Hosts Make a Difference

The Host Homes King County program matches young people ages 12-24 with hosts in the community who can provide the space and opportunity they need to build independent living skills, gain stability, and focus on goal attainment. This program provides much-needed stability for young people who are "almost there", many are already working and close to obtaining housing, and just need a boost.

The Home Shows | Lending a Hand to Foster Youth - Pearl Jam

There are nearly 200,000 spare bedrooms in King County with nobody sleeping in them. Tyrrell and Terrance are twin brothers who experienced homelessness after aging out of the foster care system but thanks to the Host program, they are moving into housing instead of homelessness.

Host families are volunteers from the community who willingly offer a room in their home that provides safe, short-term, and supportive housing to young people who are at imminent risk of becoming homeless. This is a simple and direct way to make an impact on King County's homelessness crisis.

Over 1,500 youth and young adults between the ages of 12-25 are homeless or unstably housed within King County. Shelter beds and community resources are limited, leaving the vast majority of young people without access to food or safe housing. Through the Host Homes program you have the opportunity to be a champion for some of these homeless young adults.

Become a Host or Learn More

Interested in becoming a host or learning more about our Host Home program?

Contact Us

Are you a case manager wanting to make a referral?

Make Referral

Hosting Frequently Asked Questions

Hosts are volunteers in the community who want to make a difference in the life of a young person. They offer a room in their home that provides safe, short-term, and supportive housing to a young person who needs support to focus on housing, employment, education, and/or other stabilizing goals.

Who is eligible to host?

The Y strives to match young people with hosts that fit within their cultural orientation and individual lifestyle. Hosts may be single, married, or partnered and represent a wide-range of ethnicities, religions, sexual identities, cultures, etc.

Host families or individuals must be 21 years of age or older, have a spare bedroom or private space within their home, pass a background and reference check, have homeowner or renters insurance, and live within King County. Host families are also asked to complete a home inspection and training program.

What are the host’s responsibilities?

To provide temporary stable housing with supportive services including:

  • A private bedroom with a bed and meals
  • A safe, welcoming, and encouraging environment
  • Opportunities for the young person to participate in your family’s daily life and events with the same privileges and obligations
  • Involvement in community life by introducing the young person to family members, neighbors, friends, and local community groups
  • Close contact with the Y program manager on how the hosting is progressing, such as fit with your schedule, family, etc.

What are the Y’s responsibilities?

As a host, you’re never alone! The program manager is available to provide support in the rare case that issues arise. They are also responsible for overseeing the day-to-day success of the matching process and will visit with the young person and host family regularly.

What will the young person do during the day?

All young people in the program will have goals they are working toward. Most young people who live with a host family will have a job, be enrolled in an employment training program, school, or other activities during the day. However, some may be looking for employment or educational opportunities and may need to stay home during the day.

Can a young person identify who they want to stay with?

Yes, this is a program driven by young people. If a young person has identified someone in the community to live with and needs support in securing that connection, please contact the program manager.

How long is a hosting commitment?

Our goal, through the matching process is to ensure that you and the person who comes to stay with you is a good fit and will be able to live together comfortably. We ask that support be provided for up to six months while they work with a case manager and service providers toward stability.

Are host families or individuals paid?

No, however the YMCA may be able to offer a monthly stipend.



Counseling Services

We’re here for you with counseling services that span mental health, substance use, and psychiatric care for people of all ages in King County.

Are you experiencing a crisis?

For immediate assistance with a behavioral health crisis or a young person’s safety or shelter, call the King County 24-Hour Crisis Hotline at  866-427-4747.

Join the Y!

With a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, improving health and well-being, and supporting our neighbors, your membership will not just bring about meaningful change in yourself, but also in your community.