Abuse. Neglect. Chaos. Conflict. Youth placed at our emergency shelter frequently come to us from a traumatic or unstable environment. Our shelters provide youth in crisis with support, resources, and direction toward a brighter future.

counselor ames

Offering calm and comfort during times of crisis

Youth in crisis can find safety, support, and services at YSS emergency shelters.

Rosedale Shelter
703 Burnett Avenue
Ames, Iowa
P: 515-233-2330 (Answered 24/7)

YSS of North Iowa
50 N. Eisenhower Avenue
Mason City, Iowa
P: 641-423-7362 (Answered 24/7)

About Our Services

YSS established the first-ever shelter for runaway youth in Iowa. Nearly 50 years later, providing shelter for kids remains at the core of our mission.

Our staff offer youth short-term care in a safe, structured home environment in Ames and Mason City.

Services are available for youth who:

  • Have run away or are homeless
  • Have been abused or neglected
  • Are adjudicated and waiting for court action

YSS emergency shelters accept youth who are referred by the following:

  • Juvenile Court Services
  • Department of Human Services

Transition Support

For those who stay for an extended period of time, YSS provides an Area Education Agency classroom and supervised recreation activities.

Staff also lead regular group discussions on a variety of educational topics, including conflict resolution, problem solving, basic life skills, and sex and drug education.

Additional services include:

  • Individual, group, and family counseling
  • Mental health assessments and counseling
  • Substance use evaluation and diagnosis
  • Court testimony and recommendation

Alice's Story

Alice came to Rosedale Shelter at age 15 after being removed from a foster home due to ongoing substance use. During her stay in shelter, Alice was able to get sober and took part in YSS programs including outpatient counseling, mentoring, and AMP—a program for youth in foster care. Alice joined the YSS Youth Advisory Board to End Homelessness and the YSS Public Policy Committee.

YSS staff encouraged Alice to stay engaged with positive social activities and events so she could develop supportive relationships within her community. She learned to advocate for others and, most importantly, herself.

Alice was discharged from Rosedale Shelter to a home near her sister’s foster home. Today, she continues to engage in extracurricular activities, is an excellent student, and has maintained her sobriety.


mental health services
child counseling services

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 with only the clothes on his back.

YSS staff provided him with donated clothes and were determined 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 Mason City 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. In fact, after he was discharged from the shelter, the Now & Then regulars continued to ask YSS staff how the “little man” was doing. Thanks to YSS, he had new experiences and discovered new passions.

See also:

  • Crisis Stabilization Program – A short-term care facility for parents to take their kids (ages 12-18) when they are experiencing an acute mental health, behavioral health, or substance use issue
  • Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (IHYC) – Located in Des Moines, IHYC offers drop-in services such as meals, clothing, hygiene items, showers, job assistance, and connections to local resources