Youth Homelessness - Anchor Community Initiative

Picture of Youth Advocacy Day

Feature Story

Spokane County's Anchor Community Initiative's March data confirms that efforts to end youth homelessness in our community are on track for a downward shift. A downward shift is a meaningful measurable reduction in homelessness that requires 6 data points under the median and being on track requires 3 consecutive data points below their median. Learn more about shifts here.

The chart shows the 3 consecutive data points, on the far right, being below the median line. With the goal for a 40% reduction in youth homelessness by October 2021, this chart shows that our community is on track to make this goal a reality.

Spokane County is one of four Washington communities participating in the Anchor Community Initiative and is the first community to reach this milestone. 

This achievement is a testament to our community's commitment to saying yes to yes; an approach that increases capacity so when a young person says "Yes, I need help" a community can say "Yes, we can help." Additionally the model engages young people with lived experience to drive system change.

Our Work


Anchor CommunitiesThe Anchor Community Initiative serves unaccompanied young people ages 12 - 24 who are experiencing homelessness. The Anchor Community Initiative is a project to end youth and young adult homelessness in four communities across Washington State by the end of 2022. Spokane County United Way partners with A Way Home Washington to help participating communities improve their data collection methods, advocate for legislative change, develop partnerships with systems and service providers, and implement projects that improve access to services and lead to equitable outcomes for all young people. Our approach is modeled after Built for Zero, a framework that has ended chronic and veteran homelessness in communities across the country.


Our Vision

Anchor Community Initiative Three Phase OutlineYes to Yes

Our goal is to increase communities' capacity so when a young person says "Yes, I need help" a community can say
"Yes, we can help.

Ending Inequity

Young people of color and those who identify as LGBTQ+ experience homelessness at higher rates than their white, straight, cisgender peers. They also return to homelessness at higher rates and experience homelessness for longer times. Anchor Communities will measure these young people's outcomes and implement projects to reduce and eliminate these disparities.

Resources for Homeless Youth and Young Adults

Young Adult Shelter at Women's Hearth: 920 W. 2nd Ave.

  • Open nightly 7:00 PM to 8:00 AM
  • 18 -24 years old
  • First come, first serve
  • Couples welcome
  • All genders / identities welcome
  • 15 bed capacity

For many young people experiencing housing instability, the federal government's stimulus payment could mean the difference between staying housed and experiencing homelessness. A Way Home Washington created a social media toolkit in English and in Spanish to help us spread the word that this payment is available and to help young people understand how to receive it, including resources young people can access right here in Spokane. Please reach out to A Way Home Washington's Communications Director Sully Moreno for more information: