Tonight we will have too many kids without a safe place to rest their head, do their homework, eat a hot meal, or call home. Homelessness is a crisis for these families and is unacceptable in a community like ours.
Our shelters are full, poverty is growing, and affordable housing is scarce. While we can’t solve all of these problems tonight – we believe we can and must take action to make sure no child sleeps on the streets of King County.
That’s why Church Council of Greater Seattle, Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry and United Way of King County have come together to support the No Child Sleeps Outside in King County initiative.
Why do we think we can end family homelessness?
- Our system is now coordinated. Yes, we have too many homeless families and too few housing resources. While we work on developing new housing resources King County’s Family Housing Connection provides one-stop access for families and allows our community to prioritize the most vulnerable.
- Every day, hundreds of families are housed in area shelters, transitional housing, and permanent housing units. They are served by smart, talented, compassionate people who are working to move families out of homelessness.
- Families are resilient. Homelessness among families is typically not a long-term experience. About 75% who enter shelter are able to quickly exit with little or no assistance and never return. Knowing this allows us to better target families with the appropriate level of service.
- We know what it takes to move families out of homelessness. We now have data from across the country that shows us how to make more progress with less cost. This is why our community is investing $3 million to rapidly house and stabilize 350 families.
- A new program called Diversion is preventing homelessness for people seeking shelter by helping them identify immediate alternate housing arrangements and, if necessary, connecting them with services and financial assistance to help them return to permanent housing.