King, Pierce, and Spokane Counties Launch 100-Day Challenges to Tackle Youth Homelessness

A Way Home Washington (AWHWA) today announced that communities in King, Pierce, and Spokane counties are launching 100-Day Challenges to accelerate efforts to prevent and end youth homelessness in their communities. Each region will receive support from the Rapid Results Institute (RRI) to drive toward ambitious community-identified goals over 100 days, starting April 20.

“Communities in our state are accepting the 100-Day Challenges because they want to take action now to connect youth and young adults with safe, stable housing,” said Jim Theofelis, executive director of A Way Home Washington. “Leaders from the government, philanthropic, and service provider communities are coming together to rethink how we can support young people and families, because we know preventing and ending youth homelessness is possible if we work together.”

Schultz Family Foundation and the Raikes Foundation, two philanthropic leaders with a deep commitment to addressing youth homelessness, are providing financial support for the Challenges. Rapid Results Institute will provide coaching and support to all three regions, and will be facilitating key workshops at the beginning and end of the 100-Day Challenges. RRI’s past challenges around veteran and youth homelessness have shown that the limited timeframe of 100 days provides the urgency needed to identify, innovate, and fuel effective approaches for communities.

In Washington state, more than 13,000 people between the ages of 12 and 24 lack a safe, stable place to call home. Youth homelessness affects every county in Washington state. To address this problem and better support youth, participants from communities in King, Pierce, and Spokane counties have each identified their own challenges to pursue over the course of the 100 days.

Communities in the King County region will focus on accelerating housing placements for young people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness, and reducing the number of unsheltered young people in their community.

“Ensuring that every youth and young adult in our region has the opportunity to achieve their full potential starts with making sure they have a safe, warm place to call home each night,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “This partnership will build on the progress we’ve made to help more youth get into permanent housing, and work to prevent them from ever experiencing homelessness in the first place.”

About the 100-Day Challenges

The 100-Day Challenges are part of a growing national movement to prevent and end youth homelessness in America. In Austin, Cleveland, and Los Angeles, similar challenges organized by A Way Home America and RRI helped house 413 young people in just 100 days—exceeding their original Challenge. Beyond the three areas participating in the Challenges, Washington state has seen unprecedented statewide momentum over the last year to address youth homelessness. A Way Home Washington is committed to the goal of building a movement to prevent and end youth homelessness.

In the last six months, A Way Home Washington commissioned a statewide scan to better understand the scope of youth homelessness, organized a statewide listening tour with First Lady Trudi Inslee to get input from community partners, and partnered with the newly created Office of Homeless Youth to issue a report that outlines state and community solutions to address youth and young adult homelessness. Over the course of the next 100 days, A Way Home Washington and partners will be sharing profiles on social media channels to highlight those affected by and working to prevent and end youth homelessness. Follow along with the #WAChallengeAccepted hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the A Way Home Washington website.