In Memory of Liz Shear

In Memory of Liz Shear March 4, 2024

The world has lost an incredible soul! We are sad to share the passing of San Diego Youth Services’ former Executive Director Liz Shear. Liz passed on Tuesday, Feb. 27 surrounded by her family. She served as San Diego Youth Services’ Executive Director for 17 years from 1979 to 1996. Her vision and passion for making lives better for vulnerable, struggling and homeless youth lives on in the work we do each and every day.


Liz Shear. Photo credit: Nonprofit Institute, University of San Diego

Liz’s legacy is everlasting. During Liz’s leadership San Diego Youth Services grew fivefold, with new innovative programs to serve children, youth and teens, including our Storefront Youth Emergency Shelter, transitional housing programs to stabilize teens experiencing homelessness and recovery centers for teens with alcohol and substance abuse problems. During Liz’s tenure San Diego Youth Services also received a special recognition from First Lady Barbara Bush for work with abused and neglected children and a Fifth Point of Light Award from President George Bush for San Diego Youth Services’ service to the community. Our current growth and success was built on the foundation that Liz and her teams established in those early years of our history.

We are grateful for Liz Shear and everything she has done for San Diego Youth Services. Rest in Peace. Your spirit and generosity will always be a part of San Diego Youth Services and our mission.

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