Danny Westneat gets it right in his recent column, where he lays out an ambitious goal for 2014: No child left outside [“In fight against homelessness, let’s zero in on children,” Local News, Feb, 8].
It’s the same goal the Committee to End Homelessness, a regional coalition hosted by King County, has set as part of its Family Homelessness Initiative.
Our response to family homelessness is multifaceted, with local government, philanthropists, nonprofits, faith communities and individuals working together. In 2013, nearly 1,500 families were stabilized. And yet, we believe nearly 300 families lived unsheltered in our community.
In response, a new program moves 350 homeless families into housing with rent and job assistance. Another new program will help 150 more homeless families stay in their current housing. Other families will receive motel vouchers, or shelter, to stay safe while they wait for more stable housing.
One family moved out of a shelter in Fremont last month. The mother found a data collection job at $14 per hour in Renton, and found housing nearby. She’ll have three months of rental assistance, stabilizing her and her two teens.
Ending homelessness helps more than just the homeless. It helps ensure that more people have the opportunity to succeed and contribute, which benefits everyone in King County.
Mark Putnam, director, Committee to End Homelessness in King County