WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Youth Services System has been helping kids in the Ohio Valley for 47 years.

For the last 42 of those years, John Moses has been a big part of YSS. He’s been Executive Director since 2003 and has helped the organization grow from a single shelter to 17 shelters plus many other outreach programs.

He began as a carpet layer, who agreed to fill in at Samaritan House for two weeks.

So, I thought ‘eh, two weeks, I could take a hiatus’. 42 years later, here I am.

John Moses, Executive Director, YSS

He has a killer wit, a kind smile and an innate understanding of kids.

He can identify if someone is in pain, especially a teenager, and certainly every kid who walks through the door of Youth Services has some kind of pain.

Ron Klug, YSS Founding Board Member

Moses insists that many YSS staffers share the same traits.

You know, our hearts for kids’ pain, our desire to help them learn to be on a better path and absolutely enjoy their company.

John Moses, Executive Director, YSS

They have scrapbooks full of letters from kids who consider themselves a member of the family. Many come back from all over the country, to stop in and say thank you.

There was a thirst that they had for belonging and we were able to fulfill that just by being genuine, just by having honest relationships and mostly probably because we had a hell of a good time.

John Moses, Executive Director, YSS

Thirty years ago, people didn’t know what Youth Services was all about. They do now.

Ron Klug, YSS Founding Board Member

YSS started with one shelter. Now, they have 200 employees, 25 programs, ten buildings and a budget of $13 million.