The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced on Friday, January 13th, the ten communities selected as part of the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP). Seattle-King County’s Continuum of Care, All Home, was awarded $5.4 million to support a wide range of housing programs to accelerate our community’s progress in preventing and ending youth homelessness.
“In receiving this first-ever grant through the new Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program, King County and Seattle have proven that their innovative, inclusive approach to addressing youth homelessness deserves nationwide recognition, and I’m proud to be able to help them further expand their efforts with this significant award,” said Senator Patty Murray. “Their strong plan, which includes lasting partnerships between government, non-profits, and philanthropic organizations, relies on recommendations from young people who have experienced homelessness themselves. This should help ensure that these programs are as effective as possible and bring us closer to the goal of ending youth homelessness. There are thousands of young people in the Seattle area who are struggling to find stable housing and will now be able to receive the extra boost they need to get back on track.”
Since 2011, Seattle-King County has been engaged in systemic, regional efforts to prevent and end youth and young adult (YYA) homelessness. By coming together to identify gaps, invest in innovative programs and strategies, and implement system improvements, such as prevention, employment, coordinated entry and rapid rehousing for young adults, King County has a strong foundation to address youth homelessness.
“All Home’s work has played an important role in working to combat homelessness in King County. Today’s grant announcement means All Home will be able to invest in innovative new programs and strategies to help end homelessness for youth and young adults. For young people, a stable home is critical to reaching their full potential,” said Senator Maria Cantwell.
Through YHDP, Seattle-King County will implement and expand on key strategies including deepened partnerships with public systems to ensure youth do not exit to homelessness, family engagement and other forms of diversion, stronger behavioral health supports and a coordinated response for under 18 youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
“Thanks to Senator Patty Murray, Senator Maria Cantwell, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, we are able to expand our innovative work to reduce youth homelessness,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “By focusing on rapid re-housing and other successful programs, we can do more of what’s proven to help young people, fulfilling our commitment to make King County a place where no youth is without a safe and stable home.”
“The federal funding announced today brings us one step closer to ensuring that all young people in King County have a safe place to sleep at night and accomplishing the goals laid out in Pathways Home,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “Any viable solution to our region’s homelessness crisis will require support from the Federal government to address the root causes of homelessness and to move people indoors. I am thankful for the support of Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell in this effort.”
“Today’s announcement is great news for homeless youth and young adults in King County,” said Mark Putnam, Director of All Home. “These funds will be used to house all homeless youth and young adults quickly, eliminate the vast disparities based on race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, and ensure youth do not become homeless again. We are thrilled that our innovative approach and our strong partnerships have been acknowledged through this award.”
In November of 2016, the All Home Coordinating Board unanimously approved an amended Charter that dissolved the Coordinating Board and Executive Committee and replaced them with a singular, smaller and more action-oriented Board. Open applications were accepted through the month of November and new members were selected in December.
The Board roster and other related materials are available on the All Home website. Thank you to everyone who shared their time and talent as a member of our Coordinating Board over the last year. We look forward to our continued partnerships and collaboration to make homelessness rare, brief and one-time in King County.
Local data on rapid re-housing is now available on the All Home Website. The Tableau dashboard gives system level data on households enrolled in rapid re-housing programs including exits to permanent housing, length of time enrolled, returns to homelessness and change in income.
Rapid re-housing is a critical component of our homelessness crisis response system and we have substantial work to do to bring it to scale in our community. The success of rapid re-housing in Seattle and King County requires a commitment of both funding entities and service providers to best practices, innovative and adaptable program designs and a renewed effort to engage landlords.
With homelessness at an emergency level in King County, business leaders including the Starbucks Foundation, the Schultz Family Foundation, Microsoft, Alaska Airlines, Weyerhaeuser, Expedia, Nordstrom, Comcast, Bank of America, Key Bank Foundation, Group Health Cooperative, Dick’s Drive-In, Seattle Mariners, as well as the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Seattle Association announced their support of the annual No Child Sleeps Outside campaign. In an extraordinary effort to mobilize the business community and our neighbors, they are contributing over $3 million to provide safe emergency shelter for the estimated 500 unsheltered families in King County.
