Homelessness

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HOMELESSNESS AFFECTS FAMILIES, CHILDREN, YOUTH, AND ADULTS. UNITED WAY BELIEVES THAT HOMELESSNESS IS A HUMANTIRIAN ISSUE AND TAKES A COMPASSIONATE AND HOLISTIC APPROACH IN GETTING BASIC NEEDS MET FOR OUR COMMUNITY.

Like you, we recognize homelessness is a challenge in Spokane. This is a very complex issue with no single cause and no single solution. United Way works to pull our community and service providers together to ensure family wage jobs are available, housing is affordable, and services are accessible to people with mental health, substance abuse, and family violence issues.  United Way fights to prevent homelessness. Join us and LIVE UNITED; we are stronger together.

Our Goal

To focus on root causes of homelessness and provide stability to families before issues escalate to the point of homelessness. To make sure school children and youth have a consistent and safe place to sleep every night. To work with our community in coordination of services for a holistic approach to homelessness.

Our Strategy

Use local data to understand the number of people who are living pay check to pay check and use this data to inform our work. United Way produces a comprehensive ALICE Study and presents this data to key stakeholders. To request a presentation please contact Andrey Muzychenko.

Coordinate community response services to reach youth and young adults who are homeless:

  • We secured over $300,000 in grants to be applied to youth homelessness efforts over the next three years
  • By securing grant dollars we are able to employ a staff member to coordinate community services and work with homeless youth to ensure services are meeting the needs of this vulnerable population
  • We bring volunteers together to assemble Hygiene, Snack Pack, and School Supply Kits and distribute these kits throughout our community. 

Fund Agency Partners who are focused on prevention and intervention services for those at risk of homelessness and those who are homeless: Click here to learn more about United Way's investments in our community.

  • American Indian Community Center
  • Communities in Schools of Spokane County
  • Crosswalk
  • Hillyard Youth Collaborative
  • The Salvation Army
  • SNAP Financial Access
  • SNAP Housing
  • Spokane Housing Authority
  • Spokane Resource Center
  • Transitions
  • YWCA

Our Collective Impact

  • 1,175 families and / or people avoided home foreclosure, eviction, or found housing through an emergency shelter program.
  • 1,664 youth who are homeless, or at risk of being homeless received help and outreach from trained youth advisors.
  • 568 people gained employment or enrolled in post-secondary education.
  • 501 people improved their credit score with financial counseling.
  • 3,550 Snack Packs, Hygiene and Literacy Kits assembled by 430 volunteers have been distributed to low-income and homeless youth.
  • 150 Reading Mentor hours were logged, benefiting students at Title 1 schools. Students who had an adult reading mentor, on average, improved two reading levels!

Raise your hand! Get Involved!

  • To arrange your own volunteer kit build contact United Way staff member Jeff DeBray.
  • Learn more about our reading mentor program Vello.
  • Find volunteer opportunities that connect you to your passion at Volunteer Spokane.

Additional Resources

United we fight to prevent homelessness handout.

There are two primary methodologies, Annual Point in Time Count and the K-12 System, for estimating how many people in the community are homeless. 

  • Annual Point in Time Count - Required by HUD as a condition of receiving federal housing funds, this is a one-day count that happens at the same time across the country. Staff and volunteers take the census of people living in shelters or transitional housing on a single night and spread out across the community to known places where people who are unsheltered are likely to congregate. Read More for Data on Spokane County.
  • K-12 System - Under federal law, public school districts are required to ensure that homelessness does not prevent a child from staying in and attending their school. School districts work with local shelters to make sure students have transportation to their home school, and they also keep data on the number of students who experience homelessness, including those who double up with friend or relatives. Read more for data on Spokane County school children.

Spokane County's Homeless Activities Plan- Note this link will redirect you to a site managed by Spokane County