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We Are Building Brighter Futures



Incorporated in 1975, the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester (YSOW) is one of its kind throughout New York State. YSOW has two main program structures: residential and community-based. Our 12-bed shelter operates as a homelike alternative to incarceration for young men awaiting disposition or who have been sentenced on various criminal charges through the local court system. Operating out of a newly renovated building next door, our LEAD Academy serves young people (ages 16-25) from throughout the community who have come into contact with the legal system.


Since Our Inception In 1978, The Youth Shelter

Annually serves


 youth on average via both our residential and community programs. 

Ensures that less than 


of our youth are rearrested or reoffended through ongoing community programming


pass/improvement rate on all of our academic standardized testing to ensure all of our youth are on track to obtain their High school equivalency diploma

Key Initiatives

Youth CRED

Emerging Adult Justice

Motion For Justice

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YSOW is the lead agency for the Emerging Adult Justice Initiative, a partnership with Mount Vernon City Court and the 9th Judicial District. Its mission is to provide meaningful opportunities for resolving criminal cases by pursuing alternatives to conventional prosecution, sentencing and incarceration for young people between the ages of 18-25.

YouthCRED is a community-based anti-gun violence initiative launched in partnership with Mount Vernon SNUG of FSW that leverages the raw talents that justice-involved youth inherently possess. Through YouthCRED, young people with lived experience with gun violence learn how to create meaningful outreach campaigns to help reduce shootings and cure violence in their own communities. 

The Motion for Justice program creates pathways for prosecutors to bridge the gap between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve to create lasting policies and practices that tackle the racial injustices deeply rooted in the criminal legal system



Joanne Dunn

Executive Director

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Ms. Dunn is the first woman to lead this organization since its incorporation in 1975. Conceived by a Westchester judge and school teacher who recognized the need for early intervention in the lives of young offenders, Youth Shelter Program of Westchester has been providing a home-like alternative to jail for young men, for over 40 years, with great results.

Ms. Dunn’s commitment to youth is more of a calling than a job. She has served as a troop leader for the Westchester Putnam Girl Scouts, a member of the Peekskill City School Districts Parental/Community Involvement Committee, a Parent Coordinator for the Peekskill Pop Warner Football League and as an Executive Board Member for the Peekskill NAACP, which awarded her for her outstanding service to youth and families. She previously served on the Advisory Board for the SUNY Westchester Educational Opportunity Center, Westchester County’s Fatherhood Committee and the Arts10566 Advisory Board. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and was awarded a Forty under Forty by The Business Council of Westchester. Joanne is a proud graduate of Leadership Westchester.


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Jordan Cormier

Director of Programming


Andre Coleman

Mental Health Program Director

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Akil Childs

Community Program Manager


Vincent Jackson

Cure Violence Program Coordinator


Darrell Robinson

Residential Supervisor


Kelvin Britton

Residential Supervisor


 Rev. Darren M. Morton, Ed.D - President

Jason McCalla - Vice President

Rudy Coombs

Jan Fisher

Cora Greenberg

Stanley Hunter

Michelle A. Nicholas

André Thompson

Contact Us


Interested in helping the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester build brighter futures, one saved youth at a time?

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