Giving Compass’ Take:
· The United States faces an ongoing homelessness crisis as housing prices increase. Kira Zylstra discusses the work she does at All Home King County and explains that although progress has been made to help these individuals, there is still a need for funding, affordable housing, and policy to decrease homelessness.
· How can philanthropy be part of the conversation to set common goals for success?
Our community faces a defining moment as we grapple with how to move forward in the midst of a housing crisis and the related ongoing emergency level of homelessness. As thousands of people across King County lay their heads down each night in doorways, tents, cars and other locations never meant for shelter, and thousands more are at deep risk of becoming homeless, inaction is not an option. All Home stands firmly committed to comprehensively addressing this crisis on all levels by preventing homelessness whenever possible, prioritizing existing resources and making additional investments at scale to address the severe lack of affordable housing that provides pathways out of homelessness.
The performance of our regional homeless response system overall has significantly improved over the last four years, from housing 3,410 households in 2013 to 6,851 in 2017, an increase of 101 percent. Our community has also made progress for certain populations with targeted resources, coordinated attention and added funding, yielding a 22 percent decrease in homelessness among minors and a 31 percent decrease in veteran homelessness. These successes are not achieved by accident. We know what it takes to see similar progress across the system but we chronically lack the funding and sustained political will to implement solutions at scale.
Read the full article about homelessness by Kira Zylstra at the Seattle Foundation.
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