Business Community Steps Up to Support Homeless Families in King County

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.

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2017 Point in Time Count

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:

  1. generating valid, accurate data regarding families and individuals experiencing homelessness,
  2. establishing estimates that accurately reflect the homeless population for the entire geographic area of the Continuum of Care (CoC),
  3. retaining and improving funding for homeless services and meeting federal data reporting requirements,
  4. increasing community support and awareness of the scope and scale of homelessness in King County, and
  5. 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

All Home Governance

Last week, the All Home Coordinating Board unanimously approved an amended Charter that dissolves the current Coordinating Board and Executive Committee and replaces them with a singular, smaller and more action-oriented Board. The new Coordinating Board positions are open to the public. Applications will be accepted through November 23, with the Executive Committee meeting a final time in December to select membership. To apply online, click here. Please contact Felicia at with any questions.

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.

WeCount’s Box of Sox

Image result for wecount has installed 12 Box of Sox around Seattle for those in our community who need clean socks! These metal newspaper-style boxes, marked with the WeCount logo, are for anyone to use. Do you need socks? Take socks!  Do you want to donate clean socks? Give socks! Not having access to clean and dry socks can cause health issues for people who are not able to use laundry facilities. WeCount is partnering with faith-based congregations, social service agencies, community groups, and schools to “adopt a box” by hosting a sock drive and keeping one or more nearby boxes filled throughout the winter. Please contact them at if you’d like to help.  

You can check out their Box of Sox locations here.