This move by the Starbucks Foundation, Schultz Family Foundation, Microsoft, and others includes an immediate expansion of emergency shelter to bring unsheltered families inside and supports All Home’s County-wide plan as well as the City of Seattle’s Pathways Home strategies to address longer-term systemic change to truly make homelessness rare, brief and one-time.
“The 500 families with small children who are sleeping outside in King County cannot wait for the promised reforms and housing that will take a year or more,” said Howard Schultz, chairman and chief executive officer of Starbucks and cofounder of the Schultz Family Foundation. “We need to treat this daily tragedy with the same urgency that would follow any natural disaster. This is a short-term but urgent humanitarian need, and we are proud to join other Seattle employers in the No Child Sleeps Outside campaign.”
In addition to the Starbucks Foundation’s financial contribution, for the first time, over 200 Starbucks stores in King County will offer customers an opportunity to donate directly to Mary’s Place. Every dollar donated by customers during the month of December will be matched by the Starbucks Foundation, up to an additional $1 million dollars to help shelter local families. The Starbucks Foundation is also investing an additional $250,000 to connect homeless families and youth with job placement programs and other critical services through local community partners such as the United Way, YWCA, and YouthCare.
For additional details please visit: https://news.starbucks.com/news/no-child-sleeps-outside-announcement
Or check out this Seattle Times article: http://www.seattletimes.com/business/starbucks/starbucks-enlists-in-no-child-sleeps-outside-campaign/
As the Continuum of Care lead, All Home is responsible for carrying out the Annual Point In Time Count, including both a sheltered and unsheltered count and survey of people experiencing homelessness in King County. While the count’s core purpose is to collect data on the needs of people experiencing homelessness, the count also provides an excellent opportunity to increase awareness of homelessness and to spark action. A successful and accurate PIT Count is an essential component to informing our system response to the need in our community and to ultimately making homelessness rare, brief and one-time.
We are swiftly approaching the 2017 Point in Time (PIT) Count, scheduled for January 27, 2016, and planning is well underway. This summer, All Home released a Request for Proposals for an organization to carry out the count, and articulated the following goals:
- generating valid, accurate data regarding families and individuals experiencing homelessness,
- establishing estimates that accurately reflect the homeless population for the entire geographic area of the Continuum of Care (CoC),
- retaining and improving funding for homeless services and meeting federal data reporting requirements,
- increasing community support and awareness of the scope and scale of homelessness in King County, and
- linking data collection efforts with CoC strategic, program and policy planning.
In October, the All Home Coordinating Board determined that this year’s count would be conducted via a partnership between All Home and two entities: the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness (SKCCH), which has conducted the count for over thirty years, and Applied Survey Research, which has conducted dozens of counts in California over the past two decades. However, SKCCH notified All Home on Monday that it will not participate in count efforts this coming year.
The 2017 count will now be fully conducted by Applied Survey Research, a national non-profit research firm, in collaboration with All Home. In addition to its experience working in California, ASR has experience in Seattle/King County, conducting a needs assessment of unsheltered homeless in Seattle, and a count of homeless youth/young adults as part of a national effort called Voice of Youth Count, both in the past year.
There will be a few key changes to this coming year’s PIT count:
- Count teams will include volunteers as well as PIT Guides. Guides are paid positions ($15/hr) for homeless or formerly homeless individuals with lived experience in or near their count area.
- The unsheltered street count will shift from a “known area” count to a 100% canvas of every census tract in the county
- Improved data collection tools will be introduced for more efficient and simplified tallying and survey data collection
- More comprehensive sample-based survey efforts including both shelter/service sites as well as non-service locations
While SKCCH will not be leading the 2017 PIT Count, All Home commends the tremendous efforts they have led for over a decade of conducting the One Night Count. All Home is committed to conducting the count in strong collaboration with the community and with a dedication to an accurate, safe, and respectful process. In the coming days, we will be forming a Steering Committee to guide the work and ensure a strong and actionable 2017 Point in Time Count. Information and reports from past PIT counts are available on the All Home website and additional information pertaining to the 2017 Point in Time Count will be posted soon. For additional questions about the PIT count, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.