This week the national campaign to address student homelessness, Education Leads Home, announced that six states—California, Kentucky, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Washington—have been chosen to participate in a first-of-its-kind partnership aimed improving educational outcomes for students who are experiencing homelessness.
Young people who do not graduate from high school are 4.5 times as likely to experience homelessness in their lives—and students who are experiencing homelessness are nearly 90 percent more likely to drop out of school than their peers. Taken together, those facts shine a light on the daunting odds that students experiencing homelessness face, as well as why education is a crucial part of any strategy to prevent and end youth homelessness. Schools are critical points of connection for students and families—connections that we have to utilize to ensure students are getting what they need inside and outside of the classroom.Read More
On April 1, 2019 Katie Hong will be stepping away from her role as the Raikes Foundation’s Director of Youth Homelessness and into her new role as Director of Special Initiatives. The foundation believes it’s important to engage more deeply in our region’s worsening homelessness, and nobody is better suited to lead our work in that area than Katie (you can read more about Katie’s new role and strategy here). But despite a change in leadership, our deep dedication to end youth homelessness remains unchanged.
I’m proud to be carrying on our foundation’s longstanding commitment to young people experiencing homelessness as the new director of our youth homelessness strategy.Read More
Last year, McKinsey and Co. released a report on homelessness that spelled out in stark detail what many of us who live in and around Seattle already knew—despite everything we have done to stem the tide, homelessness is getting worse.
The report cited the region’s painful lack of affordable housing as a chief culprit among an array of compounding factors, including loss of job and substance abuse. It also, counterintuitively, showed how much our homelessness crisis response system has improved over the years. From 2016 to 2017 alone, our government partners moved 35 percent more households into permanent housing, and yet the number of people on streets has continued to rise. There’s no doubt we’re getting better at helping people move from homelessness to housing—but as it stands the system simply can’t keep pace with the number of people falling into homelessness.Read More
As we reflect on Blake Nordstrom’s incredible life, we can’t help but be filled with memories of his warm spirit, passion for community and unique ability to bring people together.
He modeled what it means to be an effective, inclusive business leader and a generous, engaged member of our community. Our families bonded over our shared desire to support the city and state we love. We were particularly passionate about ending homelessness in our region. With Blake’s death we lose a real champion and leader for that cause, but we can think of no better way to honor his life than by holding steadfast to that goal.
We will keep his memory close as we work toward the future he envisioned for his hometown. We send our deepest condolences to his wife Molly and all of his loved ones. May Blake rest in peace.Read More