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Built For Zero

Ending youth homelessness in Spokane County through comprehensive, collaborative efforts that address the unique needs of young people aged 12-24 is our goal. By providing immediate assistance and long-term support, the aim is to create a community where every young person has the opportunity to thrive.

We envision a Spokane where no young person faces homelessness, where communities are equipped to respond effectively to the needs of their youth, and where equity is at the forefront of all initiatives. Our goal is to ensure that when a young person says, "Yes, I need help," the community can confidently respond, "Yes, we can help."

United Way of Spokane County, in partnership with A Way Home Washington and the City of Spokane, launched the Anchor Community Initiative (ACI) to combat youth homelessness. This initiative began in 2019 with the creation of a comprehensive By-Name List and collaboration with the Youth Advisory Board (YAB), which advocates for young people with lived experiences of homelessness. Spokane has since achieved a significant milestone, becoming the first in Washington State and the third in the nation to record a sustained reduction in youth and young adult homelessness.

Youth homelessness disproportionately affects young people of color and those who identify as LGBTQ+. These young people experience homelessness at higher rates, for longer periods, and are more likely to return to homelessness than their white, straight, cisgender peers. Addressing these disparities is crucial to ensuring equity and lasting solutions.


Comprehensive Support

ACI provides a range of services, from immediate shelter and safety to long-term case management and housing resources, ensuring young people have access to the support they need at every stage.

Youth Advisory Board (YAB) - The YAB, composed of young people with lived experiences of homelessness, plays a vital role in advocating for effective solutions and ensuring that services meet the real needs of youth.

Collaboration and Innovation

By partnering with local organizations and leveraging innovative approaches, ACI aims to create sustainable, impactful change in the fight against youth homelessness.


The Young Adult Shelter, a key component of ACI, offers safe and secure overnight services for young adults aged 18-24, along with case management and housing resources. Located at 3104 E. Augusta Avenue, the shelter is open every night from 7:30 pm to 6:30 am, welcoming individuals of all genders and identities, as well as couples. The shelter has helped countless young people rebuild their lives and achieve their potential.

ACI's efforts are creating a lasting reduction in youth homelessness in Spokane County. By addressing the immediate needs of homeless youth and providing long-term support, we are building a foundation for future success and stability. Our focus on equity ensures that all young people, regardless of their background or identity, have the opportunity to thrive.

Investment Strategy/Capacity Building

We secure funding through grants and donations to maintain and expand our services, ensuring that we can continue to meet the needs of homeless youth. We invest in training and resources for our staff and partners, enhancing their ability to provide high-quality, effective services. We work with community organizations to implement projects aimed at reducing and eliminating disparities in youth homelessness, with a focus on measurable outcomes and continuous improvement.


The Anchor Community Initiative, spearheaded by United Way of Spokane County, is a comprehensive effort to end youth homelessness and promote equity. Through collaborative, innovative approaches and a commitment to supporting the most vulnerable, we are reshaping the narrative of youth homelessness and building a brighter future for all. Join us in making a difference by supporting ACI and ensuring that every young person in Spokane has the opportunity to thrive.

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