History

Deborah Shore founded Sasha Bruce Youthwork in 1974 as the Washington Streetwork Project. At that time, suburban street kids and out-of-town runaways congregated in the Georgetown and Dupont Circle areas. With a small staff and a few volunteers, Shore counseled these young people on the streets. The Washington Streetwork Project established its first home when Christ Church in Georgetown donated basement space for a youth drop-in center. The focus of the organization’s early work was to help young people sort out what brought them to the streets and reconnect them to home.

In 1976, Shore and the Washington Streetwork Project came to the attention of Evangeline Bruce, wife of Ambassador David Bruce, following the tragic death of their daughter Sasha. Evangeline Bruce donated funds to start a youth shelter in memory of Sasha, who had helped troubled youth as a volunteer when she was in school. Shore opened Sasha Bruce House in 1977 to provide troubled youth with a safe haven from the dangers of the streets.

The Washington Streetwork Project grew and changed over the next two decades in response to the changing needs of DC’s troubled young people and families. Programs were added to bridge the gaps in available support services for youth. As street work became only a small part of the organization’s activities, the name of the organization changed to Sasha Bruce Youthwork.

Today Sasha Bruce Youthwork is one of the largest and most experienced providers of services to youth in Washington, DC. Our work helps young people find safe homes, achieve and maintain good health and mental health, create and strengthen supportive and stable families, explore opportunities in education and careers, and become tomorrow’s leaders. Through 18 professionally staffed programs located throughout the city, Sasha Bruce Youthwork helps young people and families discover their own abilities to transform their lives.

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