Ending Homelessness

When you make a gift to United Way, you’re taking a stand against homelessness. You’re telling the world that tents are not a long-term solution. You’re fighting for the young father who lost his job last month and can’t pay the rent – for the woman and her daughter who slept in their car last night.

You know that helping people get back on their feet through employment and connecting them to housing quickly is both the smart and right thing to do.

United Way focuses on income and housing to make the most impact on our county-wide homeless crisis. We work side-by-side with the two other largest funders in our community – the City of Seattle and King County – to make the most of every dollar.

Our Goals


Reduce the number of unsheltered people by 50%
95% of people who have experienced homelessness do not return within two years
Reduce the number of youth of color who are homeless by 10 percentage points

Our Approach


When you support United Way, you’re helping people stay in their homes and move off the street. Last year we invested $9.2M in shelter and housing programs around the county, connected thousands of volunteers who want to make a difference and helped make housing a priority in Olympia.

Jobs Connect: Employment is the Master Key

We know that people can’t move into housing – or maintain it – without an income. Our Jobs Connect program connects people who are homeless and able to work with employers ready to put them to work.

We make transportation easy, provide a place to shower, have a hot breakfast and store belongings during the day. The pride and confidence clients have is empowering. People are finding full-time work, getting on the path to housing and stability.

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2018 Goals


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People Get Jobs
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Outreach and Training Providers
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Days a Week

One by One, Going Streets to Home

We know that the barriers preventing people from leaving the streets are as varied as the people themselves. Whether a result of domestic violence, medical challenges, job loss or something else, when someone becomes homeless, it’s a true personal crisis.

Helping people bypass the shelter system can lead to a more rapid housing solution and better long-term results. Our Streets to Home program gives outreach workers the tools they need to solve the homelessness crisis of one person at a time.

Ending homeless through Streets to Home: Marrissa in her new apartment
Marrissa gets a home thanks to the Streets to Home Program.

2017 Impact

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People Moved Into Housing
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Partners Countywide

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Youth Homelessness: Back to a Future


More than 5,000 young people each year in King County don’t have a safe place to call home, and thousands more are at risk. In addition, 34% of kids exiting foster care in King County become homeless within just 12 months.

Your donation helps these kids get back to stability, back to school and on to a better future. Our investments are in safety and family reunification, shelters and housing, and employment. We’ve also worked with our state legislature to extend foster care to age 21 so young people have a chance to get on their feet.

Chronic Homelessness


Our community was one of the first to adopt the approach of ‘Housing First’ – providing people that are chronically homeless apartments with vital services on-site. This approach is widely recognized as more humane, cost-effective and successful than allowing these same individuals to cycle in and out of the emergency room, sobering center or jail.

United Way provides the on-site services for people living in 2,241 units. Having these services on-site means that people get the mental health and medical help they need to remain safely housed and off the streets.