About Us

The Youth Protection Council was incorporated on June 27, 1962. We were founded by a concerned and committed group of community leaders that included Mrs. Harold (Mary) Karls, Reverend Kenneth Andersen, Mrs. William (Suzanne) Mason, Mrs. Darrel Mandelst, Mrs. Martin Nowosad, Lt. Raymond McGillen, Mrs. Robert Hurley, Mr. Leonard Soper and Mrs. Elsie Paas.

At the time, our state had laws on the books to protect animals…but nothing to protect at-risk children. We are eternally grateful for the foresight of our founders!

The C.K. Eddy Family Memorial Foundation provided funding for the first year of operation. By 1965 we had $15,000 in revenue and one case worker. Today we have 44 employees and an annual operating budget of $2.2 million to serve our youth like no other organization does in the area:

  • Emergency shelter for runaway and homeless youth in Saginaw, Gratiot, Tuscola and Midland counties
  • Substance abuse prevention programs and Designated Youth Tobacco Act compliance provider for Saginaw County
  • Parenting program for teen and young parents, long term housing for homeless teenage parents and their children and rapid re-housing rental assistance
Welcome from the President

Welcome from the President

Sarah and her two small children have been moving from place to place and the children are displaying signs of distress. Mike’s family has been without a home of their own for several years and he is struggling to keep up with high school. Andrea’s mother is worried because she was caught at school with marijuana and she is in ninth grade. Our organization, the Youth Protection Council, is working with these families, and hundreds of others, providing housing and parenting and drug abuse prevention education.

The Youth Protection Council serves our community like no other organization with highly trained staff and high quality programs that increase the family’s capacity to become self-sufficient.

Our dedicated Board of Directors ensures sound practices, accountability and impact. They choose to serve because they care about the future of children in the communities we serve.

Our staffs make a significant difference in the lives of vulnerable children, youth and families on a daily basis.

Browse our website, contact us for more information and let’s talk about how you can partner with us to save lives and create futures.

All the best,

Mary Ellen Johnson


To empower and support children and families in reaching their full potential and becoming self-sufficient, saving lives and creating futures through education and shelter services.


Our organization strengthens the relationship and lives of children and families within the communities we serve.


The Youth Protection Council is supported with federal, state, local and
private funding:

Private, tax-deductible donations DONATE NOW

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Michigan State Department of Health and Human Services
Michigan State Housing Development Authority
Mid-State Health Network
City of Saginaw Community Block Grant Funding and Emergency Shelter Grant funding
United Way of Saginaw County
United Way of Tuscola County


Sources of Agency Revenue


Foundations & Donations


Local United Ways


City of Saginaw





Board of Directors

Marc Cesere


Smallwood Holoman, Jr.

Vice Chair

Herbert Herd


Terry Pruitt


Harold Timberlake, Jr.

Eric Gilberston

Eric Hinojosa

Steve Hocquard

Peggy Maine

Linda Sims

Mary Ellen Johnson


Leadership Team

Pam Saunders

HR and Payroll Director

(989) 755-0937

Jasmine Calhoun

Innerlink for Runaway and Homeless Youth Division Director

(989) 753-3431

Stacey Crosby

Innerlink for Runaway and Homeless Youth Office Manager

(989) 753-3431

Melissa Hayes

Innerlink for Runaway and Homeless Youth House Manager

(989) 753-3431

Naomi Nickleberry

Teen Parent Services Supervisor

(989) 399-0006

Jacoba Lumbreras

Office Manager, Administrative Office

 (989) 755-0937

Harrison Gloss

Innerlink for Runaway and Homeless Youth Supervisor

 (989) 753-3431

Sarah Iwinski-Wallace

Prevention and Youth Services Coordinator

(989) 755-0937