We’re excited to announce that we’re building on our partnership with the Accelerator YMCA and the Medina Foundation to work with King County, Friends of Youth and the Pearl Jam Fund to expand the Host Homes King County program.
Host Homes are a promising solution to help house youth and young adults who are experiencing homelessness. Host Homes are temporary placements for youth, typically about six months, that provide a safe and stable base while the young person searches for employment, permanent housing or works to complete an education goal.
For those looking for a concrete way to make a difference for the community and in the fight against homelessness, Host Homes can be a good opportunity to get involved and contribute. By some estimates there are more than 200,000 spare rooms in King County, enough to house every young person experiencing homelessness in our region more than 100 times over.
Each year our community brings together a small army of volunteers for the Point-In-Time (PIT) count. Coordinated by All Home, the PIT count aims to both tally the number of people experiencing homelessness on a single night, as well as gather information about their needs so that our community can improve the homeless crisis response system.
This year’s report shows that while the number of people experiencing homelessness has continued to increase in our region, there are signs of hope and a path forward. Overall youth and young adult homelessness stayed steady (an increase of only 1 percent), but the number of homeless young people under the age of 18 decreased by more than 20 percent since 2017.
In every city and state across the country we are seeing the same alarming and disturbing trend: People of color are dramatically overrepresented in the population of people experiencing homelessness. Here in Seattle, African Americans make up just 6 percent of the overall population, but make up 29 percent of people experiencing homelessness.
In response to this stubborn trend, last week we co-hosted a first-of-its-kind national summit on Racial Equity and Homelessness in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Together, we supported the Center for Social Innovation to bring together state and national leaders and funders from communities throughout the U.S. to discuss how to address these unconscionable trends in our efforts to prevent and end homelessness.
The report, part of Voices of Youth Count, an initiative of Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, confirms that youth homelessness is a pervasive challenge across the country, affecting young people in the biggest cities, smallest towns, and everywhere in between. Missed Opportunities reveals that one in 10 young adults between the ages of 18 and 25, and at least one in 30 adolescents between the age of 13 and 17 experience some form of homelessness over the course of a year.