Host Homes: A New Step Towards Ending Youth Homelessness
Last updated: February 11, 2020, at 12:05 p.m. PT
Originally published: November 16, 2016, at 3:07 p.m. PT
The housing crisis in the Greater Seattle Area does not seem to have an end in sight. As a community, we have gone back and forth on the best way to accommodate growth, while thousands of people are being displaced from their homes and affordable options are few and far between.
During the 2017 One Night Count, 1,498 young people were found to be unsheltered in King County. There are not nearly enough shelter beds to provide a place for homeless youth to sleep each night. Building new shelters cannot happen quickly or inexpensively enough. But what if we told you there is a solution that already exists? What if you could help end homelessness?
The YMCA of Greater Seattle, supported by the Raikes Foundation and the Medina Foundation, is launching a new program that will efficiently and effectively house homeless youth: Host Homes. Host Homes connect homeless youth with supportive families in the community that have a spare room and are willing to provide a safe space to work towards a plan of independence.
We are seeking individuals and families who are willing to provide a caring and stable environment, and host a young person for up to 6 months. By filling vacant rooms in the homes of individuals and families, the YMCA aims to not only provide continuous shelter for homeless youth, but to build lasting relationships with caring adults in their community. As a 140-year-old organization, we know the profound effects of having a positive adult influence in the lives of young people.
It is clear that our community wants to end homelessness, and individuals have struggled to find a way to get involved. Please consider becoming a Host Home. It will be life changing for the young person. It may even be life changing for you too.
– Bob Gilbertson, CEO