our focus : ending homelessness

Ending Homelessness in King County

People become homeless for diverse reasons. Some have suffered abuse. Some have a mental illness. Some are haunted by going to war. Some are foster kids who never found a family. Others have simply suffered misfortune — losing a job, for example, on top of having a medical crisis.

United Way of King County believes that no one should suffer the nightmare of homelessness. So, together with our donors and volunteers, we’re working on multiple fronts. Most importantly, it’s working: Since 2009, the annual One Night Count of people homeless and on the streets is down 9% in King County.

  • We support emergency shelter to get people off the street tonight.
  • For people suffering long-term homelessness, our strategy is “Housing First.” That means first getting people to safety and security. After stability returns, services like counseling, medical treatment, and job training follow. Since 2007, United Way’s Campaign to End Chronic Homelessness has helped create 1,786 units of permanent housing with supportive services.
  • For homeless families, we invest in housing together with child care and services like domestic violence counseling.
  • For homeless youth, we invest in housing, education and developing life skills.


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