YSS of North Iowa


For over 40 years, YSS of North Iowa has provided hope and opportunity to youth. Based is Mason City, this center is the northern-most location for YSS—bringing much-needed services to families in this part of the state.

Previously known as YSS Francis Lauer, YSS of North Iowa offers counseling services, crisis stabilization, emergency shelter, and aftercare for foster care alumni.

The nonprofit organization is truly community-based, tailoring its services to fit the specific needs of the families in our neighborhood.

YSS of North Iowa
50 North Eisenhower Ave.
Mason City, Iowa 50401

Counseling: 641-423-5479
Shelter: 641-423-7362

Our Programs

Counseling Services

YSS offers licensed mental health therapists who help individuals, couples, and families overcome their obstacles. We provide comprehensive counseling services, including psychiatric medication management, to address your mental health needs. Learn more.

Crisis Stabilization

YSS provide short-term, supervised care for youth experiencing an acute mental health, behavioral health, or substance use issue. Learn more.

Emergency Shelter

The emergency shelter at YSS of North Iowa offers a safe place for youth in crisis—with food, clothing, hygiene items, and support. Learn more.

Foster Care Advocacy & Aftercare

YSS provides aftercare support for young adults who have aged out of foster care or other out-of-home placement. Learn more.

Angela's Story

As a teenager, Angela's mom neglected the family, often leaving her to take care of her two younger siblings. Soon, she came to YSS of North Iowa for guidance and support. “I was pretty weak, and they helped me become stronger,” says Angela. “Without YSS, I don’t know if I would be on the streets because of my situation.”

Angela spent a few nights at YSS and learned life skills such as cooking and laundry. At the age of 15, she became an emancipated minor, which means she would be able to live on her own. She found an apartment and full-time job in Mason City.

“I get teary-eyed thinking about it, even after all these years,” Angela says. “I was 15 on my own. It was hard paying for things. It was just me.”

Now, Angela works as an administrative assistant for the Story County Community Foundation. Wanting to give back to the organization that changed her life, Angela became a YSS mentor. She feels like she can finally pay it forward to someone else who needs support, just as YSS did for her.


Overnight stays in YSS shelters in 2022


Number of therapy sessions by YSS providers in 2022


“If I hadn’t gone to YSS, I don’t know where I would be right now. YSS taught me a lot about myself; I’m proud of how far I’ve come.”

– Michael

“The team at YSS of North Iowa makes me feel like I’m not alone.”

– Sue


More than Shelter

It all started when a young boy needed a safe place to stay. The 12-year-old had just left the hospital, and—unable to return to his family—he arrived at the YSS of North Iowa shelter.

YSS staff provided him with donated clothes and promised to give him a “normal” childhood experience despite his situation. During his stay, staff took the boy fishing and bowling. He went to a Fourth of July parade and the Clear Lake splash pad. But he especially loved attending magic game tournaments at Now & Then, a local store. His fellow magic players soon knew him by name and donated cards to fuel his hobby.

With the help of YSS, the boy found his community, had new experiences, and discovered new passions.

Our Leadership

Sara Lindquist

YSS of North Iowa Community Advisory Board
Chair: Shannon Wooge

See a full list of board members.