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September 7, 2018
Host Homes could provide housing for every homeless young adult in King County
By Katie Hong
Director, Youth Homelessness

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.

The goal for the Host Homes King County program is to match 100 young people with supportive host families over the next two years.

One reason why Host Homes can be so impactful is because there simply aren’t nearly enough shelter beds to house the more than 1,500 youth and young adults who experience homelessness in our region. Young people experiencing homelessness have unique developmental needs, and solutions to end their homelessness are often very different from what adults experiencing homelessness need. Host Homes can help bridge the gap, proving youth a safe place to stay while they find their feet.

There are many examples of strong host home programs throughout the country and here in King County. Both the Accelerator YMCA and Friends of Youth have worked closely with Bellevue Presbyterian Church supported host homes the past two years. The majority of young people who participated in the Accelerator YMCA program left for a stable living situation, and many reported that the program helped them focus on their goals.

A spare bedroom could change a young person’s life. You can learn more about this exciting program by watching this video (produced by Starbucks as part of Pearl Jam’s Home Shows campaign to fight homelessness) and by visiting Accelerator YMCA’s website at https://www.seattleymca.org/hosthome.