. Residents are expected to follow simple directions, do house chores, and attend local 12-Step Meetings (AA/NA) or similar support groups. Abstinence from all illicit drug use is required.

YSS Recovery Homes are supported through state grants and local donations.

Population(s) Served
Substance abusers

Where we work


Mayor's State of the City Honoree 2020

City of Wheeling

Affiliations & memberships

United Way of the Upper Ohio Vally 2021

Youth Collaboratory 2021

Northern Panhandle Continuum of Care 2021

Emergency Shelter Provider Network 2021

Business Network International 2021

National Safe Place 2021

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our founding mission that keeps us going every day is instilling a sense of worth and purpose in the youth and adults we serve. We build relationships with the youth in our emergency shelters, transitional living, mentoring program, before- and after-school programs and behavioral health services. We do that by listening, making eye contact and showing them by our actions that they matter: They are important, they deserve a better future, and we are here to help them achieve that future. We offer the adults in our Recovery Homes and Winter Freeze Shelter more than just basic needs of food and shelter. We provide a warmth centered on caring, a nourishment that feeds not just their bodies but their minds and souls. Loneliness is a public health crisis; recovery happens in community.

Our strategy starts with our Prevention Services department. In 2019, 3,283 youth participated in our evidence-based prevention education in our region. Our prevention programs include alcohol, tobacco products (including vaping) and substance use prevention, as well as suicide prevention and mental health awareness programs in schools and at community events. We were a 10-year (maximum) recipient of the federal Drug Free Communities grant, through which we established drug take-back sites and programs throughout our state, conducted compliance checks for sales of alcohol and tobacco in our region, provided prevention programming, built community coalitions in four counties, and conducted community surveys of youth and adults that informed our evidence-based approaches to prevention.
The heart of our direct care services is our Emergency Shelter program for boys and girls, which were the first of their kind in the state, and the Transitional Living Program for older youth aging out of foster care or otherwise at risk of homelessness. In both programs, we use a comprehensive youth-centered model to identify and serve youth and also provides outreach and gateway services. Identified through screening, qualified youth are sheltered, provided food, clothing, counseling and case management. We work to reunify youth with their families if possible and provide safe and appropriate exits no matter what. Through a Positive Youth Development model, staff will work with youth on four core areas: achieving social and emotional well-being, obtaining education and employment, building permanent connections, and placement in safe and stable housing. YSS works with the HUD Northern Panhandle Continuum of care, faith communities, Project HOPE homeless outreach medical service, other shelters and providers, WV Department of Health and Human Resources, local schools and others to identify and serve these youth. We use the Casey Life Skills Inventory, which gives each youth the opportunity to self-report their personal struggles and goals, then staff works with them to achieve these goals while they are with us.
Our Winter Freeze Shelter operates 90 days/year from Dec. 15-March 15. We had 270 different individuals stay with us in 2019-20. We provide food, fellowship, dormitory housing, clothing, boots, winter gear, toiletries. We also connect our guests with resources, including medical care, mental health care, drug and alcohol treatment/recovery services, government benefit programs, housing programs, education and employment options, and more. We partner with local social service agencies and volunteers that form a support network to care for these most vulnerable of our neighbors. We have two recovery homes for men and women and are opening a third home soon that will double the number of beds available.
All our services are free of charge to clients.

We have been serving vulnerable youth since 1974 and have grown from one emergency shelter to a system including 10 buildings and 25 programs. We receive funding from federal, state and local governments, private foundations, businesses, churches and individuals. We have nearly 200 employees, an established Development Department and the good will of our community.

We have directly touched the lives of more than 60,000 youth since 1974. The Lazarus House and Mary & Martha House have served more than 500 adults in recovery over the past 18 years. In fiscal year 2019, our Prevention Services department reached 5,650 youth and thousands more adults. Also that year, we reached thousands of local school students with our mental health and wellness programming.
We plan to continue building on the programs that are successful and working to improve our ability to reach and impact youth. We will continue to follow the exhortation of our founding director, the late Ronald C. Mulholland, who said: "The one absolute, the one moral imperative, is that we must respond! We must say yes ... yes ... and yes again. Children cannot survive our failed efforts. Children can no longer be seen as a constituency worthy of only occasional concern. Children are the future! If their needs, hopes, desires are not addressed with a seriousness that equals the stakes involved, we as a society have failed and will suffer the consequences for years to come."

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback


Youth Services System, Inc.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Youth Services System, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 02/24/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Rod Lee

Nelson Jordan Center

Term: 2022 - 2025

Board co-chair

Missy Ashmore

Kennen & Kennen Realtors

Term: 2022 - 2025

Rick Davis

Discount Building Supplies

Emily Freeman-Waters

Raymond James

Justin Pastorius

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston

Zak Zatezalo

Bordas & Bordas

Cynthia Morrison

River Valley Health Foundation

Matt Porter

The Public Market

Dave Yaeger

Penn Kurtz

Medic Management Group LLC

Amanda Bennett

West Liberty University

Jennifer Rohrig

WV Department of Economic Development

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/21/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/21/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.